Short Sales Springing Up in The 15th Street Lofts: 1503 S. State

The building at 1503 S. State, the former warehouse for State Street’s Boston Store in 1890, was rechristened The 15th Street Lofts in 2006 when the building was converted into 78 condo units.

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Two-thirds of the South Loop building is timber, and a third is concrete pier units with 11 to 12 foot ceilings.

The building originally started closings in March 2006.

The developer is still trying to sell original units.  I found six units on the MLS still owned by the developer under the “developer close-out.”  Some say “recently reduced” in the listing.

And now, two years later, we are also starting to see some owners under stress,  as there are two units in the building that are on the market as short sales.

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Unit #708: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1146 square feet, corner unit

  • Sold in August 2006 for $375,000
  • Currently listed for $349,500 (includes the parking)
  • Assessment of $331 a month
  • Corner unit
  • Dylan Hood & Associates Realty Group has the listing

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Unit #601: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1101 square feet

  • Sold in March 2007 for $405,000
  • Currently listed at $305,000 plus $25k for parking
  • Listing says “subject to bank approval”
  • Assessments of $371 a month
  • New Home Experts has the listing

There is also a one bedroom for sale which is NOT a short-sale.

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Unit #402: 1 bedrooom, 2 bath

  • Sold for $255,000 in July 2006
  • Currently listed for $267,900 plus parking for $30k
  • Assessments of $281 a month
  • American Invsco Realty has the listing

Renovate Your Own Prairie Historic District Mansion: 1900 S. Prairie

We’ve talked about the prices in the South Loop compared to the North Side before.

But what about a truly classic 1870 mansion and coachhouse?  And I do mean MANSION.  This house puts the new McMansions to shame.

The Elbridge Keith Home at 1900 S. Prairie is 12,000 square feet,  including a coach house.

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Here’s an original picture of the house.  Love the horse in front!

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Currently, the owner is living only on the second floor.  Each of the first three floors has a kitchen.

The listing says zoning would allow the house to remain as a single family home, become a bed & breakfast or have other commercial applications (restaurant, art gallery etc.).

The two story coachhouse in the backyard has already been renovated.

The rest of the house is a huge “project” (which the listing admits.)

Who’s up for it?

These are pictures from the first floor- which the current owner is not even using and which has the most authentic features.

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These are  from the second floor:

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1900 S. Prairie Avenue: 7 bedrooms, 7 baths, 2 car garage, 12,000 square feet

  • I couldn’t find a prior sale price because it looks like it has been in only two or three families since it was originally built in 1870
  • Originally listed for $4.3 million
  • Currently listed at $3.35 million
  • Renovated Coach House included
  • Scott Foster at Keller Williams has the listing

From the listing:

For the first time in many years historic 1900 S. Prairie Avenue is on the market. Built in 1870 it is thought to be the oldest existing mansion on the Avenue. Elbridge Gerry Keith a wealthy banker and wholesaler hired architect Jonathan W. Roberts to design this three story structure and stable.

The main residence is about 7100 square feet. Constructed of top quality materials including Joliet limestone and red brick this home has many of its original details still intact: plaster moldings large windows fire place mantels mahogany woodwork and parquet inlayed floors.

The home has been transformed over the years. The 2100 square foot stable was recently renovated and converted into a two bedroom two bath coach house with beamed ceilings hardwood floors and a family room and an attached two car garage.

Check out the website for more pictures (including pictures of the neat coachhouse):

1900 S. Prairie [Keller Williams property website]

Here’s a link to some more history on the house.

Living in the Gold Coast for under $250,000

There are, actually, quite a number of listings under $250,000 in the Gold Coast, Streeterville areas. Not all of them will be what most people are looking for (many lack parking or a washer/dryer or updating since the 1970s.)

But I stumbled across this 1 bedroom in a vintage building on North LaSalle that has parking AND you can install a washer/dryer, if you’re so inclined.

