What’s a Million Dollar Condo in 2008? 849 N. Franklin

The Parc Chestnut, at 849 N. Franklin, on the fringe of River North and the Gold Coast, started closings in 2006.

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Recently, from sales records, it looks like the developer finally sold a bunch of the 16th floor penthouse units.  Since the building has been marketed for over five years, and completed for two years, it looks like the developer probably cut the prices on all of these just to finally get out of the building.

  • Unit #1601: Sold in August 2007 for $680,000
  • Unit #1602: Sold in June 2007 for $771,500
  • Unit #1604: Sold in November 2007 for $926,000
  • Unit #1605: Sold in July 2007 for $1.028 million
  • Unit #1606: Sold in June 2007 for $1.073 million
  • Unit #1607: Sold in October 2007 for $1.1 million
  • Unit #1610: Sold in June 2007 for $798,000

Unit #1608 appears to be a re-sale, however.

From the listing:

AMAZING TOP FLOOR DUPLEX PENTHOUSE. PRICED BELOW DEVELOPER’S CLOSE-OUT. OVER $90K IN UPGRADES. CUSTOM CABINETRY, SUB-Z, VIKINGS, MIELES, WET BAR, TOO MUCH TO LIST. 600SQ FT, ROOF TERRACE, TANDEM PARKING…

It has one of those big rooftop decks that is a large chunk of concrete.

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Unit #1608: 3 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, 2 car parking

  • Sold in June 2007 for $1,087,000
  • Currently listed for $1.1 million
  • Assessments of $942 a month
  • Keller Williams Lincoln Park has the listing

With the glut of million dollar listings on the market, would you pay a million for this particular unit in that location?

Kinzie Park Tower: 1500 SQ FT and Under $500k with Views To Boot

Kinzie Park Station is a gated community of townhouses and a highrise just west of the Chicago River.  When it was developed in 2000, it was in no-man’s land.

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Today, that’s not so true. And the views from the south facing units are pretty spectacular.

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One of the bonuses of the building, at 501 N. Clinton, is that due to its age, the two bedroom units actually have real space (no 1095 square foot two bedrooms here.)  But the units are slightly outdated now, with some of them having carpet throughout.

Space over wood floors?

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Unit #3005: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1545 square feet, corner unit,largest 2 bedroom tier in the building

  • Sold in June 2001 for $380,000
  • Currently listed for $499,900 (parking extra?)
  • Listing says: “Priced to Sell”
  • Assessments of $764 a month
  • Prudential Preferred has the listing

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Unit #604: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, smaller two bedroom unit but both bedrooms have windows

  • Sold in February 2001 for $255,000
  • Listed at $419,000 plus $30k for parking
  • Assessments of $554 a month plus $40 for parking
  • Koenig & Strey has the listing

The 05 tier has several units on the market.

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Unit #2705: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1545 square feet

  • Sold in August 2001 for $546,000
  • Sold in May 2006 for $575,000
  • Currently listed for $570,000 plus $32k for parking
  • Assessments of $749 a month
  • Baird and Warner has the listing

Unit #2805: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1545 square feet

  • Sold in August 2001 for $557,000
  • Sold in March 2002 for $610,000
  • Currently listed for $567,000 plus $32k for parking
  • Assessments of $770 a month
  • Baird and Warner has the listing

It looks like the 05 tier may have hit a price ceiling. Stay tuned.

Overseas Owner Wants Out! 60 W. Erie in River North

60 W. Erie in River North is distinctive for its green windows and balconies.

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It is a small, boutique building that first closed on units in 2003. Many of the units have nice layouts with windows in the kitchens and bathrooms.

A two bedroom unit is on the market where the listing states: “Overseas Owner Wants Out!”

Unfortunately, that owner is going to lose money even though he’s owned for four years.

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Unit #1102: 2 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, 2157 square feet

  • Sold in March 2004 for $926,500
  • Currently listed for $930,000 includes 1 car parking
  • Assessments of $1200 a month (it is high because the building is so small and that means there aren’t as many units to pay for maintenance, upkeep, the doorman etc.)
  • Katherine Chez at Coldwell Banker has the listing

Are Condo-Hotels Dead? Maybe Not.

We’ve been chattering about how the condo/hotel units at Trump Tower and the now canceled Canyon Ranch, may have been a flash in the pan in the housing boom.

But are they?

