We Love 3-Bedroom Lofts With Private Roof Decks: 400 N. Racine in West Town

400 n racine

This 3-bedroom second floor loft at 400 N. Racine in West Town just came on the market.

It has upscale finishes including duel level concrete counter tops on the kitchen island and Subzero stainless steel appliances.

In addition to the three bedrooms, there is also a sizable 9×10 exercise room.

The loft has high ceilings, but no exposed brick or timber beams, as we commonly see in loft conversions.

It does have a private 26×15 rooftop deck with city views.

It also has the other amenities that buyers look for including central air and washer/dryer in unit.

The loft has 2-car parking.

Has the market for upscale lofts returned to this neighborhood?

Tom McCarey at @Properties has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #219: 3 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, no square footage listed, 2 car parking

  • Sold in February 1997 for $176,000
  • Sold in June 2002 for $390,000
  • Currently listed in $749,900
  • Assessments of $438 a month
  • Taxes of $8145
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 16×14
  • Bedroom #2: 24×12
  • Bedroom #3: 11×10
  • Exercise room: 9×10

New Paint and Wallpaper and Selling for $180,000 More 3-Years Later: 411 W. Briar in Lakeview


We last chattered about this 4-bedroom top floor vintage unit at 411 W. Briar in Lakeview in 2009 and 2010.

See our original chatter about it in August 2009 here.

Back then, it was listed for $535,000 and we debated whether it would sell for around $500,000 given that it was a 4-bedroom unit with about 2500 square feet.

Bob thought the asking price was too high given the assessments and that there was no parking. Others disagreed but Bob turned out to be right.

It ended up selling in May 2010 for $385,000.

It’s back again and this time it has been painted throughout and there is new wallpaper in the foyer.

You can still see the old pictures on the Crib Chatter link above or here.

The kitchen, however, appears to have the same as 3 years ago with white cabinets, a white sink, grey counter tops and a white tile backsplash. It looks as if new stainless steel appliances and a new floor were installed, however.

It has central air, washer/dryer in the unit but parking is rental in the neighborhood.

It’s in Nettlehorst.

The unit is listed for $180,000 more than the 2010 purchase price and $30,000 more than the 2006 purchase price.

Are the interior changes enough to get the premium?

Are we back to the 2005-2006 price now?

Brad Lippitz at Prudential Rubloff has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #D3: 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2436 square feet

  • Sold in March 1995 for $267,500
  • Sold in August 1997 for $265,000
  • Sold in March 2006 for $535,000
  • Was listed in August 2009 for $535,000
  • Sold in May 2010 for $385,000
  • Currently listed for $565,000
  • Assessments now $897 a month (they were $901 a month in August 2009) (includes heat, tv/cable, security system)
  • Taxes now $5335 (they were $5822 in August 2009)
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • No parking- available for rent for $165-$250 in the neighborhood
  • Wood burning fireplace
  • Bedroom #1: 16×12
  • Bedroom #2: 14×13
  • Bedroom #3: 12×11
  • Bedroom #4: 10×9


Top Floor Renovated Vintage 3/3 Returns (And It’s Reduced Another $20K): 814 W. Roscoe in Lakeview

814 w roscoe approved #1

We first chattered about this top floor vintage 3-bedroom at 814 W. Roscoe in Lakeview in 2010 and then again in September 2012 when it came back on the market to try again.

See the September 2012 chatter here.

Despite a $20,000 reduction last fall, it didn’t sell.

It has come back on to test this market again and has reduced another $20,000 to $549,000.

Many of you have liked this unit which was renovated/remodeled in 2006. Sonies thought it was very “New York-ish”.

Converted into condos in 2006, the living/dining and kitchen area now sports the popular open layout with what the listing calls a “chef’s kitchen” with stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops.

It has 14 foot high ceilings, crown molding and a fireplace.

The 3 bedrooms are also larger than what you might normally find in a vintage unit. It’s also unusual to find a vintage unit with 3 bathrooms. They usually just have 2.

The master bathroom is marble with a double vanity.

The property has the amenities buyers are looking for in this price range including central air, washer-dryer in the unit and 1-car parking.

Why isn’t this selling in a day like all the other GZ properties out there?