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1039 N. LaSalle is a 4 story mid-rise vintage building built in 1876.

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Unit #11: 1 bedroom, 1 bath, 750 square feet

  • Sold in July 1998 for $114,500
  • Currently listed for $225,000 (plus $25,000 for parking)
  • Assessments of $192 a month
  • Keller Williams Lincoln Park has the listing

Perhaps an agent can enlighten us, but I know this unit was on the market most of last summer/fall for around $250,000.  I think that included the parking, however.

The last sale in the building that I could find was in October 2006Unit #16, also a one bedroom, one bath, sold for $255,000 that year.

Flipper Alert: Prepare Yourselves for 1347 S. Michigan

Closings will begin shortly at 1347 S. Michigan, otherwise known as 1400 Museum Park, in the Central Station Development in the South Loop.

The building is 32 stories, with 260 units.

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Currently there are 27 units still available from the developers.

But at least one listing has appeared on Craigslist as a rental.  The ad says move-in is available on April 15, 2008.

Unit #1104: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths,  1400 square feet

  • Available to rent for $2450 a month (includes the parking)
  • Akos Straub at Straubhomes.com has the listing

From the Craigslist ad:

1400 MUSEUM PARK IS A 32-STORY NEW LUXURY CONDO! FEATURES AN AMAZING EAST FACING UNIT W/ SPECTACULAR FLOOR-CEILING WINDOWS & VIEWS OF THE MUSEUM PARK CAMPUS, LAKE, PARK. GRANITE, STAINLESS STEEL APPLIANCES. PRIVATE BALCONY. ROOFTOP FITNESS CENTER & POOL. ONE GARAGE PARKING SPACE INCLUDED.

If you really want to live in the 1300 and 1400 block of South Michigan – with this building and The Marquee closing simultaneously- there is going to be a lot of product available for sale and for rent.

Stay tuned.

Crain’s Reports 36% Drop in 2007 on New Downtown Condo Sales

Crain’s is reporting a 36% drop in downtown condo sales in 2007. Sales have fallen 55% since 2005, which was a record year, but are around the pace of 2001-2003.

None of this is a surprise to those of us who chatter on this site.  But some of the stats in the article are rather startling.

It only confirms to me what I have seen happening in the new condo buildings in Lakeshore East, Streeterville and the South Loop.

Sales are WAY down.  I’ve seen very few flips selling in ANY of the new construction buildings.

And this is why:

“Buyers are still confused and scared of making a bad decision,” and are waiting to buy until the market hits “rock bottom,” Appraisal Research Vice-president Gail Lissner said at luncheon presentation Thursday at the Standard Club.

Buyers signed contracts for 412 units in the fourth quarter, down 43% from 720 in the year-ago period.

Add up all the listings for sale in just the Lakeshore East buildings that are completed and you can see where the problem is.

This is my favorite quote from the article:

Developers will face a bad combination in 2008: weak demand and rising supply. Sales this winter have slowed to a trickle — condo buyers signed just 13 contracts at downtown projects last weekend, “an all-time low,” Ms. Lissner said — just as several developments are nearing completion.

Thirteen contracts in the entire downtown in one weekend at these new buildings!

I guess those low interest rates aren’t doing much for the condo market (though I’m hearing of some houses selling in the suburbs in a spurt in the last few weeks.)

Inventory is going to be the huge problem in the downtown market. There are simply too many condos for sale and not enough qualified buyers.

Downtown developers will finish a record 5,900 units this year, according to Appraisal Research. The problem is that 1,700, or 29% of the total, remain unsold.

“There’s going to be definite pressure on developers to sell those units,” Ms. Lissner said.

If 29% remain unsold, you can bet another 20% to 30% on top of that are flips. That could be 3400 condos coming on the market this year. Plus, all of the existing inventory.

Market times are going to rise. And what will happen to prices? We’ll soon see.

