We Love Loft Penthouses With Private Terraces: 3133 N. Lakewood in Lakeview

3133 n lakewood

This 3-bedroom penthouse loft at 3133 N. Lakewood in Lakeview just came on the market.

It has 15-foot ceilings and walls of windows with Southeast views of the city.

Is this an addition to the top of the building? It doesn’t have any of the features you’d find in an older loft building such as walls of exposed brick (there is one wall of bricks in one of the bedrooms but it doesn’t look like it is original to the building.)

It has luxury finishes in the kitchen including Viking and Bosch appliances.

There is a 40 foot private deck, along with 1-car parking.

The loft has other features buyers look for including a full-sized laundry room and central air.

It last sold just 3 years ago and has come on the market for $110,000 more.

Who’s the target market for a 3-bedroom Lakeview loft?

Michael LaRocque at Present Value Realty has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #PH-S: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1600 square feet

  • Sold in June 2008 for $600,000
  • Sold in June 2010 for $600,000
  • Currently listed for $710,000
  • Assessments of $289 a month
  • Taxes of $6913
  • Central Air
  • Laundry room: 8×8
  • Bedroom #1: 14×13
  • Bedroom #2: 16×10
  • Bedroom #3: 12×11


Market Conditions: Out of Town Developers Arrive to Build Apartments in the GreenZone

Crain’s reports on an Oregon developer that is going to build 2 apartment buildings in the GreenZone.

One will be in River North on land that was supposed to be a condo building before the bust and the second one will be near the Old Cabrini Green complex in Old Town.

The projects in River North and Old Town, which will cost about $147 million combined, are the first in the Midwest for Gerding Edlen, an office and apartment developer that has a strong concentration in western states and in recent years has ventured into the East Coast.

The firm formed a joint venture last month with Chicago developer Fred Latsko to build a 25-story tower with 188 units at 212-232 W. Illinois St., which valued the River North site at $12.5 million, according to Cook County records. Mr. Latsko, who bought the property near Gene & Georgetti restaurant for $9.5 million in 2008, according to county records, maintains sole control of a landmarked former firehouse on the western portion of the parcel at 228 W. Illinois, where he is expected to open a restaurant of about 5,000 square feet.

By the end of this year, Gerding Edlen plans to kick off an 18-story, 240-unit tower at 625 W. Division St. in Old Town, across the street from a Target store under construction on land that was once part of the Cabrini-Green public housing complex, Mr. Saito said.

Gerding Edlen bought that property for $5 million on March 14, county records show.

But are developers getting ahead of themselves? 5200 new apartments are now expected to come on line downtown in 2013 and 2014.

Gerding Edlen is doubling down in a new market that will soon be awash with new apartment towers. “After a strong 2012, new supply will put pressure on rents and occupancy from late-2013 through 2014,” according to Appraisal Research’s first-quarter report.

In River North, new projects in various stages of development could nearly double the current supply of about 2,700 units.

“On the one hand, we have measured concern about that,” Mr. Saito said. “On the other hand, that’s one of the things we liked about the deal with Fred — we can start right away, and we’ll be ahead of a lot of the buildings (planned) in River North.

“Compared to other cities of similar scale, (Chicago is) actually a pretty balanced market. In Seattle, on a relative basis there is a lot more construction currently. There are a lot of examples like that. For the moment, we feel good about the Chicago market.”

Are we at peak rents?

With all this supply expected to come on the market, will it be a renters market next year in downtown high rises?

Trail leads to Chicago for Oregon apartment developer [Crain’s Chicago Business, Ryan Ori, June 19, 2013]

Is Bowmanville the Next Hot Neighborhood? 4-Bedroom Greystone Sells for $1 Million: 1944 W. Farragut

1944 w farragut

We last chattered about this 4-bedroom greystone at 1944 W. Farragut in the Bowmanville neighborhood of Lincoln Square in June 2012.

See our prior chatter here.

Originally listed for $1.349 million in May 2011, you all chimed in as to whether the Bowmanville neighborhood, which is part of Lincoln Square, could command that high of a price.

The consensus was: “no” (or “hell no” as roma put it.)

Most of you thought it wouldn’t sell for over $1 million.

In April of 2013 the house finally sold for $1 million on the dot.

If you recall, the listing indicated it was formerly a two flat that was converted into a single family home.