Brad Lippitz at Prudential Rubloff again has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #3W: 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, no square footage listed

  • Sold in August 2006 for $587,500
  • Originally listed in August 2010 for $589,000
  • Withdrawn in July 2011
  • Was listed in September 2012 for $569,000
  • Withdrawn
  • Currently listed at $549,000
  • Assessments still $251 a month
  • Taxes now $8491 (they were $8044 in August 2010)
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Parking included
  • Bedroom #1: 16×14
  • Bedroom #2: 11×14
  • Bedroom #3: 15×12

You’ll Pay 59% More For Your Own Secret Atrium Deck in East Lakeview: 559 W. Surf

559 w surf approved

This penthouse 2-bedroom in the Green Brier at 559 W. Surf in East Lakeview just came on the market.

But if it looks familiar, it’s because we chattered about it for several years in the 2010-2011 period.

See our January 2011 chatter here.

Back in 2010-2011, many of you thought it was overpriced at $299,900 due to the $915 a month assessment.

It ended up selling for $257,500.

If you recall, the top floor unit has a unique interior atrium that is private to the unit and which leads, via a spiral staircase, to a private roof top deck.

The listing says it was meticulously renovated, but the finishes appear to be the same as the 2010-2011 listing.

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

The bathrooms are marble.

It has central air, washer/dryer in the unit and parking is available for $17,500.

It has come on the market at 59% more than the 2011 price which was not a distress sale.

Will this unit command the high premium just 2 years later?

Joe Benjamin at Coldwell Banker has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #900: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1600 square feet

  • Sold in March 1993 for $200,000
  • Sold in May 2003 for $275,000
  • Originally listed in September 2009
  • Listed in April 2009 for $349,900
  • Reduced
  • Was listed in September 2010 for $299,900 (parking is $25,000 extra)
  • Reduced
  • Was listed in January 2011 for $249,999 (plus $20,000 for parking)
  • Sold in May 2011 for $257,500
  • Currently listed for $409,900 (parking is $17,500 extra)
  • Assessments are now $814 a month (they were $915 a month in January 2011) (includes the doorman and cable)
  • Taxes now $8376 (they were $7586 in January 2011)
  • Central Air
  • Wood burning fireplace
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 15×22
  • Bedroom #2: 13×10

An Original Safe is Now a Bathroom in this 2-Bedroom Triplex Loft: 1733 W. Irving Park in Lakeview

1733 w irving park road

This 2-bedroom triplex corner loft in the Postcard Lofts at 1733 W. Irving Park Road in Lakeview just came on the market.

Few of you would remember that we chattered about it nearly 6 years ago- in October 2007.

The interior of the loft now looks remarkably similar to what it looked like back then. Check it out here.

If you’re walking or driving by this building, you can’t miss this corner unit with its massive and unique semi-circle windows on two sides.

Loft lovers will delight that many of the original features remain including the original safe which is now a bathroom, complete with the safe door serving as the bathroom door.

It has 14-foot timber ceilings and a spiral staircase.

The listing says there is an unfinished 4th floor with 600 square feet.

The kitchen is the same as six years ago. It still has what look to be maple cabinets, white appliances and does not have granite counter tops.

The listing also says there is an “assessment credit available.” From the public listing it doesn’t appear that the assessment includes heat or cable.

The loft has central air, washer/dryer in the unit and garage parking.

It’s come on the market for at least $100,000 less than what it was listed for in the 2007 period.

With nearly record low inventories, will this loft finally sell?

Jennifer Vogel at Conlon has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #222: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2379 square feet, triplex

  • Sold in 1998?
  • Sold in February 2005 for $528,000
  • Was listed in 2006-2007 for $599,000
  • Reduced
  • Was listed in October 2007 for $549,000
  • Withdrawn in 2008
  • Recently re-listed for $499,900
  • Assessments now $618 a month (includes snow removal and water) (They were $554 a month in October 2007) 
  • Assessment credit available
  • Taxes are $6033
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 20×16 (third floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 22×13 (third floor)


3-Bedroom East Lincoln Park Vintage Row House Tries Again With a New Kitchen: 474 W. Deming

474 w deming

We’ve chattered about this 3-bedroom vintage row house at 474 W. Deming in East Lincoln Park several times over the past year.

See our November 2012 chatter here.

Last year, when it was originally listed at $949,000, some of you thought that the two outdoor parking spaces were a detriment to a sale at that price.

