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Archive for the 'Chicago Neighborhoods' Category

Demand for Chicago Condos Means Breaking Ground

Demand for Chicago Condos - Photo via GoogleMaps

Demand for Chicago Condos – Photo via GoogleMaps

It’s good to see new condo buildings rising throughout Chicago. And Chicago Magazine recently covered the ground-breaking ceremony of one of the most anticipated of these new developments.

Convexity Properties/DRW Holdings is developing 4 East Elm at the busy intersection of State and Elm streets. The 24-story building will include 35 condominium units. None of them will be cheap. According to the Chicago Magazine story, prices here will begin at $2.2 million. And the magazine reports that an upper-floor penthouse will go for an asking price of $7.2 million.

The units will be spacious, too, with plans calling for 3,100 to 3,500 square feet for half-floor units and 6,600 square feet for combined full-floor units.

This development is important because, as Chicago Magazine reports, it will be the first major condominium development to rise on the Near North Side in many years.

This is another sign that Chicago’s housing market is firmly in recovery mode. People want to live in the heart of Chicago, or in its surrounding North Side neighborhoods. Urban living is hot today, with consumers wanting the ability to walk to public transportation, restaurants, shops, parks and theaters. They want the full city experience, and few cities offers as much as does Chicago.

4 East Elm will be a welcome high-end addition to the city’s condo market. As the Chicago Magazine story says, the development will feature plenty of amenities, including a pool and spa, movie screening room, fitness center and clubhouse.

The condo development will also bring more retail to this slice of Chicago. The development’s bottom floor is being reserved for retail uses, although no tenants have been named yet.

I’m thrilled to see such a quality development planned for this city corner. The condo market is strong in and around downtown Chicago, and 4 East Elm will provide yet another option for buyers – albeit wealthy ones – who want that urban experience.

The MG Group is an award winning residential real estate group ranked #1 IN ILLINOIS & TOP 40 IN THE NATION since 2011 by The Wall Street Journal & in Real Trends’ THE THOUSAND TOP REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONALS. The MG Group is also recognized as a LUXEHOME 25 by Top 25 Luxury Broker in Chicago and FIVE-STAR REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONAL by Chicago Magazine. SHARE THIS POST & FOLLOW US NOW ON:


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Chicago’s Hottest Neighborhood Thanks to the Tech Boom

Chicago's  Hottest Neighborhood

Chicago’s Hottest Neighborhood

If you live in Chicago, you know that the city is made up of eclectic neighborhoods. That’s part of what makes the city such an attractive one: There’s a neighborhood that’s right for every home buyer.

One of the city’s hottest neighborhoods today is River North. This, again, is something that most Chicagoans know, especially those who have gone to take advantage of its many tourist-friendly attractions.

Bloomberg recently took a closer look at this booming Chicago neighborhood. The news site referred to River North as one of the hottest office markets in the entire United States.

It’s also true that River North is becoming an ever more popular place for Chicagoans to call home, with many seeking out modern condominiums here.

As Bloomberg reports, it wasn’t always like this. There was a time when River North was mostly a wasteland dotted with vacant land. This isn’t unusual. Look at Wrigleyville today and you see an always busy, bustling neighborhood. There was a time, though, when even this active neighborhood had a less-than-stellar reputation.

Bloomberg points to the emergence of tech firms in River North as one of the reasons for this neighborhood’s resurgence. The story says that Chicago as a whole is benefitting from the growth in technology jobs, as a growing number of tech firms — both established ones and start-ups — are moving to the city to set up headquarters and regional offices.

The story also says that office rents in River North have risen 26% in the last two years, thanks in part to the growing demand from tech companies.

This is all good news for property owners in this neighborhood. No one can predict whether property values will rise in a given neighborhood, even one that is as hot as River North is today. But owning real estate in River North at this particular moment certainly seems like a good investment.


The MG Group is an award winning residential real estate group ranked #1 IN ILLINOIS & TOP 40 IN THE NATION since 2011 by The Wall Street Journal & in Real Trends’ THE THOUSAND TOP REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONALS. The MG Group is also recognized as a LUXEHOME 25 by Top 25 Luxury Broker in Chicago and FIVE-STAR REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONAL by Chicago Magazine. SHARE THIS POST & FOLLOW US NOW ON:

Spoken by Mario Greco | Discussion: Comments Off

Chicago Luxury Apartments are in Demand

Chicago Luxury Apartments in Demand

Chicago Luxury Apartments in Demand

Downtowns are hot today. And Chicago is no exception.

A recent story by Chicago Magazine illustrates this nicely. According to the story, the city’s luxury apartments are leasing quickly. At the same time, developers are flocking to downtown Chicago to add more apartments to the city’s core.

The Chicago Magazine story cites data provided by Appraisal Research Counselors showing that by the end of 2016, downtown Chicago could see as many as 8,700 new apartment units. That’s a significant figure, especially considering that there are about 28,000 total apartment units in downtown Chicago today.