The house had 3 fireplaces, crown molding and a box ceiling in the living and dining room.

Four of the six bedrooms were on the second level, with the remaining two in the lower level where there is also a recreation room.

The rear of the house had also been updated to have a wall of windows, which the listing indicated was from the basement to the second floor.

There were also $23,000 in custom window treatments included with the house.

It had an updated kitchen with stainless steel appliances, a large island and stone counter tops.

The house was on a 125×29 lot, had a 2-car garage and 2 decks, including one on the roof of the house and one on the roof of the garage.

Does this sale set a new price level for Bowmanville?

Is Bowmanville now the next hot neighborhood?

Mary Foley at Conlon had the listing. You can also see a video presentation here.

1944 W. Farragut: 6 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, 4500 square feet, 2 car garage

  • Sold in March 1995 for $168,000
  • Sold in December 2001 for $417,000
  • Originally listed in May 2011 for $1.349 million
  • Reduced
  • Was listed in February 2012 at $1.249 million
  • Reduced
  • Was listed in June 2012 at $1.099 million
  • Sold in April 2013 for $1 million
  • Taxes of $9800
  • Central Air
  • 3 fireplaces
  • Bedroom #1: 14×23 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 11×13 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 13×13 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #4: 9×7 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #5: 13×13 (lower level)
  • Bedroom #6: 12×11 (lower level)
  • Family room: 23×15 (main level)
  • Recreation room: 21×23 (lower level)

Looking For Your Own Mini-Castle Complete With Turret? 3007 W. Hollywood in Peterson Woods

This 4-bedroom vintage brick bungalow at 3007 W. Hollywood in the Peterson Woods neighborhood of West Ridge came on the market a month ago.

Built in 1928 on an oversized 65×200 corner lot,  it looks like a mini-castle because of its 2-story turret.

It also boosts many of its original vintage features including a bridal staircase, leaded glass windows and 18 foot ceilings.

There is crown molding throughout as well as wainscoting.

There’s a library (or is that the office?) with wood paneling. The house has 2 fireplaces.

The listing also says that there is a “family room w/Rathskeller”.

I had to look up what “rathskeller” was. The online dictionary says it is a tavern below street level or a cellar. Perhaps someone more familiar can fill us in as to what this means in this house.

The pictures show what look to be the original baths, complete with colored tile.

Personally, I am obsessed with the blue bathroom and its tile- especially the black trim up near the ceiling. Amazing.

The kitchen has also not been renovated, although I couldn’t tell you its era.

It has a 2-car garage, a gazebo and central air.

Will this house command its $999,900 price in this neighborhood?

Maureen Barone at Coldwell Banker has the listing. See the pictures here.

3007 W. Hollywood: 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, 2 half baths, 2 car garage, no square footage listed

  • I couldn’t find a previous sale
  • Currently listed for $999,900
  • Taxes of $11025
  • Central Air
  • Bedroom #1: 19×14 (main level)
  • Bedroom #2: 16×14 (second level)
  • Bedroom #3: 14×10 (second level)
  • Bedroom #4: 13×11 (second level)
  • Family room: 40×32 (basement)
  • Library: 14×12 (main level)

A 2-Bedroom Loft With Vintage Charm Sells in River North: 333 W. Hubbard

333 w hubbard

We last chattered about this 2-bedroom loft in the Union Square Lofts at 333 W. Hubbard in River North in March 2013.

See our prior chatter here.

It was a bit unusual because it had been upgraded with vintage features including crown molding and wainscotting in the bedrooms.

Some of you wondered why you’d buy a loft if you wanted vintage.

Others thought it was priced too high and would be lucky to get the 2005 price of $345,000.

However, this loft just sold for $15,000 over the 2005 price – at $360,000.

If you remember, the bathrooms had been upgraded and the fireplace had a marble surround with built in bookcases on either side.

The kitchen had maple cabinets, granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances.

It seemed that just one of the two bedrooms had a window.

This unit had some exposed brick and tall concrete ceilings with exposed ductwork.

The loft also had an in-unit washer/dryer and central air.

But there was no parking with the unit.

Is anyone surprised by the final sales price?

Richard Wright at Rowhouse Realtors had the listing. You can still see the pictures here.

