Life Outside the GreenZone in a 5-Bedroom Victorian in Old Norwood Park: 6084 N. Northcott


This 5-bedroom Victorian at 6084 N. Northcott in Old Norwood Park recently came on the market.

For those who don’t know, Norwood Park is in the Northwest part of Chicago, 11 miles from the Loop, with the Old Norwood Park part of the neighborhood located north of the Kennedy expressway.

From the Encyclopedia of Chicago:

Prior to Norwood Park’s incorporation in 1874, the village had a country setting far away from the bustle of the city. Early developers hoped to create a resort, taking advantage of area woodlands and hills. The subdivision departed from the typical grid pattern, and instead, like Frederick Law Olmsted’s Riverside, platted winding roads alternating with rectangular streets. One of the historic streets with old Victorian houses, the Circle, is shaped in an oval.

Built in 1886, the house is on a wider than normal 50×120 lot on the Circle.

Most of the lots in Old Norwood Park which are on the Circle are bigger than the standard Chicago lot.

It has a side drive with a 2-car garage.

The listing says it has updated electric.

The house also has central air and two porches.

It has the preferred layout for the bedrooms with 4 out of the 5 on the second floor and the 5th on the main level.

One of the bathrooms has a claw foot tub.

The kitchen has yellow cabinets, a white refrigerator and dishwasher, and a stainless steel stove.

The house has hardwood floors throughout and some crown molding along with 1 fireplace.

It is located just a few blocks from the Norwood train station and the listing says the local school is Norwood Elementary.

Does this house have it all for someone looking in this neighborhood?

Lynn Pufpaf at Baird & Warner has the listing. See the pictures here.

6084 N. Northcott: 5 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2386 square feet

  • Sold in November 1999 for $405,000
  • Currently listed at $599,999
  • Taxes of $8076
  • Central Air
  • 2-car garage
  • Fireplace
  • Bedroom #1: 22×17 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 15×12 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #3: 14×10 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #4: 10×10 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #5: 12×11 (main floor)
  • Den: 12×9 (second floor)




Iconic Building Week: A 3-Bedroom Penthouse in Lake Point Tower: 505 N. Lake Shore Drive


Some of you guessed what building would finish out this week of iconic Chicago high rises.

Could it be anything other than Lake Point Tower?

Lake Point Tower was built in 1968 and has 700 units. (What WAS it about the 1960s? 3 out of the 5 buildings this week were built in the 1960s.)

This 3-bedroom penthouse on the 68th floor at 505 N. Lake Shore Drive in Streeterville came on the market in April 2016.

It has north, south and east views, including stunning views of the Lake.

The unit has a foyer and the living room has a wet bar.

The kitchen has stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops.

The master bedroom has a huge en suite bathroom with a walk-in spa shower that looks like it could hold several people and a whirlpool tub.

It has an in-unit washer/dryer and wall air conditioning units. 2 parking spaces are available for purchase.

They certainly built high rises with amenities in 1968. With nothing much located nearby, residents were going to need them.

Building offers 5-star amenities: 24 hour doorman & staff. Private 2.5 acre outdoor park designed by internationally renowned landscape architect Alfred Caldwell. Outdoor pool, grills & playground. Indoor pool, spa, fitness ctr, squash/racquetball/basketball court, Cite Restaurant, Lake Point Market, dry cleaner, business center.

Originally listed at $2.39 million, this unit has been reduced to $2.345 million.

With all the new luxury building construction over the past few years, does Lake Point Tower still have the cache it once did?

Cynthia Tobisch at Jameson Sotheby’s has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #6806: 3 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, 3600 square feet

  • I couldn’t find a prior sales price
  • Originally listed in April 2016 for $2.39 million
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $2.345 million
  • Assessments of $2623 a month (includes doorman, cable, exercise room, pool, exterior maintenance, lawn care, scavenger, snow removal)
  • Taxes of $27067
  • No central air- wall units
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • 2 car parking available for purchase
  • Bedroom #1: 25×14
  • Bedroom #2: 15×12
  • Bedroom #3: 17×12
  • Library: 17×13




Iconic Building Week: A 2/2 in Benjamin Marshall’s Pink Palace: 5555 N. Sheridan in Edgewater


This 2-bedroom unit in the Edgewater Beach Co-op Apartments at 5555 N. Sheridan in Edgewater came on the market in February 2016.