David Roeder, the Sun-Times real estate columnist, talks about a new condo/hotel building that is slated for Chinatown:

Wong has received zoning approval for another notable deal, a 175-room hotel that would have a pagoda-style roof. Meant to invoke ancient Chinese dynasties, his Grand Imperial hotel is planned for the southwest corner of Clark and Archer.

He’s selling the rooms as condo units, similar to the arrangement that’s available for Donald Trump’s downtown hotel but at lower prices. Wong said he has sales contracts on about 50 percent of the rooms and has promised to start construction in the spring.

Does this mean these units will work on the low end but just not the high?

Price Reduction and Still on the Market: 1429 N. Dearborn

I last chattered about this vintage condo at The Cordova at 1429 N. Dearborn in the Gold Coast in November 2007.

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It is still on the market and has been reduced by $35,000.

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Unit #4N: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1700 square feet, 1 car parking

  • Sold in August 2003 for $575,000
  • Sold in January 2004 for $642,500
  • Listed in November 2007 for $725,000
  • Currently listed for $690,000
  • One outdoor parking space included
  • Assessment of $325 a month

There are also some new pictures with the listing.  Notice how the living room looks bigger if the picture is taken straight on- instead of from the side.

In November 2007:

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Now:

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Koenig & Strey has the listing.

Even in Popular Buildings, It’s Tough To Make Money: 250 E. Pearson

The Pearson, at 250 E. Pearson in Streeterville, closed in 2003 and has been a very popular building for re-sales. It has held its value well.

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That part of Pearson is quiet, with the south facing units overlooking the park, the lake and Northwestern University Law School.  Yet you are two blocks east of the Mag Mile.

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But with sales in the upper bracket slowing, even Pearson owners are finding it tough to make money, even if they’ve owned in the building for nearly four years.

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Unit #1007: 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, 2 car parking, 2122 square feet, some windows are south facing

  • Sold in October 2004 for $939,000
  • Currently listed for $1,035,000 includes one car parking
  • Assessments of $947 a month
  • Katherine Chez at Coldwell Banker has the listing

2300 S. Michigan Turmoil: Rokas Intl’s President Back in Lithuania?

The Sun-Times is reporting that Rokas International, Inc.’s president, Andrius Augunas, has left Chicago and may be in his native Lithuania.

Rokas was the developer at 2300 S. Michigan in Motor Row in the South Loop that has stopped construction and faces numerous contractor liens.

“He’s a very nice guy and doesn’t come off as a crook, but his situation got much worse,” said Patrick Fitzgerald, an architect who designed Augunas’ Motor Row Condominium project that was started at 2300 S. Michigan. “Desperate people do desperate things.”

Records show several mortgages and lines of credit are attached to Augunas’ home in Winnetka. Calls to his home weren’t answered, and Augunas has set his cell phone to block incoming calls.

Motor Row was a 91-unit mid-rise in the middle of the historic landmark district (not to be confused with Motor Row lofts across the street, which is a conversion of several car dealerships into lofts. That project is still selling and moving forward.)

A consultant Augunas hired for the project, Sedgwick Properties Development Corp., has sued him for allegedly failing to pay $340,000 in fees. Sources said several lenders, including primary mortgage lender Indymac Bank and Equibase Capital Group LLC, are owed substantial sums and that Equibase is looking for someone else to finish the project.

Equibase principals did not return calls Monday. The phone number for Rokas’ Motor Row sales center has been disconnected, as have other numbers for the company.

Augunas also planned a 205-unit complex at 2100 S. Indiana, a mix of lofts and a high-rise. But his lender in that deal, First DuPage Bank, has sued to foreclose on the site, accusing Augunas and his companies of owing more than $12.5 million.

This housing boom also allowed people with absolutely no history of high-rise construction to suddenly be “developers.”

Observers said that, like many developers when home sales were quick and credit was easy, he took on too much debt in the hope of converting it to enormous profit.

“He got shiftier and shiftier,” said one who’s done business with him. “He came in with a pretty light track record but he had big ideas. Eventually, it seemed like he was running around with his hair on fire.”

Augunas started doing business in Chicago around 2005. Sources said he spoke of having run a cigarette distributorship in Europe and of once being a ranked professional tennis player. The International Tennis Federation lists an Andrius Augunas, 37, of Lithuania as playing on its senior circuit.

There will be more to come on this, I’m sure.

Foreclosure and Short Sales in 1600 S. Indiana

The mid-tier bracket around $400,000 seems to be very a very hard sell right now. And every month there is new inventory coming on-line.