A Seller Under Stress Near UIC: 1075 W. Roosevelt

There has been a lot of new construction on west Roosevelt Road towards the UIC medical center and by St. Ignatius College Prep.

1075 W. Roosevelt Road is a 23 unit new construction mid-rise built in 2006 at the intersection of Roosevelt and Blue Island.  The original 2006 prices weren’t cheap.

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One bedrooms started around $180,000 up to $270,000.  Two bedrooms sold in the high-$200,000s to mid-$300,000s.   The three bedroom units sold in the $400,000s.

Unit #305 is one of the larger units and has been trying to sell in a short-sale.

Unit #305: three bedrooms, two baths, 1614 square feet

  • Sold in August 2006 for $444,000
  • Listed in short sale for $459,900
  • Was on the foreclosure auction list in mid-February 2008
  • Foreclosure auction price of $355,000
  • Assessments of $341 a month

From the listing:

PREFORECLOSURE. SHORT SALE. OFFER SUBJECT TO BANK APPROVAL MAKE AN OFFER. NEW CONSTRUCTION CONDO, BUILT IN 2006 THREE BEDROOM, 2 BATHROOMS, GRANITE COUNTER TOP, STAINLESS APPLIANCES. HUGE MASTER BEDROOM, 2 BALCONIES. VERY GOOD LOCATION,WALKING DISTANCE FROM UIC. FITNESS CENTER IN BLDG. NICE SKYLINE VIEW. MUST SEE. NOTE: LISTING AGENT IS RELATED TO THE OWNER.

I don’t have interior pictures of this particular unit. Sorry!

Two other units are also for sale in the building.

Unit #206: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1187 square feet

  • Sold in August 2006 for $298,369
  • Currently listed for $335,000 (parking extra)
  • Assessments of $258 a month
  • Or you can also rent it for $1750 a month
  • C. Gallucci Realty Inc. has the listing

Unit #406: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1200 square feet

  • Sold in September 2006 for $296,750
  • Currently listed for $335,000 plus $25,000 for parking
  • Assessments of $250 a month
  • C. Gallucci Realty Inc. has the listing

This area was really built up in the last few years.  It will be interesting to see what happens during a slowdown in the housing market.

Steals and Deals: A One Bedroom Hyde Park Co-Op for $34,400

Yes, the title of this post is real.

The unit in question is in foreclosure but is in one of the vintage high-rises along Lake Michigan in Hyde Park/Kenwood.

5000 S. East End Avenue was built in 1927-28.  The building was constructed in the “tudor gothic” style.  It is 28 stories tall and originally had 97 apartments, including duplexes on the 26th and 27th floors.

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 From Chicago Apartments, A Century of Lakefront Luxury:

At the time of its construction, the owners declared it Chicago’s tallest apartment house. For a couple of decades it enjoyed an unobstructed view east to the lake. Sales to prominent businessmen and professionals were brisk in 1928 and 1929. Built as a cooperative, 5000 East End remains one today.

Like many of the grand co-op buildings built in the go-go 1920s, which was Chicago’s last great building boom until this decade, it fell on hard times but rebounded.

The building is rather unique in the world of vintage co-ops because it appears to have parking available in a lot next door and washer/dryers in some of the units (not sure if all of them are allowed to have it.)

I don’t have any pictures of the interiors of the 1 bedroom. I wish!

Unit #11B: 1 bedroom, 1.5 baths, no square footage, but it’s a big unit with a full-sized dining room- probably around 1000 square feet

  • Sold in June 2000 for $67,000
  • Sold in April 2002 for $50,000
  • Currently listed for $34,400
  • Assessments are $1515 a month (includes everything, including taxes)
  • Chicago Realty Partners has the listing

From the listing:

VINTAGE HIGH RISE CO-OP WITH HARDWOOD THROUGHOUT AND TONS OF CABINETRY. INCLUDES SPECIAL FOR MASONRY WORK IS $ 275. PROPERTY IS OFFERED ‘AS IS’ WITH ALL FAULTS AND NO POST- CLOSING REPAIRS OR PAYMENTS WILL BE MADE FOR ANY REASON; SOLD BY ELECTRONIC AUCTION; CALL LISTING BROKER FOR INFORMATION REGARDING EARNEST MONEY REQUIREMENTS.

