Category ArchiveCondominium Chicago

chicago-condos & downtown chicago condos & Condominium Chicago Administrator on 10 Jul 2007

A Bold New Condo World

Prestigiously located at Fifth and Washington, The Fifth Royal Oak designed by Brininstool & Lynch of Chicago, is a beautifully crafted building with a glistening exterior. Near the Skylofts project, which is crafted by Solomon Cordwell Buenz of Chicago and Neumann-Smith of Southfield, the pair make a marvelous and contemporary pairing that enhance the Chicago skyline with a modern look and feel.

If you go north and downtown, you’ll see a different spectacle altogether. New condo buildings in that area tend to resemble a late 17th century Paris. This kind of architecture seems to be catching on recently. It seems that more often, a Disneyland-like psuedo-historical style is the choice preferred by new home builders, and a good number of buyers.

There are a good number of people who dislike the contemporary styles. A contingent tend to demand columns and gardens and fancy entryways and consider modern buildings an eyesore. To them, shiny new spires “pollute” the skyline, and they’d prefer a faux historical look.

While this sort if look is by no means unappealing, it seems a bit out of place and an odd request in a modern world filled with cell phones and portable computers—or combinations of the two, like the iPhone! With all these modern trappings, it seems a bit unusual that people would demand a living space that looks like it comes from an era emerging from the bubonic plague.

Of course, this sort of situation is hardly new. With the advent of better materials and construction methods, technically better, anyway, many feel that the soul and humanity has been pushed out of dwelling spaces. Some perceive the sharp lines and often dull colors as soulless. Still, it seems odd as “traditional” styles were also centered around the needs and technology of the day, and modern methods are no different.

This has created an unusual architecture style, possibly best described as “Disneyesque”. Much like the theme parks, modern materials and methods are used to create a fake version of buildings that look rather old, despite being new and made out of materials not available at the time the building is supposed to look like it was built in.

While this sort of building might be fine for some, we think the Royal Oak has come up with a great compromise. Rather than emulate old and inefficient spaces and designs, it seeks to have the modern flair and creativity while maintaining a vibrant energy. The towers and spaces are beautiful and livable, without making the neighborhood feel like a theme park.

If you’re interested in moving into a new development, there are some great Chicago Condo listings no matter which style you prefer.

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chicago-condos & Chicago Real Estate & Chicago Homes & Chicago Property & downtown chicago condos & pre-construction condos in chicago & Condominium Chicago & condos for sale in chicago Administrator on 07 Dec 2006

Parkside of Old Town Will Replace Cabrini Green

Parkside of Old Town, a multifamily development with over 760 townhomes, condos and apartments, is now under construction on Chicago’s Near North Side. This $225 million venture will replace some of the Cabrini Green housing projects. The buildings that composed Cabrini Green once held 35,000 people, but only about 1,500 are left.

The redevelopment of this area–bordered by Seward Park and Larrabee, Division and Oak streets–is part of the $1.5-billion CHA “Plan for Transformation,” which has demolished high-rise public housing towers and developed mixed-income, mixed-use neighborhoods in their place.

Former residents have formed a development partnership with two companies, and Kimball Hill Urban Centers, to build Parkside. When it is finished, the project will be made up of about 20% low-income housing, 30% rental housing for current and returning Cabrini residents, and 50% market-rate housing and apartments.

Parkside will replace three of Cabrini’s high-rise buildings, but Peter Holsten, president of Holsten Real Estate Development Corp., says that it shouldn’t carry with it any of the stigma of the gang-infested former projects. A similar project managed by his company, a development called North Town Village, has been quite successful, with about the same combination of market-rate and affordable homes and few vacancies. “If it’s a strong area, people will want to live there,” Holsten says.

Construction has begun on 280 homes–townhomes starting at $499,000 and condominiums priced from the low $200s. The company has about 100 contracts for the for-sale units, and once the firm sells another 14 units, Holsten said construction can begin on the second condominium high-rise building.

Chicago real estate, Chicago condos, Chicago homes, Chicago townhomes, Old Town, Near North Side

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chicago-condos & Chicago Homes & Condominium Chicago Administrator on 16 Nov 2006

Chicago Condo Buyers: Ensure You Buy the Best

Many condo buyers are subject to the allure of the luxury living of upscale condominiums.  However, many people fail to ask the appropriate questions especially during pre-sale time.  Whether it’s a new construction condos, condo conversions or hotel condos, Chicagoans must always inquire about certain aspects that pertain to the building structure of what could be their next new home.

Developers, the NAHB - National Association of Home Builders, and the NAR - National Association of Realtors all track complaints issued by condo owners and all list noise as one of the top three typical complaints of Chicago condo owners.  There are many codes in place that regulate the minimum STC level for condominium construction.

What is STC?  STC in building terms is sound transmission class and this is the level at which sound travels through different mediums.  Building codes today have improved, however STC ratings for condo buildings in Chicago have been known to range from 30 to 65.  In terms of sound reduction, an STC of 20 lets relatively all sound pass through, so you’re very likely to hear, interpret, and be annoyed by your neighbors.  A standard in place now is an STC of 30, which reduces sound greatly, however, you’re still very likely to know what your neighbors favortie band or television show is because these types of high decibal sounds still creap through.

If you’re looking to purchase a condo in Chicago, be sure to ask what the STC rating of the walls you will share with your neighbors will be, as this could make or break your condo buying experience.

Condo conversion units typically don’t have the best STC rating as they were previously apartments and since they weren’t initially intended for long-term use the cost of developing highy condensed and insulated walls for purposes of sound reduction is neither economical nor a priority.

In Chicago new construction condos are very likely to have excellent STC ratings as the codes in Chicagoland have improved, but also, the developers have targeted Chicago’s downtown for many of their major developments and noise reduction in metropolitan locations is a must.  But be sure to inquire during pre-sales to ensure you get what you pay for.

Chicago hotel condos offer a unique trait in that they build the condo units with the same resilience and fortitude as they do the hotel units.  Very seldom will you find a hotel condo that has been built or is in the making, that isn’t constructed for mass sound reduction.  Why?  Well hotel developers know that luxury is key and ensuring the customers satisfaction is #1.  Since this is the case, hotel condos encompass the same standards as the hotel and so far, all the hotel condos in Chicago already have a predetermined following.  Would you expect to stay at the Hilton and hear all the hustle and bustle of the wedding reception being held in the banquet hall below?  Not at all….if so, why would you stay at the Hilton.

Question before you purchase any condominium unit as you never want to regret selecting the wrong Chicago home.  If you do have problems with noise, don’t forget that this is why you have a home owners association in place whenever you purchase your new condo.  The fees may seem hefty, however, the association is there to assist you in any qualms you may have with the building and your living environment.

Chicago condos Chicago hotel condos condominiums chicago

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