Unit #507: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1207 square feet

  • Sold in April 1998 for $189,000
  • Sold in December 2005 for $345,000
  • Was listed in March 2013 at $364,900
  • Sold in June 2013 for $360,000
  • Assessments of $641 a month (includes heat, a/c, gas, doorman, cable)
  • Taxes of $5163
  • No parking
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 14×11
  • Bedroom #2: 13×10

What the Finishes Look Like in a Brand New $5 Million Condo: 2550 N. Lakeview in Lincoln Park

2550 n lakeview

This 4-bedroom re-sale in Lincoln Park 2550 at 2550 N. Lakeview in Lincoln Park came on the market in March 2013.

At 5175 square feet it has the preferred south, east/Lake views and 3 terraces.

You can see from the listing pictures that every room has both floor and ceiling crown molding, including the bathrooms. There also appears to be molding around the doorways.

The bathrooms also appear to have stone up the entire walls surrounding the bathtubs and in the shower areas.

The kitchen has dark wood cabinets (the listing doesn’t disclose the brand) which go all the way to the ceiling (so no space between the cabinets and the ceiling.) There are luxury stainless steel appliances.

It has a full-sized laundry room.

Two car parking is also included.

Are these the types of finishes, and attention to detail, you would expect to see in a $5 million condo in Chicago?

What else would  you expect in this price range?

Thomas Gorman at Baird & Warner has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #S-1306: 4 bedrooms, 4.5 baths, 5175 square feet, 2 car parking

  • Sold in February 2013 for $4,160,500 (according to Redfin)
  • Originally listed in March 2013 for $4,995,000
  • Currently still listed for $4,995,000
  • Assessments of $1893 a month (includes doorman, pool)
  • Taxes are “new”
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 25×17
  • Bedroom #2: 15×14
  • Bedroom #3: 13×13
  • Bedroom #4: 13×12


The Penthouse “Deal of the Year” is Back on the Market for $4.75 Million: 6 N. Michigan in the Loop


We’ve chattered about this 6400 square foot penthouse apartment in the Park Millennium Condos at 6 N. Michigan across from Millennium Park in the Loop several times over the past year.

It was owned by the developer and in late December 2012 it finally sold for just $1.9 million.

Originally listed for $4.5 million, I asked if it was the “deal of the year” given the space and the location.

See our January 2013 chatter here.

If you recall, the space was unfinished but it had that spectacular, original great room with its wall of windows overlooking the park and lake. (see the picture above- which doesn’t even do it justice.)

We all wondered what would become of the space.

Wonder no more.

After a complete build out, the 4-bedroom penthouse can now be yours for $4.75 million.

The unit has four levels of living.

Three of the four bedrooms are on the second floor with the master bedroom on the third level.

There appears to be two family rooms with one of them located near the kitchen/dining room and another on the fourth floor with a massive skylight.

This doesn’t even include the massive great room.

The kitchen has white cabinets, luxury stainless steel appliances and stone counter tops.

It also has 2000 square foot of outdoor space, which is essentially the roof deck. From the listing pictures, it appears nothing was done to build that out. There is no landscaping etc.

It comes with 2 parking spaces and heat and air conditioning are included in the $6200 a month assessment.

With two high floor condos recently sold to make one big unit just down the street in the Legacy for $5 million, and very few true penthouses with views on the market, will this rehabber make a bundle?

Colin Hebson at Dream Town Realty has the listing. See the pictures of that beautiful great room and the rest of the unit here.

Unit #1901: 4 bedrooms, 4.5 baths, 6400 square feet, 4 levels

  • Originally listed in 2010 for $7 million (but was 8000 square feet)
  • Was listed as raw space in July 2012 for $4.5 million
  • Reduced
  • Was listed in October 2012 for $3 million
  • Sold in December 2012 for $1.9 million
  • Now re-listed after it was built out for $4.75 million
  • Assessments of $6200 a month (includes heat, a/c, doorman)
  • Taxes are $13,233. There is an 8 year historic tax freeze on the building but I believe it doesn’t transfer to the second owner. Only the current owner – or the first one after the developer- gets the tax freeze.
  • 2 car parking included
  • 2000 square feet of outdoor space
  • Bedroom #1: 23×18 (third floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 18×12 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 19×15 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #4: 16×15 (second floor)
  • Family room: 28×20 (fourth floor- with a skylight)
  • Great room: 35×34




This 5-Bedroom Old Town Penthouse Sells After 8 Months on the Market: 1515 N. Wells

1515 n wells

We last chattered about this 5-bedroom south facing penthouse at 1515 N. Wells in January 2013.