The Edgewater Beach Co-op was built in 1928 as a companion property to the older Edgewater Beach Hotel which was a resort with a Mediterranean flair on the Lake.

Designed by Benjamin Marshall it has 19 stories and 300 apartments.

The building is was put on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994.

It is often referred to as the Pink Palace due to its pinkish stucco exterior.

Everyone who drives north on Lake Shore Drive knows this building.

This unit is on the top floor of the building and has Lake Michigan views.

The listing says it has been “redone from top to bottom” including a custom kitchen with granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances.

There are hardwood floors throughout and all windows have been replaced.

The listing says it is one of the few units in the building with central air.

It doesn’t have a washer/dryer in the unit, there is coin laundry in the building, but there is leased, valet parking in the attached garage.

The building has an extensive list of amenities:

Amenities include a 60-ft heated indoor pool with adjacent party space; weight and exercise rooms; library; craft room; 2 acres of award-winning gardens; gazebo; an arcade of shops; heated indoor garage with adjacent bike rooms; guest apartments for rent on first floor; basement storage facilities; 3 passenger elevators and 8 freight elevators; and doormen and garage attendants 24/7.

The building requires 20% down.

And there are no dogs allowed.

Originally listed for $400,000, this has been reduced twice and is now $360,000.

Is it priced to sell?

Mike Paonessa at @Properties has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #1917: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, no square footage listed

  • It’s a co-op so I don’t have the prior sales info
  • Originally listed in February 2016 for $400,000
  • Reduced twice
  • Currently listed at $360,000
  • Assessments of $1083 a month (includes real estate taxes, heat, doorman, cable, Internet, exercise room, pool, exterior maintenance, lawn care, scavenger, snow removal)
  • Taxes of $537
  • Central Air
  • No washer/dryer in the unit. Coin laundry in the building
  • Valet parking for $105 a month
  • Bedroom #1: 15×11
  • Bedroom #2: 20×11
  • Office: 5×4



Iconic Building Week: Life From the 85th Floor in Trump Tower: 401 N. Wabash


This 85th floor 3-bedroom in Trump Tower at 401 N. Wabash in River North came on the market in August 2016.

It has north, east and west views from its curved glass living room.

Because its near the top of the building, it has extra high 11 foot ceilings.

There are 3 fireplaces and an 8×6 laundry room.

The kitchen has luxury appliances including Miele, Subzero and Wolf.

All 3 bedrooms have en suite bathrooms.

There’s also a den.

The unit has central air and 2-car parking is included.

Trump Tower was finished in 2009 so it’s not even 10 years old.

Yet few would doubt that the building already has iconic status in Chicago.

Originally, locale real estate agents called the location of Trump Tower a “class A building in a class B location.”

But the Chicago River has become quite the scene since construction began with the addition of the Riverwalk, the development of Wolf Point and a flurry of new office towers further to the west.

When it was finished, Trump Tower was the fourth tallest building in the United States. It also still has the second highest residence in the world, dwarfed only by those in the Burj Khalifa.

It has 486 units and owners get the amenities of the hotel.

While this 85th floor unit is not the highest unit in the building currently on the market, as there is a $12.7 million 89th floor penthouse listed, at $4.3 million, it is a third of the price of that penthouse unit.

Is this a deal for a high floor with these views?

Chezi Rafaeli at Coldwell Banker has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #85A: 3 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, 3080 square feet

  • Sold in June 2009 for $2.517 million (included 2 car parking)
  • Currently listed for $4.3 million (includes 2 car parking)
  • Assessments of $3760 a month (includes gas, cable, doorman, exercise room, pool, exterior maintenance, lawn care, scavenger, snow removal)
  • Taxes of $51921
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • 3 fireplaces
  • Bedroom #1: 16×18
  • Bedroom #2: 14×16
  • Bedroom #3: 19×12
  • Den: 12×14
  • Laundry room: 8×5


Iconic Building Week: A Renovated 1-Bedroom in Marina City at 300 N. State in River North


This 1-bedroom in Marina City at 300 N. State in River North came on the market in August 2016.

Marina City was designed in 1959 by Bertrand Goldberg and completed construction in 1964.

Both towers have 65 stories. There’s also a marina on the river level.

Originally built as apartments, they were converted to condos in 1977.

The corn cob buildings have been the star of many movies and television shows not to mention television commercials.

However, their appearance also makes for a unique “pie shape” layout in the units.