There is a second unit where the owner is attempting a short-sale.

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Unit #6C: 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, 1 car parking, w/d in the unit, 2200 square feet

  • Sold in June 2002 for $285,000
  • Sold in July 2005 for $349,000
  • Currently listed for $215,000
  • Assessment of $2130 a month
  • Rubloff has the listing

The listing states:

SHORT SALE!! OWNERS PD $100K ABOVE ASKING. 2200 SF UPDATED 4 BEDS/3BTH VINT. HUGE FORMAL LIV & DIN RMS; GRAND FOYER;FAB KIT;HDWD FLRS THRUOUT;FAB KIT; NEW ELEC;C/A;W/D; PET FRIENDLY. WRAP AROUND CITY & LAKE VIEWS; 4 EXPOSURE; SEP STORAGE; SECURE GATED PKG; STEPS TO BIKE PATH, PARK, LAKE, CTA, U OF C BUS, TRAIN & GOLF COURSE. ASSMS COVER TAXES, HEAT, ETC. BLDG HAS A 6.2 MIL CAPITAL EXPENDITURE FOR MAS…

Are either of these two units a “deal”?

In 2006, Unit #5D,  a 2/2 with about 1600 square feet sold for $80,000.

In 2001, Unit #17B, the same one bedroom layout at #11B, sold for $47,500.

Flipper Alert: Flippers Out in Full Force in The Chandler

I’ve covered most of the buildings in Lakeshore East that have been completed except for The Chandler, at 450 E. Waterside Drive.

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The Chandler started closings in July 2007 and closings are continuing.  I would estimate it is about 2/3rds closed.  It is a 35 story building with 304 units.

The building was marketed as “luxury.” 

Current stats on the building:

  • 24 for sale
  • 26 for rent

I haven’t been able to find any units that have been flipped since last July.  For over 7 months NOTHING has re-sold in the Chandler.

Here is a collection of those on the market. It looks like the flippers are trying to make at least $100k (for the 2 bedroom and 1 bedroom units.)

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Unit #311: 2 bedrooms, 2.5 baths

  • Sold in August 2007 for $525,000
  • Originally listed in August 2007 for $630,000
  • Currently listed for $589,900 (parking extra)
  • Assessment of $384 a month
  • Or you can rent it for $2400 a month
  • SJ & JR, Inc. has the listing

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Unit #1908: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1228 square feet

  • Sold in November 2007 for $510,000
  • Currently listed for $565,000 plus $45k for parking
  • Assessment of $353 a month
  • Mi Casa Real Estate Inc. has the listing

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Unit #210: 1 bedroom, 1.5 baths, 1136 square feet

  • Sold in July 2007 for $476,000
  • Currently listed for $559,000 plus $42k for parking
  • Assessments of $383 a month
  • Or you can rent it for $2500 a month
  • Despite the paint and the furniture, this unit has been for sale since last August
  • Rubloff has the listing

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Unit #1103: 1 bedroom, 1.5 baths, 1080 square feet

  • Sold in November 2007 for $406,500
  • Currently listed for $499,500 (parking extra)
  • Assessment of $320 a month
  • MLS Connect Inc. has the listing

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Unit #2106: 1 bedroom, 1 bath, 906 square feet

  • Sold in October 2007 for $369,500
  • Currently listed for $420,000 plus $45k for parking
  • Assessment of $293 a month
  • Keller Williams Success Realty has the listing

Flipper Alert: The Odyssey Lofts in Greektown Coming On-Line Soon

It seems like The Odyssey Lofts at 775 W. Jackson in Greektown have taken forever to be built.