But it was reduced to $924,500 and then withdrawn.

It has come back on the market, however, listed higher at $999,000, but it also now sports a “brand new” eat-in kitchen with Caesarstone counter tops.

To see the old configuration and pictures of the kitchen, look here.

The prior kitchen had white cabinets and a Viking stove but it didn’t have the kitchen island as it does now.

If you recall, the rowhouse is just a block from Lincoln Park and also just steps away from the shops and restaurants on Clark.

Built in 1882 on a 20×74 lot, it still has many of its vintage features such as stained glass, the original wood staircase and crown molding.

Yet it also has central air, a lower level family room and 2 parking spaces directly behind the row house.

All 3 bedrooms are on the second floor along with 2 baths.

The house has also been painted neutral colors on the interior this time around, although it has not been staged.

Will the new kitchen and paint make the sale in 2013?

Jennifer Ames at Coldwell Banker now has the listing. See the new pictures here.

474 W. Deming: 3 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, no square footage listed, 2 parking spaces behind the row house

  • Sold in January 1993 for $266,000
  • Sold in April 1995 for $307,500
  • Sold in February 2001 for $640,000
  • Was listed in July 2012 at $949,000
  • Reduced
  • Was listed in November 2012 at $924,500
  • Withdrawn in February 2013
  • Re-listed with new kitchen at $999,000
  • Taxes of $14,922
  • Central Air
  • Bedroom #1: 18×17 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 19×13 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 12×11 (second floor)
  • Family room: 30×19 (lower level)

A Blast From the 1970s Past in the Water Tower: 180 E. Pearson in the Gold Coast

180 e pearson

This 60th floor 2-bedroom in the Water Tower Place at 180 E. Pearson in the Gold Coast has been on the market since October 2012.

Normally, I scold that the décor doesn’t matter because it won’t be there when you move in, but if you’re into the authentic 1970s vibe, then this unit is a must see.

Water Tower Place was built in 1975 so this could possibly be an original unit.

The 2754 square feet unit is on the southwest corner and has lake and city views.

Those are parquet floors in the living/dining room.

There’s also a wet bar.

The listing says you can “create the home of your dreams.”

Since October, it has been reduced $300,000 to $1.199 million.

What will someone be willing to pay for this square footage in order to renovate this unit?

And are those chandeliers collector’s items?

Linda Marcus at Koenig & Strey has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #6006: 2 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 2754 square feet

  • Last sold prior to 1986
  • Originally listed in October 2012 for $1.499 million
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed for $1.199 million
  • Assessments of $2550 a month (includes cable, also use of the Ritz Carlton amenities)
  • Taxes of $17285
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Parking is leased in the building
  • Bedroom #1: 17×15
  • Bedroom #2: 15×12
  • Family room: 14×10

Why Aren’t More People Listing? A 2-Bedroom Loft at 1001 W. Altgeld in Lincoln Park

1001 w altgeld

This 2-bedroom duplex loft in the Soda Pop Factory Loft at 1001 W. Altgeld in Lincoln Park came on the market in April 2013.

It has already been under contract once.

At 1700 square feet, it has a private entrance which makes it feel more like a townhouse than a condo.

It has 16 foot ceilings and a private rooftop deck along with exposed brick.

The kitchen has white cabinets and stainless steel appliances.

It has central air, washer/dryer in the unit and garage parking is included.

The loft is also just steps to the Fullerton El stop.

We’ve been chattering about how hot the market is and why there isn’t more inventory.

This loft, despite the “hot” market is still listed $60,500 under the 2007 price.

Are we going to be stuck with an inventory “problem” for years?

Mario Greco at Prudential Rubloff has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #5: 2 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 1700 square feet, duplex

  • Sold in August 1989 for $235,000
  • Sold in April 1997 for $242,000
  • Sold in July 2003 for $412,000
  • Sold in March 2007 for $485,000
  • Originally listed in April 2013 for $424,500
  • Under contract
  • Re-listed at $424,500
  • Assessments of $369 a month (includes cable)
  • Taxes of $5869
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Garage parking included
  • Bedroom #1: 16×13 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 12×10 (second floor)
  • Deck: 20×17

One of a Kind Lake Shore Drive Penthouse Sells Under the 2001 Price: 3400 N. Lake Shore Drive in Lakeview

3400 n lake shore drive

We last chattered about this 2-bedroom penthouse in 3400 N. Lake Shore Drive in Lakeview in December 2012.

