One of Our Favorite Lofts: Sold – at 531 S. Plymouth

Remember this spectacular timber and brick one bedroom loft at 531 S. Plymouth in Printers Row?





It had a lot of price reductions.

But it finally sold.

 Unit #502: 1 bedroom, 1 bath,  1300 square feet, corner unit

  • Sold in April 2003 for $279,000
  • Was listed in February 2008 for $364,900 (parking included)
  • Reduced
  • Was listed in March 2008 for $349,000 (parking included)
  • Reduced
  • Was listed in May 2008 for $299,000 (parking included) 
  • Sold for $290,000 (parking included)

We Love Authentic Lofts: 920 W. Sheridan in Lakeview

You don’t find many authentic brick and timber loft buildings in Lakeview but the Skybox Lofts, at 920 W. Sheridan, is one of them.


Converted  in 1995, it has 23 units.

Units seem to sell well in the building, as two others have already sold in 2008 for $390,000 and $420,000, respectively.

Here’s the listing for Unit #303:

2 bedroom, 2 bath real loft unit in Wrigleyville. 20 foot ceilings, exposed brick on 2 floors, new granite in gourmet kitchen plus a well located heated garage spot included. Close to train, buses dining and shopping. Views of the ball park and a walk to everything neighborhood!






Unit #303: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1500 square feet

  • Sold in July 2004 for $377,500
  • Currently listed for $435,000 (parking included)
  • Assessments of $166 a month
  • Taxes of $3,879
  • Coldwell Banker has the listing

Some Price Reductions on the Far North Side

Several properties we’ve chattered about on the far north side have been reduced recently.

Remember the vintage Rogers Park 3-bedroom unit near the beach at 1056 W. North Shore


It’s still available and has been reduced $15k.






Unit #3W: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2200 square feet, 2 car parking

The 1920s vintage unit at 4712 N. Paulina in Ravenswood has been reduced $20k.






Unit #2N: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, sunroom, 2200 square feet

  • I couldn’t find an original sales price
  • Was listed in June 2008 for $429,000 (parking included)
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed for $409,000 (parking included)
  • Assessments of $496 a month
  • Taxes of $3,875
  • In-unit W/D
  • No central air- window units
  • Coldwell Banker has the listing

Flipper Alert: Some Flippers Win and Some Lose in 451 W. Huron

Some flippers have managed to sell their units at 451 W. Huron, the new construction mid-rise building in River North that started closings last year.


The last time we chattered about the building, two one-bedroom flips were under contract. Both have since closed.

Unit #503: 1 bedroom, 1 bath, around 770 square feet

  • Sold in September 2007 for $280,000
  • Was listed in December 2007 for $293,000 plus parking
  • Was listed in February 2008 for $292,000 plus parking
  • Sold in March 2008 for $315,000 (included the parking)

Unit #804: 1 bedroom, 1 bath, around 770 square feet

  • Sold in September 2007 for $287,500
  • Was listed in December 2007 for $294,900 
  • Was listed in February 2008 for $289,900
  • Sold in April 2008 for $309,000 (included the parking)

Two 2-bedroom units were also available and had been reduced. One is still available.

The other one sold at a loss of $9,500.


Unit #501: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1015 square feet

  • Sold in September 2007 for $402,000
  • Was listed in December 2007 for $419,900 plus $35,000 for parking
  • Reduced
  • Was listed in February 2008 at $409,900 plus extra for parking
  • Reduced
  • Was listed in March 2008 for $399,000 plus $35,000 extra for parking
  • Sold in June 2008 for $392,500 (I believe this included the parking)

Unit #512 remains on the market.





Unit #512: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1100 square feet

  • Sold in September 2007 for $395,000
  • Was listed in December 2007 for $484,000 plus $35,000 for parking
  • Reduced
  • Was listed in February 2008 for $449,000 plus the parking
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed at $439,000 plus $35k for parking
  • Assessments of $238 a month
  • Taxes are “new”
  • Cityspace Realty has the listing

What’s Happening at 6 N. Michigan?

