Monthly ArchiveMarch 2009
March 28, 2009 - Work at the Roosevelt Collection has been progressing and Chicago real estate developer Centrum Properties plans on having a model ready for showing by May, according to Crain’s. The work has been focused on the two mid-rises and the retail section and plaza or courtyard. When completed, the 1.3 million square foot development will contain 342 one to two bedroom Chicago condos lofts and about 400,000 square feet of retail space. Eventually a 43 story rental will also be built.
The Lofts at Roosevelt will be located over what is to be a collection of about 40 to 50 shops and stores. The anchor will be a large movie theater, but as of yet no other retailers have been named as being tenants.
Some of the finishes at Roosevelt include Italian wood cabinetry, Kitchen Aid stainless steel appliances, porcelain tile in the baths along with rain shower heads and soaker tubs plus an in-unit laundry with washer and dryer. The condos will have generous balconies as well and sizes for the units will run from about 759 to 1,497 square feet. Common features include a business center, fitness center, bike storage space and 24 hour door man. With the project about 56% sold now, prices are basically what they were at the onset which is from the low $300,000s to mid $600,000s.
While you’re touring the model for the Lofts at Roosevelt, you may want to check out some other Chicago Condo Lofts too.
The big news of the week for most Chicago condo buyers wasn’t the stock market drop but the new record low rate for 30 year fixed mortgages. The average mortgage rate dropped to an all time low of 4.85%. The average rate last week was about 4.89%, and the highest rate from last year was in July at 6.63%, according to information gathered in a Sun Times report.
The drop in long term loan rates was in part fueled by the federal government’s continued stimulus and bailout plan. According to calculations by mortgage company Freddie Mac, this low rate to add up to a savings of $226 in monthly loan payments for a $200,000 mortgage.
Unfortunately, some of this savings for Chicago real estate buyers will be undercut by fee hikes on loans and mortgages in general, some of which are targeted specifically for condo loans because those are deemed by lenders to have the highest default rate. Fees are said to be at an 8 year high, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The article states that in 2005, the average total fees for securing a mortgage was $280 per $100,000. It has since increased to $640 per $100,000 and could go higher. Those numbers don’t include refinancing, and applications for home owners looking to refinance make up almost 79% of the total new loan applications as of March 2009. In all mortgage applications for the week ending March 20th are up 32.2% from the previous week.
And if you’re facing financial problems, you may want to pencil in May 2nd on your calendar. On that day you can attend a “Fix Your Mortgage” seminar at the police academy, according to a press release in the Sun Times. Once there, you’ll be able to find out if you qualify for federal foreclosure assistance. It’s estimated that about 8,000 Chicago homeowners should be able to qualify for help. If you own any Condos In Chicago, it would probably be worth your time to attend.
March 26, 2009 - While downtown Chicago real estate developers are drastically cutting back on projects due to slow sales and lack of available financing, it seems that suburban Chicago condo developers are much more optimistic. A four story, 31 unit low-rise in Winnetka has been proposed by New Trier Partners LLC and will go up for zoning approval by the Village Council in April, according to Crain’s.
The new project would be constructed on Lincoln Avenue and Elm Street where the Fell Company clothing store currently stands. This project would cost roughly $50 million to construct and include 26,000 square feet of retail space. Even if the Council gives approval they stated that demolition won’t be allowed unless the developer has financing locked in place.
While Winnetka officials seem to be in favor of the project, there are quite a few local residents who are opposed to tearing down the Fell building. That structure was built in 1968 and the residents would rather see the building with its unique design preserved, according to the article.
The new condos would be marketed for about $800,000 to $1.8 million, making them a little pricey for some buyers in today’s market. But the developer doesn’t expect to start construction until 2010 and believes that by then financing and demand for condos will pick up. “It’s not like we’re going up against nine other developments (in Winnetka). The lenders see that as a plus,” Michael Klein of New Trier Partners was quoted as saying.
Until then, you can check out some other Suburban Chicago Condos that are ready for you to move-in now.