With all the new high-rises closing in the South Loop, there will be a glut of the small two/twos there.

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There’s currently a short sale and a foreclosure in 1600 S. Indiana in the South Loop.  1600 S. Indiana is a high-rise building completed in 2006.

In short sale:

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Unit #1806: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1000 square feet

  • Sold in August 2006 for $415,591
  • Currently listed for $399,900 plus $35k for parking
  • Listing says it’s a short sale- subject to bank approval
  • Top floor penthouse unit
  • Views of the Lake
  • Assessments of $385 a month
  • @Properties has the listing

This unit has gone into foreclosure:

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Unit #1405: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1000 square feet

  • Sold in August 2006 for $422,399
  • Currently listed on the MLS for $435,000 plus $30k for parking
  • Auction foreclosure price this week of $379,385
  • Assessments of $440 a month
  • Deborah Thomas of Coldwell Banker has the listing (until the foreclosure auction this week)

Updated List of Chicago Condo Towers Canceled or In Doubt

Crain’s reported yesterday that Related, co-developer of 340 On the Park, is canceling Canyon Ranch in River North but is mum on what will happen with its other proposed new building, The Peshtigo.

There are several buildings that are now either canceled, on the verge of being canceled, or the developer is in financial difficulty.

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Condo Towers Canceled:

  • Canyon Ranch: Hotel/condo building in River North developed by Related. Canceled in March 2008 (per Crain’s)
  • James Place, a 16 story River North highrise at 100 W. Huron. Canceled in February 2008 (per YoChicago)

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Developers in financial distress:

  • Burnham Pointe at 710 S. Clark: Terrapin facing foreclosure on several of its other properties but fate of Burnham Pointe unclear (per Sun-Times and Crain’s) in February 2008
  • Park Michigan at 830 S. Michigan: Developer facing foreclosure suit (per Crain’s):

Plans for an 80-story condominium tower that would overlook Grant Park on South Michigan Avenue are in doubt after a lender filed a foreclosure lawsuit, seeking to recoup more than $4.25 million.

The foreclosure action by Chicago-based Hermes Capital LLC is the first on a high-profile project here since the condo market tanked early last year.

At 855 feet, the Park Michigan project at 830 S. Michigan Ave., three blocks south of Congress Parkway, would be the tallest tower in the burgeoning South Loop.

In a foreclosure lawsuit filed Feb. 15, Hermes Capital claims that Oak Brook-based developer Warren Barr and his firm, Renaissant Development Group LLC, defaulted on the $4.25-million loan by failing to raise at least $2.13 million in new equity to help cover pre-development costs by Dec. 31.

Mr. Barr’s firm has not broken ground or begun marketing units in the proposed skyscraper and is still seeking buyers for a proposed 40-story condo tower nearby at 1000 S. Michigan Ave.

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Buildings in doubt:

  • The Peshtigo in Streeterville also a Related development.  According to YoChicago, it is only 15% sold.

The Park Michigan [website]

Should You Rush To See 1366 N. Dearborn?

I ran across this new listing for a unit at 1366 N. Dearborn, a vintage mid-rise built in 1926 in the Gold Coast that appears to have the key ingredients needed for vintage success: washer/dryer in the unit and parking available.

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The listing indicates that buyers should book their appointments next week or else they’ll miss out:

SCHEDULED SHOWINGS WILL BEGIN TUESDAY, MARCH 4TH AT 1PM! BROKER AGENT TOUR MARCH 4TH 11AM-1PM.

EXTREMELY RARE OPPORTUNITY, THIS EXQUISITE HOME IS LOCATED IN ONE OF THE GOLD COAST’S MOST COVETED BUILDINGS. 2BR ENSUITE/DEN OR OPTIONAL 3BR W/POWDER ROOM/FORMAL LIVING/FORMAL DINING/ OFFICE/KITCHEN W/BUTLER PANTRY/WB FIREPLACE/LAUNDRY IN UNIT/ 2 STORAGE SPACES/PKG AVAIL. N/S/E/W EXPOSURE/ELEVATOR W/…

In the last three years these units sold in the building:

  • 4 units in 2007
  • 3 units in 2006
  • 3 units in 2005

This particular unit was on the market only 2 years ago.

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Unit #6A: 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths

  • Sold in March 2006 for $835,000
  • Currently listed for $979,000
  • Assessments of $1510 a month
  • Sudler Sotheby’s has the listing