Normally, we don’t chatter about a new construction building until the building starts closings and flips appear on the MLS and Craigslist.


But I’m making an exception for 6 N. Michigan in the Loop.  It’s a new conversion building right across from Millennium Park that started selling units last summer.

What’s going on with it? A Tipster has told me that original closings were expected in “summer of 2008”- but nothing has closed and if you walk by the building it doesn’t appear that anything is going to close anytime soon.

Does anyone know the status?

The units are surprisingly modern with what I consider to be extremely nice standard finishes for these price points which included Scavolini, Liebherr Bertazzoni, Bosch, Dornbracht, and Hans Grohe.

Southern facing 900 square foot one bedrooms start in the low $300,000s (parking $50k-$60k extra). None of these have “views.” There are one bedroom, two bedrooms and larger units available.

When I was at the sales office last summer, the 2/2s facing Millennium Park had sold out.

Here are some pictures from some of the model units. The greenish granite in the model bathroom is genuinely unique and stunning in person.









6 N. Michigan [website]

(And no- this is NOT a paid post, a sponsored post or anything of the sort. It’s just refreshing to see a new construction/conversion building that has a somewhat unique product- that’s all.)

Another Price Reduction on Dream River North Terrace: 375 W. Erie

We’ve chattered about this loft with its own massive private terrace at 375 W. Erie in River North several times.


It was actually under contract several months ago but that contract fell through.

It’s been reduced again.







Unit #610: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1800 square feet

  • Sold in April 2003 for $560,000
  • Listed in January 2008 for $680,000 (plus $35,000 for parking)
  • Reduced
  • Was listed in March 2008 for $655,000 (plus $35k for parking)
  • Reduced
  • Currently listed for $585,000 (plus $35k for parking)
  • Assessments of $511 a month
  • Taxes of $4,460
  • 11 foot high ceilings
  • Skylights
  • Prudential Preferred Properties has the listing

Tribune: A Record 6,000 Units To Close in 2008 Downtown

Continuing on with the Crain’s discussion- this Tribune article appeared in May 2008.  (I’m sure we already chattered about it.) But they too give the 6,000 units figure for new condos and townhouses in the downtown. From the Tribune:

Nearly 6,000 condos, by far a record number, are expected to come on the market in downtown Chicago this year at a time when mortgages are tougher to get and sales have slowed dramatically, according to a report.

That adds up to a big worry about the Loop-area market, which has seen explosive growth in recent years.

“It’s tremendously serious,” said Steven Hovany, president of Strategy Planning Associates Inc., a planning and real estate consulting firm. “What you are going to see are buildings going into foreclosure.”

Hovany predicts developers will cancel downtown projects for several years to come, until the excess housing is absorbed.

In May, the developers were NOT discounting pricing much. That may change going forward however.

Gail Lissner, vice president of Appraisal Research Counselors, said 2008 is the biggest year so far for downtown condos. Her firm says 5,984 units will come on the market this year. That compares with 4,794 last year and a projected 4,160 next year.

Yet buyers are not showing up.

Sales of newly built downtown condominiums plummeted by about 83 percent during the first quarter, to 201 units from 1,207 units a year earlier, according to a report to be released Wednesday by Appraisal Research Counselors.

“There’s more risk in the South Loop than in other neighborhoods because of the quantity of new deliveries,” Lissner said.

Lissner said there is no widespread discounting on downtown condos, but developers are willing to deal on price under specific circumstances. A developer with only a few units remaining in a building might discount the sales price just to end involvement with the project, for example.

In a recent report, Appraisal Research Counselors cited a number of factors that are hindering sales, including economic uncertainty and a concern that the housing market has yet to hit bottom.

Record condo numbers to saturate downtown [May 14, 2008 Chicago Tribune]

Crain’s: 2d Quarter New Home Sales Plunge 39% in Chicago

Finally- we have some real data.

Crain’s is reporting that new home sales fell 39% in the city of Chicago to 852 in the second quarter. This includes the entire city- not just the downtown- and presumably includes condos, townhouses and single family homes.

