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Archive for the 'Chicago Real Estate News' Category

Another Big Condo Project Planned for Chicago

Rendering via Chicago Tribune

Rendering via Chicago Tribune

How hot is Chicago’s downtown condominium market becoming? Check out this story by the Chicago Tribune. Real estate reporter Mary Ellen Podmolik writes that another towering condominium development is planned for the area.

According to the Tribune story, Related Midwest is planning a 67-story, 500-unit condo/apartment tower for the southwest corner of Grand and Peshtigo in Chicago.

You might remember that a former condo project was once planned for this same site. Developer Dan McLean wanted to build a 232-unit condominium tower for the corner. But McLean lost the land in a foreclosure suit. Related Midwest purchased this land in August of last year, spending $24.6 million for the property, according to the Tribune story.

The fact that a new tower is now planned for the same site is yet another sign that Chicago’s downtown condo market is still on the rise.

The new tower still has a long way to go before becoming a reality. The city of Chicago still has to approve Related Midwest’s plans. But the project seems to make financial sense. Demand for luxury apartments is high in the area. At the same time, there is plenty of demand for luxury condo units here, too. The Tribune says that there is currently a lack of luxury condo units in the downtown Chicago market.

The new project would rise across the street from another Related Midwest project, 500 Lake Shore Drive. That is a luxury apartment high-rise that the Tribune reports is 99% leased.

The new building would boast 400 apartments and 100 condominium units. As part of the project, Related Midwest would also redevelop a 70,000-square-foot public park that it owns.

The project would join the only other large-scale apartment/condo project already existing in the downtown Chicago area. That project is the 82-story Aqua Tower, a project that includes apartments, a hotel and condo units. In 2015, Loews Hotels & Resorts is scheduled to open a 52-story hotel and high-end apartment tower in the city, too.

Spoken by Mario Greco | Discussion: No Comments »

Millennium Park Still Making an Impact on Chicago’s Condo Market

Millennium Park Still Making an Impact on Chicago’s Condo Market

Millennium Park Still Making an Impact on Chicago’s Condo Market

It’s hard to believe but Chicago’s Millennium Park turns 10 years old this July. And Crain’s Chicago Business paid tribute to the now iconic park with a look at how Millennium Park has given condo development in downtown Chicago a boost.

You probably remember that it cost a whopping $475 million to build Millennium Park. That was three times its original budget.

But the park has made a dramatic impact on downtown Chicago, becoming one of the most-visited spots in the city. It has also fueled a steady rise in condominium development in the area surrounding the park. Consider the example of the Heritage at Millennium Park. As Crain’s reports, by the time this condo development sold out in 2005, units with views of the park were fetching prices that were 25 to 30% higher than were condos that had a view looking west.

The message? People wanted that view of Millennium Park and they were willing to pay a premium to get it.

The park, of course, replaced what was once railroad tracks. Now, from a once rather ugly site, there are gardens, an outdoor concert stage, sculptures, and of course the famed Cloud Gate – better known as the Bean.

Crain’s reports that since 2005, 1,391 new condos have been created adjacent to the park on either Randolph Street or Michigan Avenue. Crain’s quotes Appraisal Research’s Gail Lissner as saying that buildings not immediately adjacent to Millennium Park have benefited from the site, too. She pointed specifically to the nearby Aqua development and other properties in the Lakeshore East development as examples.

So as Millennium Park ends its first decade, be sure to spare a moment to give thanks for this green spot in the center of the city. Its impact on the area’s housing market has been significant.

Spoken by Mario Greco | Discussion: No Comments »

Chinese Investor’s Plans another Sign That Downtown Chicago Real Estate is Hot

Sign That Downtown Chicago Real Estate is Hot

I’ve long written that Chicago is a world-class city, one that attracts investors from around the globe. And recent reports — such as this one in Crain’s Chicago Business — that a Chinese real estate firm is planning to spend $900 million to build an 89-story tower on the Chicago River is just more evidence of our city’s pull around the world.

According to Crain’s, Wanda Group, based in Beijing, plans to build its new hotel-and-apartment tower on Wacker Drive in the Lakeshore East Development. The tower, if all goes according to plan, would be the third-tallest building in Chicago, hitting a height of about 1,150 feet. It would include a five-star hotel with 240 rooms.

The plans have created plenty of excitement, especially when Wanda Group released images that show a truly stunning building.