This unit is on the 59th floor and has been completely renovated including removing walls from the original kitchen and opening it up to the living space.

The listing indicates it has north, east and west city views.

The kitchen has white cabinets, new counter tops, a kitchen island, stainless steel appliances and a tile backsplash.

It appears that there are new hardwood floors throughout.

The bathroom has also been renovated with a stand-up shower.

There’s no central air but there are wall units.

There’s also no in-unit washer/dryer and parking is leased in the 896 car parking garage.

The buildings, however, were in the news this summer for some issues with their balconies.

From DNAInfo:

An April 15, 2015, inspection resulted in building code violations including “failure to maintain the exterior walls of a building or structure” at 300 N. State St. It required a “comprehensive inspection of the building’s exterior,” city buildings department spokeswoman Mimi Simon said.

“The building’s management hired an engineering firm to conduct this examination, which found that all of the building’s facades and balconies need to be repaired or replaced to bring them up to code,” Simon said.

In March, the Marina Towers Condominum Association obtained a building permit to make more than $2.1 million in repairs to balconies at all elevations, public records show.

DKcondo, Marina City’s management company, did not respond to a request to be interviewed about the construction project.

Janiec offered vague details about the repairs, saying that it could take up to eight weeks to fix each affected balcony railing.

“Everything is a process. There are eight or nine steps to replace posts and certain grout takes a long time to cure,” Janiec said. “We are trying to get all the [repair] work done this year.”

Some residents, however, say they’ve been banned from balconies since October and they haven’t been given any guarantee the work will be finished this year.

Is a renovated Marina City unit a dream come true for a Millennial new to Chicago?

Dustin Harvey at Alto Realty has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #5918: 1 bedroom, 1 bath, 725 square feet

  • Sold in November 1991 for $15,500
  • Sold in October 2013 for $223,000 (per Redfin)
  • Originally listed in August 2016 for $293,500
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed for $288,000
  • Assessments of $539 a month (includes doorman, cable, clubhouse, exercise room, exterior maintenance, lawn care, scavenger, snow removal)
  • Taxes of $4133
  • No central air- wall units
  • No in-unit washer/dryer
  • Parking is leased in the 896 car parking garage
  • Bedroom: 12×14
  • Living room: 18×16
  • Kitchen: 10×12

Iconic Building Week: A 2-Bedroom in the John Hancock: 175 E. Delaware


This 2-bedroom in the John Hancock Center at 175 E. Delaware in the Gold Coast came on the market in July 2016.

Built in 1969, the John Hancock has 700 units above commercial space and includes one of the highest residential units in the world.

This north facing unit has been renovated in the last 3 years.

At 1558 square feet, the prior listings said this is the largest 2/2 with den floor plan in the building.

It has red oak engineered wood flooring.

The kitchen has new St. Thomas custom cabinets, Arabian Nights granite countertops, a white subway tile backsplash and stainless steel appliances.

The bathrooms have new vanities.

It has a 9×8 “terrace” or den space with a window that vents (not all units have windows that vent, apparently.)

The unit has a Nest thermostat and in-unit washer/dryer. Parking is rental in the building.

According to the listing, the building has done a lot of upgrades recently.

The unit has 3 new a/c units, provided by the building, the parking garage was renovated, and the gym and indoor pool were also renovated this year (be sure to check out the picture of the indoor pool in the listing.)

This is a full amenity building with a supermarket.

There’s no doubt when you tell a Chicagoan you “live in the Hancock” they know exactly what you mean. No address required!

This unit originally listed for $599,000 in July and has been reduced $20,000 to $579,000.

Is this an affordable entry point for buyers who want views and the Gold Coast location?

Get ready for more “iconic” Chicago residential high rises all this week.

What do YOU consider to be the iconic residential buildings in the city?

Chime in now, or forever hold your peace.

And, by the way, it’s actually really hard to get a good picture of the outside of the John Hancock. It’s so massive you need to be further away. But then, if you are further away, you’d better have a really good camera in order to really capture it.

This is the best I could do with my crappy camera.


