Buyers who want it all are flocking to downtown Chicago-that is, if they can score a residence.
Newsweek recently noted that “we’re streaming to cities like ants to a dropped Popsicle.” That’s spot-on in Chicago, where the super-sweet Loop is rocking a hat trick: Recent Appraisal Research Counselors stats showed its resale condo prices exceeded the 2008 peak by two percent; retail brokerage Stone Real Estate just calculated vacancies hit their lowest point since 2002; and Trulia’s April heat map of hot Chicago hoods ranked it third behind the Near North Side and Lincoln Park. But the Loop has far fewer residential properties, making it hard to score a home there. Here’s the lowdown from two Loop specialists: Baird & Warner’s Suzanne Brennan (312-927-3555; suzanne. email@example.com) and @properties’ Laura Rango (312-560-8183; laurarango@atproperties).
Why the Loop? Suzanne Brennan: Proximity to every kind of shopping, great restaurants and cafes, theater, music, film, museums, Millennium Park, nearby grocery stores, and lots of jobs. Laura Rango: These things appeal to all ages, so all generations live here. That’s why supply is so limited, especially in the best buildings. Which are those? SB: While it has some beautiful adaptive reuse and multi-use buildings, only two totally residential condo buildings have five-star amenities that include great fitness centers, parking, on-site management, concierge service, 24/7 doormen, floor-to-ceiling windows, and phenomenal views—The Heritage (130 N. Garland Court), built in 2005, and The Legacy (60 E. Monroe St.), built in 2009. LR: They were developed and built by the same team. But The Legacy still has 25 units left because it got caught in the crash, so it’s ideal for people who want totally new construction.
What’s the difference? LR: They have nearly the same number of units, but The Legacy is 72 stories compared to 57 for The Heritage and has smaller floor plates. So there are fewer units per floor and no long, awkward hallways. Plus the higher units have spectacular views. SB: The Heritage also connects to the pedway that goes from Illinois Center to the LaSalle Street financial district, but The Legacy has a dog run and an indoor pool. And it has higher price points because it’s newer.
What can you buy in each building? LR: Legacy pricing for the 24 units left is down significantly for closeout. Units range from 1,300- 1,500-square-foot two-bed, two-baths for $660-$905K to 2,000-2,450-square-foot three-bed, 3.5-baths from $1.16-$2M. Parking is $50-$65K depending on floor. But our office is also marketing a 9,500 -square-foot whole-floor unit on 71 for $9.5M. SB: There are only 13 units available in The Heritage, and they sell quickly, especially three-beds that run from $800K- $1.8M. I just sold a two-bed, two-bath with parking for $498,944 in one day and have a new one coming on the market next month with three exposures. Our office is also marketing the four-bed, 4.5-bath penthouse on 57 for $3.125M.