People, though, should not be surprised that the Wanda Group is interested in building in this slice of Chicago. The city’s downtown area is a hot one today, both for residential and commercial development. And why not? Downtown neighborhoods have become 24/7 communities, with restaurants, bars, green spaces, theaters and boutique shops dotting them.

If you own property in this part of Chicago, you should welcome the news that Wanda Group is interested in investing so heavily in the city. It’s just another sign that real estate here is valuable, and that the heart of the city remains attractive to big-money investors.

No one can argue that the city’s housing market didn’t suffer during the days of the Great Recession. And no one can argue that housing here has fully recovered from the housing crash that followed. But when you read about companies like the Wanda Group sinking big money into the city, you should feel hope: The city’s residential real estate rebound is continuing. And it looks like the rebound isn’t about to slow any time soon.

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Homeowners Think Selling Today is a Smart Move

Homeowners Think Selling Today is a Smart Move

Homeowners Think Selling Today is a Smart Move

Thinking about selling your home? You’re not alone. A recent story by the Wall Street Journal says that a growing number of U.S. homeowners are ready to put their condominiums and single-family homes on the market.

The story cites data from the University of Michigan and Thomson Reuters saying that selling has become attractive to the largest share of home owners in 8 years. A survey conducted by the two organizations says that just a small number of homeowners in June worried that they’d lose money if they put their homes on the market today.

This is big news for the housing industry. As the Wall Street Journal story says, one of the biggest hurdles to an even stronger recovery today is the relatively low number of homes currently for sale. Simply put, there aren’t enough homes on the market to meet the demand. This is good news for those sellers who are trying to move their homes; a lack of supply could mean bidding wars for homes in prime locations. But it’s not especially good news for buyers who are struggling to find their dream homes.

But if more home owners believe they can fetch solid prices for their homes? That could encourage more of them to put their homes on the market. That, in turn, would increase supply and make life a bit less stressful for buyers.

If you are considering putting your Chicago condominium or single-family home on the market, make sure to work with an experienced REALTOR® who knows your neighborhood. This is a great time to sell. But only by working with a REALTOR® will you increase your odds of selling your home for the best possible price.

The right price, in fact, is the single most important factor in selling a home. If your list price is too high for your market, you won’t attract serious offers. Buyers today know when a home is priced too high. Remember, they don’t care what you paid for your home six years ago. They only care what it’s worth today.

Spoken by Mario Greco | Discussion: 1 Comment »

Owning is More Affordable than Renting in Chicago

Owning is More Affordable than Renting in Chicago

Owning is More Affordable than Renting in Chicago

Is it more affordable to buy a home in Chicago or rent an apartment? That’s been a long debate. But recent rental numbers suggest that owning has become a more affordable option in the city.

According to a recent story by the Chicago Tribune, the average monthly apartment rent in the Chicago area stood at an average of $1,098 in the 2nd quarter of this year. That’s a lot of money.

And that figure is on the rise. Average monthly apartment rents rose 1% from the 1st quarter of the year.

The Tribune points out, too, that the $1,098 figure is just an average. Several apartment units in the city are renting for far more. The Tribune story cites many of the new rentals in Chicago that are charging rents that start at a whopping $2,000 a month.

The rent increases seem even steeper when you compare them to the second quarter of last year, which Reis Inc., a real estate research firm cited by the Tribune in its story, did. Chicago-area apartment rents jumped 3.7% in the 2nd quarter of this year when compared with the same quarter one year earlier.

The good news for landlords keeps coming, too. The Tribune reported that the Chicago-area apartment vacancy rate fell 0.1% from the 2nd quarter of last year to 3.5 percent.

The message here is clear: Renting an apartment in Chicago is becoming a more expensive proposition every quarter. It’s true, too, that the cost of single-family homes and condominiums in the city has been rising. But because apartment rents have been rising so quickly, owning has become a more affordable option than renting for most Chicago residents.

Of course, price isn’t the only option that Chicago residents have to consider when debating whether to rent or own. Some residents don’t plan to live in the same place for more than a year or two. Others don’t want to deal with yard work and maintenance. For these residents, renting an apartment might make more sense.

But for those who want to establish roots in a community and grow equity? Today, buying a home is a more affordable option than renting.

Spoken by Mario Greco | Discussion: No Comments »

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