Monthly ArchiveNovember 2007

chicago-condos Dave on 21 Nov 2007

Settlement House to be converted into condos

The historic Chicago Commons Settlement House has been saved from demolition.  A local Chicago developer has stepped up to transform the building into luxury condominiums.

Alex Pearsall, head of 955 Grand Adventures LLC, received approval for the project from the Chicago Plan Commission.  The building, located at 955 Grand Avenue will offer a total of 28 condominiums upon completion.

Plans call for three bedroom condominiums, with floor plans averaging around 1,700 square feet.  Prices will start in the low $400s for the condominiums.  Five townhouses will also be available at the Settlement House site.  These units will offer a larger floor plan, with 2,700 square feet of total living space.

Plans also call for four affordable housing units at the site.  Buyers who qualify for the program through the Chicago Partners for Affordable Neighborhoods can choose from one and three bedroom condominiums.

The historic building was home to a Pacific Garden Mission.  When the mission moved to its new location, many local residents feared that the historic building could be lost to a new development.

Find the best Luxury Chicago Condos in prime neighborhoods around the Loop.

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chicago-condos Dave on 20 Nov 2007

Condo sales jump on the Lower West Side

Lower prices spurred sales on the Lower West Side of Chicago during the third quarter, according to a recent report from the Chicago Association of Realtors.

A total of 19 condominiums were sold during the quarter, a 138 percent jump from last year.  It’s also the most condominiums sold during the third quarter in more than 15 years.

Condo owners and developers may have lowered their prices as a result of the large numbers of units for sale in the area.  The turnover rate continued to climb during the third quarter as a result of the large number of unsold condos on the market.

If you are selling your condo on the Lower West Side, it will now take you 151 days to find a buyer, a 42 percent jump from last year and the longest turnover rate for condos ever seen in the neighborhood.

The average sales price dropped during the third quarter by 14 percent and now stands at just over $300,000.

Buyers should continue to see lower prices on Chicago Condos in the neighborhood over the next few months if demand doesn’t pick up.  Sellers will have to offer incentives to stand out from the crowd in the area.

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chicago-condos Dave on 19 Nov 2007

Ravenswood residents face possibility of eminent domain

Residents and business owners on the east side of Western Avenue, between Lincoln Ave and Ainslie Street are facing the possibility of losing their properties to eminent domain.

The Committee on Housing and Real Estate met last week to discuss plans for the neighborhood.  Proposals include the construction of mixed-use buildings with a limit of six stories, additional parking, park space, and wider sidewalks.

Long-time residents and business owners showed up in force to protest the proposed development in the area.  However, according to city officials, the development has received the support of the Ravenswood Community Council, in a letter it sent to the Community Development Commission.

Eminent domain has been widely used in the past to make way for public projects, such as roads and schools.  However, a Supreme Court ruling in 2005 paved the way for eminent domain to be used to transfer ownership of land between private hands, a move widely opposed by many civil groups.

As the thirst by developers for prime space to build Chicago Condos continues, many worry that eminent domain could be unfairly used to expedite private developments under the guise of the greater public good.

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