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The Lofts at River East Arts Center

MCL Companies is bringing yet another development to River East. The Lofts at River East will offer luxury one-, two-, and three-bedroom lofts in the heart of Chicago.

MCL is currently developing several projects in the area. ParkView Condominiums, located at 505 N. McClurg Court, is a luxury 47-story building. MetroPlace is another project by MCL Companies on the Newar West Side.

The Lofts at River East Art Center will be a conversion of office space at 435 E. Illinois St. Floor plans start at 879 square feet for a one bedroom unit and range up to as much as 1,522 square feet for a three bedroom unit.

There are currently several units for sale at the Lofts at River East Art Center. A one-bedroom and one-bath condominium with 879 square feet of living space is priced at $400,000.

Another one-bedroom unit offers more space. The 1,161 square foot condominium has 1.5 bathrooms and is priced at $460,600. The largest unit, with 1,522 square feet of living space, offers three bedrooms. The duplex is priced at $644,000.

Amenities include luxurious details such as large windows offering open views of the downtown Chicago skyline. There is hardwood flooring throughout the main parts of the condominiums, extra closet space, and individual heating and cooling units.

Kitchens include stone countertops and stainless steel appliances. Baths come with separate showers and baths.

The building comes with deeded private parking spaces and on-site management. There is also a 74,000 square foot park next to the Lofts at River East Art Center.

The neighborhood is one of the most sought-after in the Chicago market. There are world class restaurants, nightlife, cultural events, and some of the most important landmarks in the city within a few blocks of the condominiums.

The Navy Pier is one of the most popular attractions in Chicago. Residents can enjoy events during the summer. The Ohio Street Beach, just north of the Navy Pier is another popular summer destinations for residents in the area.

Millenium Park is just a few minutes away, offering excellent green space and views of downtown Chicago.

Michigan Avenue is one of the most popular streets in the country for luxury shops and boutiques offering the best brand names and designers from around the world. Cartier, Tiffany & Co., Neiman Marcus, and Guess are just a few of the popular stores located on Michigan Avenue.

Buyers looking for a condominium on the Near North Side should keep in mind the most recent market statistics for the neighborhood.

According to the Chicago Association of Realtors, total sales of condominiums dropped in the neighborhood. There were 867 condominiums sold in the neighborhood during the second quarter of 2007, 41 less than the previous year and more than 250 less than the peak seen in 2004.

Condo owners are also waiting longer to find a buyer on the Near North Side. If you own a condominium in the neighborhood, it will now take you an average of 124 days to find a buyer, a 23 percent increase over last year.

If the inventory of condominiums continues to sit on the market longer, sellers will have to offer price breaks and other incentives to compete for buyers.

As more new developments come to the market on the Near North Side, prices could come down in the short term. The hope for many condo owners and developers lies in increasing rents in the area.

Rents are moving up 4 to 5 percent around downtown Chicago. This could keep prices from dropping too far over the next few years.