See our prior chatter here.

At 2100 square feet, many of you will remember it from the very dark grey/black walls.

It was the home of a well known Chicago interior designer and the unit had been featured in coffee table books and magazines.

It had wide plank dark wood floors and vintage trim and moldings.

The kitchen had Boffi cabinets with professional appliances.

It also had a 1000 square foot “fabulous private rooftop deck.”

The listing said there was a separate office with built-ins but it was not listed as a room on the listing.

It had central air, washer/dryer in the unit and 2-car parking.

Originally listed at $1.275 million, it recently sold for $930,000, which is well under the 2001 purchase price.

Did someone get a deal because a lis pendens foreclosure had been filed back in 2010?

Emily Sachs Wong at Koenig & Strey Real Living had the listing. You can still see the pictures here.

Unit #9C: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, office, 2100 square feet, 2 car parking

  • Sold in September 1997 for $320,000
  • Sold in July 1999 for $474,500
  • Sold in December 2001 for $1.065 million
  • Lis pendens foreclosure filed in August 2010
  • Was listed in December 2012 for $1.275 million
  • Sold in May 2013 for $930,000
  • Assessments of $1312 a month (includes heat, a/c, doorman, cable)
  • Taxes of $10,673
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • 1000 square foot private terrace with city views
  • Bedroom #1: 15×14
  • Bedroom #2: 16×14
  • Office??? (no listing of room size)

Market Conditions: When Will the First New Condo Highrise Be Announced?

The Chicago Tribune reported over Memorial Day weekend that new condo projects are selling at a fast clip, including Trump Tower which started closings 4 years ago, just as the housing bust was picking up steam.

About 92 percent of the condominiums in the 4-year-old building are sold, and not at fire-sale prices. In fact, the building outsold all other downtown projects during the first quarter, with 24 closings at an average sales price of $623 per square foot.

Trump isn’t the only new downtown condo development that’s faring extremely well as the housing market begins to truly make its way back.

Before Belgravia Group even completed demolition or started construction this month on CA3, a third phase of its successful midscale condo project in the West Loop neighborhood, 39 of the 40 units went under contract.

Deliveries won’t start for a year.

New construction in other neighborhoods also is getting snapped up. Meanwhile, some condo developers who began renting out blocks of units they couldn’t sell during the market’s darker days are now canceling those leases as they come up for renewal and again marketing the units for purchase.

“I don’t see this as a blip,” Gail Lissner, a vice president at Appraisal Research Counselors, said of the market’s promise. “I see it as a new pattern.”

Now that the getting is good, how long before thoughts start turning away from the smaller, mid-sized buildings to the high rise?

“Once things started to turn for the good, (sales) have started to happen really fast,” said Alan Lev, Belgravia’s president and CEO.

“I’m a little surprised at the speed of the turnaround in the market. Certainly, there are fewer buyers in the marketplace than there were four years ago, but the buyers that are out there are extremely qualified.”

“There’s a tremendous amount of buyer confidence,” said Chezi Rafaeli, the Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage agent who has the listing for the still-unsold $32 million penthouse condo at Trump.

Seeking to seize on that confidence, Belgravia continues to scout for additional good sites for midsize projects, and Lev finds himself frequently running into competitors.

The market still isn’t ready for the return of high-rises with hundreds of condo units, experts say, because of the presales that would be needed to secure financing and the several years it would take to deliver a building.

Developers and bankers remain wary.

“The longer the time frame on any project, the more likely you are to hit a bump in the road,” Lev said.

But, historically, many of the new “condo” buildings were first built as apartment buildings. How hard would it be to convert, say, The Streeter, or the new apartment building on Wells that just sold for record prices into $800,000 2-bedroom condos? The finishes are already “luxury”. They have stainless steel and granite. Maybe you have to swap out the refrigerator for an upgraded model and put up a backsplash.

Will the first step in this the “new” condo era be simply to convert one of the already built rental buildings?

Will it happen in 2013?

A ‘new pattern’ in downtown condo market [Chicago Tribune, Mary Ellen Podmolik, May 24, 2013]