Monthly ArchiveDecember 2009
December 31, 2009 - The same Chicago real estate developer who brought us Emerald, the two tower eco-friendly development on Green Street, probably won’t be adding another green condo building to the mix. William Senne, founder of Senco properties is facing two foreclosure suits from the Wheatland Bank of Naperville against his planned Chicago real estate project called EcoLogic Lofts.
According to an article in Crain’s, the development was to be another eco-friendly project located on 2339-59 North Seeley Avenue in Bucktown. Ground was never broken and the article states that Mr. Senne didn’t make public just how many of the planned 94 units were actually pre-sold. But the two foreclosure suits total $6.8 million and the bank claims that Mr. Senne personally guaranteed the loans and they are now in default.
EcoLogic Lofts had some really distinctive green ideas that were part of the project plan. Wind turbines on the building roof top were supposed to generate clean energy, an extensive recycling program for residents was planned and of course a green roof top. But even though those green features were popular at the time, the housing market was down and getting a construction loan near impossible.
Gail Lissner, Appraisal Research Counselors VP was quoted in the article as saying that, “It doesn’t matter how fabulous the project was. Nobody could get a deal going.”
Timing really was everything for quite a few projects the past two years, and developers who launched at the wrong time had difficulty selling new Condos In Chicago.
Chicago Real Estate pcherry on 30 Dec 2009
December 30, 2009 - We told you a few posts ago that Chicago real estate developer David Pisor had decided to cancel the pre-sell contracts he did have for the hotel condo portion of the Elysian and just focus on the hotel and residential condo parts of the project. The Elysian had a grand opening for the hotel on December 9th. The luxury high-rise is located on 11 East Walton Street and no more news has surfaced about the Gold Coast development.
But Mr. Pisor isn’t just having financial issues here in Illinois, according to a recent Crain’s article. Now it seems that he has had to turn over the deed to the Hotel Jerome, located in Aspen, Colorado, to keep from being foreclosed upon after missing the loan repayment deadline.
With the hotel condo crazy seemingly over and hotel vacancies down, it will take some time to see if the Elysian can hold its own against Trump Tower and the other luxury hotels that have supposedly cut rates to keep rooms filled. And with Ten East Delaware set to close soon and offering hotel services a la carte from the neighboring Talbot Hotel, it may be a tough year for developers of hotel condo projects in the Chicago real estate market.
December 29, 2009 - The Columbian, located on 1160 South Michigan Avenue, has seen quite a few price reductions over the past year. Chicago real estate developers have used every incentive from free parking spots, cash back at closing and just about any other perk to lure buyers in this slow market. And right now the developer of the Columbian is slashing prices back to what they are calling pre-construction levels of 2004 to try and sell the last 58 condos in the tower, according to an article in Chicago Magazine.
There are 220 total units in the Columbian, and the developer stated that going down to pre-construction prices will hopefully both entice some new buyers and pacify the current owners by not bringing down the value of the condos already purchased. When prices on the last few units in a high-rise are dramatically lowered, it tends to justifiably anger buyers who paid more for their units early on in the marketing phase of the project.
For those of you interested in any of the remaining condos at the Columbian, there are one bedroom units with price cuts of as much as 30% that start from $279,900. Three bedroom condos are seeing reductions of around 16% and start at about $799,900. If you want a parking space in the garage that will add another $42,000 to $50,000 to the price tag.
With so much inventory in the market and competition among developers, buyers are still able to find some good deals on pricing when it comes to New Chicago Condos for Sale.