Monthly ArchiveJanuary 2010
January 31, 2010 - Things must be looking up for the Chicago real estate market, or at least one developer is betting on it. Sedgewick Properties recently gave out details in a Crain’s article about a new large scale development they have planned for Uptown. The three tower complex will be located on the lakefront and be appropriately called Lake View Station. According to the article, the estimated price tag is around $350 million and Marty Paris of Sedgewick expects to break ground on the first phase later this year and be completed within five years.
Three high-rise buildings will make up Lake View Station and range in size from 20 to 45 stories tall. The total number of units in this mixed-use development will be about 850, with a mix of apartments, condos, a 200 room hotel, large grocery and health club. Around 150 of the residences will be marketed as senior housing.
Getting a zoning change as well as $40 to $50 million in TIF funds is crucial, as well as pre-leasing the 100,000 square foot retail space to mollify lenders and secure a construction loan.
Another hurdle is the Clarendon Park Neighborhood Association who want 125 free overnight parking spaces for local residents. Sedgewick has already agreed to include those in the 1,100 space parking garage they plan to build this year. The retail space would sit on top of that structure and then a 20 story apartment tower would follow next year.
Other developers may be doubtful about this big of a project launching right now, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Belgravia Group’s Buzz Ruttenberg commented in the article that, “The scope of this project is clearly off the charts. But if they’ve got staying power, and are successful in pre-leasing the retail, then there’s probably significant economic potential.”
We’ll keep an eye on this proposed project and see how or if it progresses. Until then, there are lots of already built Chicago homes for sale at significant price discounts.
January 29, 2010 - The housing market slump doesn’t just affect downtown Chicago real estate projects. The suburbs have been hit as well. Add in having a development in a niche market, such as senior housing, and making sales may be even more difficult. But one Wilmette senior housing development that was hit with foreclosure is getting a second shot at success, according to a Crain’s report.
This past autumn investors Reuben Warshawsky and David E. Rosen, along with a group of other investors, purchased at auction Mallinckrodt in the Park. The building is a 1918 Italian Renaissance five story structure located on 1041 Ridge Road in Wilmette.
Warshawsky and Rosen are currently in the process of marketing the project, which had already sold slightly more than 50% of the total 81 condos there. The partners have cut prices about 35% on the remaining 33 units and have made two sales so far.
Although some other Chicago real estate agents stated in the article that Mallinckrodt will prove difficult to sell to seniors because there are other developments in more accessible locations downtown, Rosen and Warshawsky disagree. In fact, Mr. Warshawsky told Crain’s that, “If you have to have a lake view, we can’t give you that. But we believe what we have is superior to any other product in the Wilmette-Winnetka area.”
So if you’re in the market for Suburban Chicago Condos for seniors, you may want to visit Mallinckrodt in the Park in Wilmette.
January 28, 2010 - Lake Park Crescent (LPC) has been struggling a bit, just like so many other Chicago real estate developments. But the major difference with this project is that the City of Chicago has stepped up to help financially, mainly due to the fact that LPC is part of the Chicago Housing Authority projects, according to a recent Crain’s article.
The original deal for LPC was that developer Draper&Kramer would pay the city back about $4.9 million it received in TIF funds for the $9 million project once they sold 75% of 35 market rate units. But reaching that sales mark has been difficult due to the downturn in the housing market and only 11 units are sold so far. Because of that, the city has agreed to restructure the deal and allow Draper&Kramer to pay back the lower amount of $3.3 million once 50% of the 35 market rate units are sold. The remainingTIF balance of $1.3 million would then be repaid once all 35 units were sold.
Marketing condos in the mixed-income Cabrini-Green project can be tricky. According to Garry Benson of Garrison Partners, buyers seem to want a discount in exchange for purchasing a condo in one of these types of developments. He stated in the Crain’s article that it’s nearly impossible to cut prices by the 25% that most buyers want when you’ve already been listing the units for less than market value, especially when the housing market bottoms out and prices drop.
There are so many new Chicago condos for sale that aren’t in mixed-income developments that Lake Park Crescent may have a hard time reaching their sales goals.