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They were originally marketed years ago.  Anyone have any idea why it took them years to convert and then construct on top of that building?  It is only 60 units.

It’s a nice residential addition to Greektown.

The building is currently 60% sold which doesn’t bode well for flippers.  But I suspect that many of the original buyers in the building bought three years or more ago and had no idea they’d be waiting this long for the building to be completed.

This post on Craigslist is the first listing I’ve seen by someone trying to sell in the building:

This seller is trying to sell his contract for $351,500.

1,225 sq ft, 2 bed, 2 bath, exposed brick, beams, with skyline views off 2 separate balconies (6th floor) 42″ cherry cabinets, 1 1/4″ granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, walnut hardwood throughout main areas with carpeted bathrooms. Walk to loop plus all the bars and restaurants in Greek town, close to blue line, metra, and all major expressways.

I am under contract in this development with an expected delivery date of the unit in April/May. I am hoping to transfer this contract to a new buyer as my living needs have changed. I went under contract awhile back so my price is well under market. There are only a couple 2 bedroom, 2 bath units left in the development.

Two similar units 1 floor below are selling for $375,900 while a corner 2 bedroom down the hall is listed for $409,900 and those are without the upgrades in my unit. Figure at a minimum $24,500 in equity at closing. Plus I have an option on a parking spot for $24,900 while spots are now selling for $29,900.

There are currently 22 units for sale.  Those units are listed from the developer. Stay tuned.

The Odyssey Lofts [website]

Flipper Alert: Some Flippers Take Losses in 1620 S. Michigan

I last chattered about 1620 S. Michigan in the South Loop in September 2007. Developed by CMK, the building has 249 units.  Closings began in Summer 2006.

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At the time, I discussed three units where the flippers were in a world of pain.  They were:

Unit #406: 2 bedroom/2 bath, 1148 square feet

  • Sold for $331,000 in August 2006
  • Was listed for $329,900 with parking extra for $35,000

Unit #803: 2 bedroom, 2 bath, 1100 square feet

  • Sold for $333,000 in September 2006
  • Was listed for $335,000 with parking included
  • Listing said “never lived in”

Unit #1001: 2 bedroom, 2 bath, 1085 square feet

  • Sold for $337,500 in September 2006
  • Was listed for $349,000 plus $35,000 for parking
  • Listing said “never lived in”

None of the three is currently listed for sale.  Unit #1001 is now available for rent for $2000 a month.  

The other two didn’t sell.  Unit #406 rented for $1600 a monthUnit #803 has just been withdrawn from the market. (Thanks to the Tipster who provided the listing information.)

Several flips have sold since we last chattered about the building.

Unit #705: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths

  • Sold in August 2006 for $387,000
  • Sold in October 2007 for $379,000

Unit #805: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths

  • Sold in September 2006 for $389,000
  • Sold in January 2008 for $382,000

Unit #905: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths

  • Sold in September 2006 for $385,000
  • Sold in Spetember 2007 for $406,000

Unit #1101: 2 bedroom, 2 bath, 1078 square feet

  • Sold in October 2006 for $344,000
  • Sold in November 2007 for $355,000

One seller has gotten into trouble and was trying a short sale.

Unit #904: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1174 square feet

  • Sold in October 2006 for $410,000
  • Currently listed as a short-sale for $369,900 plus $15k for parking
  • Scheduled for foreclosure auction in mid-February 2008 for $344,866
  • Assessment of $366 a month

It took some of the flippers a year to sell and they took a loss. The question will be: how long will other flippers be willing to hold on?

Here are some pictures of two others units also available in the building so you can get an idea of the interiors. It is signature CMK-style with concrete and modern finishes.

Unit #305: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, terrace unit, listed for $479,000

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Unit #1219: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1077 square feet, listed at $319,900

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Current stats for the building out of 249 units:

  • 17 for sale
  • 7 for rent