Martin Taradejna at Conlon has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #6304: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1558 square feet

  • Sold in January 1981 for $200,000 (per Zillow)
  • Sold in March 2000 for $375,000
  • Sold in December 2013 for $435,000 (per Zillow)
  • Originally listed in July 2016 for $599,000
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed for $579,000
  • Assessments of $1121 a month (includes doorman, cable, exercise room, pool, scavenger)
  • Taxes of $8505
  • No central air. 3 wall units
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Parking is rental in the building from $295 to $325 a month
  • Bedroom #1: 16×27
  • Bedroom #2: 14×11
  • Terrace/den: 9×8






Cheaper Than Renting? A 2-Bedroom Duplex in Buena Park: 711 W. Gordon Terrace


This 2-bedroom duplex at 711 W. Gordon Terrace in the Buena Park neighborhood of Uptown came on the market in August 2016.

Built in 1979, it has 90 units with garage parking.

This unit faces north.

The living dining/kitchen and half bath are on the first floor with the 2 bedrooms and full bath on the second floor.

The kitchen has white cabinets and appliances with granite counter tops and a kitchen island open to the living room.

There are hardwood floors on the first floor.

Garage parking is included in the price. There’s no central air but there are wall cooling units.

There’s also no in-unit washer/dryer but there’s coin laundry in the building.

At just $219,900, is this a deal compared to city rents?

Is Buena Park one of the few neighborhoods that even still has deals?

Michael Vesole at @Properties has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #521: 2 bedrooms, 1.5 baths, duplex, 1100 square feet

  • Sold in December 1998 for $171,000 (per Zillow)
  • Sold in May 2003 for $227,000 (per Zillow)
  • Currently listed for $219,900 (parking included)
  • Assessments of $475 a month (includes cable, internet, heat, doorman, exercise room, exterior maintenance, lawn care, scavenger, snow removal)
  • Taxes of $2410
  • No central air- wall units
  • No in-unit washer/dryer but coin laundry in the building
  • Bedroom #1: 11×13 (second floor)
  • Bedroom #2: 13×9 (second floor)

Get 4400 Sq Ft for $850,000 in this Famous Mid-Century High Rise: 320 W. Oakdale in Lakeview


This 4-bedroom on the 10th floor at 320 W. Oakdale in East Lakeview came on the market in February 2016.

Built in 1955 and designed by Milton Schwarz, 320 W. Oakdale is considered one of the best examples of Chicago modernist mid-century architecture.

Its floor-to-ceiling windows, for instance, were ahead of its time.

Many architecture buffs move into the building for its heritage.

It has 54 units.

This unit is a combined unit, and at 4400 square feet, is the largest in the building.

It has 200 feet of windows with east, west and southern city views.

The listing says it was once featured in Architectural Digest.

The chef’s kitchen has solid bird’s eye maple cabinets, a large island, a double oven, Subzero appliances and an indoor grill.

There’s a family room, a breakfast room and an 8×6 pantry.

The unit has the features buyers look for including central air, washer/dryer in the unit and there are 2 covered parking spaces included.

Originally listed for $1.1 million, it has been reduced to $850,000.

Is this a deal for the square footage and location?

Susan Davids at @Properties has the listing. See the pictures and the floor plan here.

Unit #1001: 4 bedrooms, 4 baths, 4400 square feet

  • It’s had the same owner since 1987
  • Originally listed in February 2016 for $1.1 million
  • Reduced twice
  • Currently listed for $850,000
  • Assessments of $2279 a month (includes complete cable package, Internet, heat, a/c, live-in building engineer, exterior maintenance, lawn care, scavenger and snow removal)
  • Taxes of $9319 (senior exemption)
  • Central Air
  • Washer/dryer in the unit
  • 2 covered parking spaces included ($1000 transfer fee for each)
  • Bedroom #1: 15×14
  • Bedroom #2: 14×11
  • Bedroom #3: 16×13
  • Bedroom #4: 31×15
  • Laundry room: 6×6
  • Pantry: 8×6

Is This Your Last Chance to Build New in Old Town’s Landmark District? 1810 N. Orleans

1810 n orleans #1

This house at 1810 N. Orleans in Old Town’s historic landmark district came on the market in August 2016.

It’s being marketed as a chance to build new.

From the listing:

One of the Last Opportunities to build your DREAM HOME in Old Town!!!

The listing says the white and green house was built in 1886.

It’s on a 36×124 lot on one of the most exclusive streets in the Old Town historic district.

According to the listing it is zoned RM5 with alley access.

It seems to be a dream come true, right? A big lot right in the middle of Old Town.