As an example of the demand for high-end downtown apartments, Chicago Magazine points to the performance of the new luxury apartment tower OneEleven Wacker. According to the story, the development’s 500 units are more than 50 percent leased. That’s impressive, considering that the building has only been open for six weeks. A total of 150 leases were signed before OneEleven Wacker opened its doors, according to the Chicago Magazine story.

These apartment units aren’t cheap, either. The Chicago Magazine story points out that monthly rents for studio apartments in OneElevenWacker stand at nearly $2,000 a month.

These numbers should come as no surprise to anyone who knows downtown Chicago. The center of the city has become a 24/7 neighborhood, offering everything from boutique shops and high-end restaurants to green spaces, bars and experimental theaters to its residents. There’s so much to do, it’s no wonder that people are willing to spend big dollars to live here.

The demand here is strong, too, for condos. Buyers today want the urban experience. They want to walk to public transportation, restaurants, grocery stores, theaters and shops. Many of today’s younger buyers don’t even want the hassle of a car.

I expect, then, demand for downtown Chicago living to only increase in the coming years. City centers are popular today across the Midwest. And Chicago’s downtown certainly ranks as one of the best urban downtowns on the globe.

Spoken by Mario Greco | Discussion: Comments Off

“Most Outlandish Mansion” in Lincoln Park

"Outlandish" Lincoln Park Mansion

“Outlandish” Lincoln Park Mansion. Photo via GoogleMaps

Have about $2 million to spare? Then you can buy what Chicago Magazine calls the “most outlandish mansion” in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood.

The mansion, a 7,500-square-foot postmodern home on the 1900 block of North Mohawk in Lincoln Park, boasts a stunning 83 windows. It also has five cascading roof decks, an elevator that serves four of the home’s levels and a seemingly unending series of curves and unusually shaped rooms. The Chicago Magazine story says that the home is reminiscent of a high-end ocean liner because of its bow-like facade.

What is most intriguing to me, though, is the home’s asking price of $1.95 million.

$1.95 million is a lot of money. But it’s not a sky-high price. And it’s more evidence that the owners of high-end real estate — generally those homes priced at $1 million or more — are today more realistic about what their homes are really worth. Those who are serious about selling their estates are placing more realistic price tags on their high-end homes.

The Chicago Magazine story points out that the sellers of this home understand that the number of buyers willing to spend big on such an unusual home is limited. The story quotes a REALTOR® as saying that it’s rare to get a home of more than 7,000 square feet in the east portion of Lincoln Park for such a “low” price.

This is a good lesson for the sellers of all homes, even those priced at more modest levels. Buyers today are shrewd. They won’t pay more for a home than what the market says it is worth. So even if you paid $300,000 for your Lincoln Square condo in 2004, buyers might not pay more than $250,000 for it today. The housing market in Chicago has changed.

If you want to succeed in today’s housing market, take a lesson from the owners of multi-million-dollar homes: Don’t price your residence too high for today’s buyers.

Spoken by Mario Greco | Discussion: 1 Comment »

Crain’s Conclusion: Plenty of Positives in Today’s Chicago Housing Market

Crain’s Conclusion: Plenty of Positives in Today’s Chicago Housing Market

Crain’s Conclusion: Plenty of Positives in Today’s Chicago Housing Market

Crain’s Chicago Business recently attempted to sum up the current state of the Chicago housing market. Crain’s conclusion? It found four signs that the Chicago housing market was in solid shape and a potential red flag that future problems might await.

First, the good news. Crain’s reported that in June non-distressed homes — homes that were not sold through the foreclosure or short sale processes — accounted for nearly 78% of all the home sales in the Chicago region. This is the highest that this figure has been for at least 3.5 years, according to the Crain’s story.

Don’t believe that the region is free of its foreclosure problems. As the Crain’s story says, Illinois is still struggling with the 3rd highest foreclosure rate in the country. But the high percentage of non-distressed home sales in June is certainly a good sign.

Crain’s also reported that Chicago-area homes are taking less time to sell. In June, homes in the area sold in an average of 71 days, according to Crain’s, about 25 days faster than during the same month one year earlier. And back in 2011, it took Chicago-area residents an average of 180 days to sell their properties.

In more positive news, the rate at which local home prices are appreciating is slowing. That might sound like bad news. But as Crain’s explains, no one wants to see housing prices rise too high too quickly. That happened before, and it led to the housing crash that started in late 2006 and early 2007.

Finally, the number of home sales in the Chicago area is on the rise again, Crain’s said. In June, the nine-county Chicago area saw 8,801 home sales. That was up 10% from the 7,998 homes sold in June of 2013, according to Crain’s.

The news, though, isn’t all good. Crain’s said the number of homes available for sale in the Chicago area continues to be too low for demand. That is making life difficult for potential buyers who are struggling to find homes in the most desirable of Chicago neighborhoods.

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