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Opera Lofts

Chicago has always been known for its cultural organizations, be they musical, theatrical, literary, or educational. Homebuyers interested in these sorts of things can sometimes find a property to call their own that, in a former life, had a relationship with one of these groups, which adds to the vibe and interest level the property can generate. One of these properties is the new Opera Lofts, located at 2559 S. Dearborn. The building is a former warehouse that was used by the Lyric Opera for set design and storage and that will now be converted into 93 condo/loft homes. It was purchased for $2 million and it is estimated that the rehab work will run another $13 million. The structure was also rezoned for residential use, so it looks like the project is off and running. It is hoped that the Opera Lofts’ combination of location, amenities, and history will make it one of the most prominent residential buildings on the Near South Side.

The Opera Lofts will offer a variety of floor plans to potential homeowners, ranging from a one-bed/one bath unit at 830 square feet on up to a three-bed/two bath home that measures 1500 square feet. Prices start around $165,000 for a small unit and top out around $395,000 for a penthouse. No matter the home selected, residents will live with all the amenities and comforts they can desire. Homes here have true loft ceilings, some up to 30’ high, and also feature exposed ductwork, columns, and brick. Visitors to the Lofts will also find Pella windows, Oak hardwood flooring, in-wall electronic safes, individual furnaces, washer and dryer hookups, and Internet, cable, and phone wiring already in place. Kitchens sport custom 42” Maple cabinets, G.E. Stainless appliances, under-cabinet lighting, double-bowl stainless sinks, and ¾” granite counter tops. Master bathrooms come complete with Egyptian marble counters and shower surrounds, Travertine marble vessel sinks, and American Standard fixtures. Shared amenities at the Lofts include deeded parking spaces, 7000 square feet of green rooftop space, two common decks, a dog run, a fitness center, high-speed elevators, and advanced safety systems.

Leigh Ballen, Adolpho Castellanos, and Andy Scholnik are developing the Opera Lofts. The trio is keeping some of the structures’ original features, but will perform a gut rehab to make the place condo-ready and, of course, foresee a bright future for the project. Critics, however, report via the blogosphere that there is concern about the building’s proximity to two CHA housing projects and the Stevenson Expressway, which may make some buyers reconsider living here. Potential residents can check things out for themselves at the Sales Center at 2545 S. Dearborn in Chicago.