But there’s one little catch. From the listing:

Due to Old Town Association guidelines and Landmark status, the structure on the back of the lot will most likely have to remain with some of the front area/enclosed porch allowed to be altered. All indications are there previously was a home on the front portion of the lot thus possibly establishing precedence. Buyer will have to do the due diligence. Seller does not warrant the feasibility of a newly built structure. Build your dream home in Chicago’s Prestigious Old Town Triangle!

Here’s what the Old Town Association says on its website:

Each month, members consider requests for proposed exterior changes to existing buildings, new construction, and applications for zoning changes in the Triangle. Their deliberations range from the appropriateness of building materials used in rehabbing and construction projects to the height of fences and building additions. The Guidelines for Alterations to Historic Buildings and New Construction, prepared by the Commission on Chicago Landmarks, serves as the guide for their recommendations. These recommendations are sent to the Alderman of the 43rd Ward and to appropriate city commissions and departments for approval. In every instance, the final decision on any rehab project rests with the Landmarks Commission.

This property is listed at $3.2 million.

Given that the back house/structure most likely has to stay, and the other issues with building in a landmark district, will they get this price?

1810 n orleans #2

Debbie Maue at Jameson Sotheby’s has the listing. See the pictures here (only shows the exterior of the house)

1810 N. Orleans: built in 1886

  • Last sold in or before 1995. A $78,500 mortgage was taken out in 1995.
  • Currently listed for $3.2 million
  • Taxes of $21,668
  • 36×124 lot in a historic district

Revisiting the Unicorn Criteria 5 Years Later: 626 W. Belden in Lincoln Park

626 w belden

This vintage 3-bedroom at 626 W. Belden in Lincoln Park came on the market in August 2016.

Built in 1890, this greystone has 3-units.

It has many vintage features, including 10 foot cove ceilings and moldings.

It also has 2 fireplaces, including one in the master bedroom.

The master bedroom also has a marble bath with a steam shower and a rare walk-in closet. Vintage units are usually light on the closets, so having a walk-in is unusual.

The kitchen is in the front of the unit and is open to the living/dining space. It has cherry cabinets, granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances.

It has front and back outdoor spaces.

The unit also has the other criteria that buyers look for, including central air, washer/dryer in the unit and a coveted garage parking space.

This property was the closest thing I could find currently on the market that seemed to fit Anonny’s old “Unicorn Criteria” from 2011.

If you recall, 5 years ago, Anonny was looking for a condo in East Lincoln Park that fit a set of criteria he dubbed the “unicorn criteria” because he didn’t believe they existed.

Here was his list:

1) Absolutely required:

* 2/2
* garage
* LP east of Halsted
* w/d in unit
* not on ground floor or “low first floor” (and no duplex down)
* wood floors (or permitted installation of wood floors, with a corresponding discount in purchase price)

2) Strongly preferred (bordering on required):

* LP east of Clark
* kitchen is not open to the living room (but may certainly be open to the dining area)
* master bath

3) Greatly desired (bordering on strong preference):

* powder room/half bath
* some sort of private outdoor space (at least big enough for a grill, and ideally big enough to also fit a smallish table and four chairs)
* central air
* working fire place

Anonny was willing to pay $3,000 a month (inclusive of assessments and taxes) with 10% down and expected to pay in the mid-$400,000s to get his dream home.

This 3-bedroom on Belden appears to fit most of the criteria with the exception of it being east of Clark. But it is east of Lincoln, so many would consider this East Lincoln Park as well.

Priced originally at $575,000, this unit has been reduced to $550,000.

Doing the calculations on one of the realtor web sites, with a 3.75% 30-year mortgage rate, taxes, PMI, insurance, HOAs and 10% down, his payment on this place would be around $4050 a month.

With this strong housing market, is Anonny’s 2011 price point now completely unrealistic for the unicorn criteria, even with low mortgage rates?

Cindy Wilson at Berkshire Hathaway KoenigRubloff has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #2: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, no square footage listed

  • Sold in April 1995 for $279,000
  • Sold in February 1999 for $338,000
  • Sold in July 2003 for $445,000
  • Sold in October 2006 for $533,500
  • Sold in July 2008 for $460,000
  • Originally listed in August 2016 for $575,000
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed for $550,000
  • Assessments of $550 a month (includes exterior maintenance)
  • Taxes of $10,103
  • Central Air
  • Washer/Dryer in the unit
  • Garage parking included
  • 2 fireplaces
  • Bedroom #1: 12×11
  • Bedroom #2: 13×9
  • Bedroom #3: 13×9