See our prior chatter here.

Back then, it was listed at $1.995 million. Most of you thought your money could go further in other properties in Old Town, especially a single family home.

Others thought, for a condo, a buyer could also do better for that money in other neighborhoods in a high rise.

It was reduced to $1.85 million in March 2013 before selling in June 2013 for $1.69 million.

If you recall, at 3600 square feet, it had hardwood floors throughout along with an unusual “staff quarters” with a full bathroom and a separate entrance.

The kitchen had stainless steel appliances, with two ovens, and granite counter tops.

It also had custom finishes such as Tre Piu doors, Bisazza & Sicis tile, Marvin triple pane windows and custom drapery rods.

The unit  had a rarely available 3 heated parking spaces in the building.

Is the luxury segment the hottest part of the market right now?

Charles Heaver at Prudential Rubloff had the listing. You can still see the pictures here.

Unit #6E: 5 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, 3600 square feet, 3 car parking

  • I couldn’t find a prior sales price in the public records but Zillow says it sold in October 2007 for $2,597,500 (?).
  • Originally listed in November 2012 for $1.995 million
  • Was still listed in January 2013 at $1.995 million
  • Reduced in March 2013 to $1.85 million
  • Sold in June 2013 for $1.69 million
  • Assessments of $1151 a month
  • Taxes of $17,714
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 13×18
  • Bedroom #2: 10×14
  • Bedroom #3: 10×14
  • Bedroom #4: 11×14
  • Bedroom #5: 15×10

The East Lakeview Vintage 2-Bedroom With a Brick Garage for $350,000: 2821 N. Cambridge

2821 n cambridge

This 2-bedroom at 2821 N. Cambridge in East Lakeview just came on the market but it was also listed in 2012.

You can’t see the old listing history in the Redfin listing because it came on the market this time as Unit #1 when last year it was listed as Unit #1N.

The building was built in 1904 and is in a prime location for buyers looking to be close to the Diversey/Clark corridor.

But the one thing that sets this unit apart from everything else nearby currently on the market is the private 1-car brick garage. Parking of any kind is rare in this location, let alone a private garage.

The unit has many of its original vintage features including coved ceilings, crown moldings and what look to be the original hardwood floors.

As many vintage units do, it has a separate dining room with built-ins.

It also has a large private storage locker.

The kitchen has white cabinets, granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances.

The unit has an in-unit washer/dryer but there’s no central air. Window units only.

Will this finally get snapped up this year?

And will the garage help sell it?

Karen Breen Elia at Re/Max Exclusive has the listing. See the pictures and a floorplan here.

Unit #1N: 2 bedrooms, 1.5 baths, 1243 square feet, 1 car garage

  • Sold in March 1999 for $242,000
  • Sold in February 2001 for $289,000
  • Sold in June 2003 for $316,000
  • Sold in June 2009 for $342,000
  • Was listed in August 2012 for $342,000
  • Withdrawn
  • Currently listed at $350,000
  • Assessments of $268 a month  (includes heat)
  • Taxes of $5059
  • No central air- window units only
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 15×11
  • Bedroom #2: 13×10
  • Den: 10×9
  • Dining room: 14×14


General Discussion: Got Opinions On How the Forums Should Be Set Up?

As most people know, I’m going to attempt to convert CribChatter to a Forum site so that all of you who want to chatter about a certain property or part of the city can do so more easily.

With inventory so low, it’s become difficult to find content that is remotely interesting. I thought I’d create a way for all of us to talk about real estate at least until the inventory situation improves.

For example, Milkster posted some questions recently about mold remediation and whether or not she should go through on a house purchase. The forum would be the perfect platform in which to ask this question.

I will have the site default to the Forums page so that everyone can easily see who is posting new topics and on what. The old content will not be lost. You will still be able to search the archives for the 5+ years of posts on properties.

I want to keep the Forum manageable and also easy to use.

From the previous site re-design, I know many of you have strong opinions about what works and what doesn’t and what you’d like to see.

What categories do you want as the Forums?  Here are some possible examples:

  1. General Housing Market Conditions
  2. The GreenZone
  3. Inner Suburbs

Please chime in.

We’ll see how this goes. If it gets boring using Forums, we can always go back to individual posts on properties. Change is good.