As has been stated several times over the last few months, about 6,000 new condos and townhouses will come on-line in just the downtown alone this year- with, according to Crain’s, 30% of those unsold (and how many of those “sold” will close on those contracts?).

Crain’s sales numbers come from a second quarter report from real estate firm Tracy Cross & Associates in Schaumburg. From Crain’s:

Contracts for new homes in the city totaled 852 units in the quarter, down 39% from the year-earlier period.

“The city’s recovery will take longer,” Mr. Cross says. “A number of projects will be in the troubled zone.”

Some already are. The delinquency rate for construction loans in the Chicago area surged in the first quarter to 8.4%, from 5.5% in fourth-quarter 2007 and 2.8% in first-quarter 2007, according to Foresight Analytics LLC, an Oakland, Calif.-based research firm. Though the data includes both commercial and residential projects, condo developments account for a large share of the delinquencies.

The city isn’t the only area feeling the sting of the housing slowdown. The entire region is seeing a massive slowdown:

At the current rate, contracts for new homes in the Chicago area will total 8,328 units this year, down 75.0% from the market’s peak in 2005 of 33,287, according to Tracy Cross.

“We are at the lowest point we can possibly be,” Mr. Cross says.

If sales don’t pick up, he estimates it would take 99 months to sell the 63,222 new homes built or planned for the Chicago area.

Prices in the Chicagoland area also continue to drop. For new single family homes the average price dropped 10.2% to $316,385 from a year ago. According to the report, for townhouses and condominiums, the average price, excluding the Chicago Spire downtown, declined 10.0%, to $387,423. (Crain’s did not provide City of Chicago-specific average prices.)

“There’s been enough price adjustment in the market” to stimulate sales, Mr. Cross says.

Is this a once in the lifetime event we are witnessing with this housing slowdown?

Take a look at the graph in the article and judge for yourself.

Home Sales Slump Slows [Crain’s Chicago Business- July 21, 2008]

Good Bones in this Vintage Greystone: 1331 N. Dearborn Parkway

Some vintage units just have good bones. This two bedroom greystone unit at 1331 N. Dearborn Parkway in the Gold Coast is one of those.


But you won’t find any granite or stainless steel appliances here.

There is, however, parking, an in-unit washer/dryer and central air.









Unit #3: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, den, 1900 square feet

  • Sold in April 2001 for $570,000
  • Sold in September 2006 for $643,000
  • Currently listed for $725,000 (parking included)
  • Assessments of $200 a month
  • Taxes of $8183
  • Central air
  • Baird & Warner has the listing

Another Gold Coast Beauty Heading Towards Foreclosure: 1520 N. State Parkway

Right on the heels of a pending foreclosure on a mansion at 1515 N. State Parkway comes this 4,000 square foot coach house at 1520 N. State Parkway in Gold Coast. (This is a picture of the building in front. There are no pictures of the actual coach house.)


It’s not, obviously, your “average” coach house.

Originally listed in 2005 and then re-listed in 2007, it has had several price reductions. A lis pendens was filed by National City at the end of June against the property.

Here’s the listing:

A Living Masterpiece Featured In Chicago’s Home & Garden Magazine! This Tuscan-inspired Gold Coast Mansion Is For Those Lifestyles That Suggest A Love Of Grandeur.

41×22 Gourmet Granite Kit/Immense Great Room W/De Guilio Custom Cabs, Boasts A Dramatic 1899 Limestone Fireplace, Formal Living/Dining Rooms Perfect For Entertaining. Beautiful Master Suite W/Radiant Heated Flrs & Lovely Walkout English Garden Await You!








1520 N. State Parkway Coach House: 3 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, 4000 square feet, 2 car parking

  • I couldn’t find a prior sales price- sometime in the 1990s
  • Originally listed for $2,499,900 in 2005
  • Withdrawn
  • Re-listed in April 2007 for $2,499,900
  • Reduced (several times)
  • Recently reduced again
  • Currently listed at $1,999,880
  • Lis pendens filed in June 2008 for $1.75 million
  • Assessments of $1503 a month
  • Taxes of $15,216
  • Sudler Sotheby’s has the listing