November 15, 2008
Chicago is the center metropolitan hub of the country, home to the Chicago Cubs, as well as our new President Elect. There are hundereds of new home and condo opportunities all over this thriving city. One of Chicago‘s permier new condo builders, Belgravia Group, has an amazing opportunity for first and second time homebuyers with a huge 400 unit development known as 600 North Lake Shore Drive. This Chicago new condo development features 1-3 bedroom residences with magnificent lake and city views
from every unit. Units are priced from the High $300s – $1.9 Million.
The South Tower is currently under construction, and the north tower deliveries begin
Belgravia group boasts many other developments accross Chicago and all can be seen here on www.newcondosonline.com. Please take a look!
October 25, 2008
I had the good fortune to travel to Chicago last week with my family. While the Cubs are not in the World Series, (my Philadelphia Phillies are representing the National League this year in the October Classic), the city is still as vibrant as ever. It is magical to walk around a city with such tall buildings going up all around me. There are at least 3 Buildings in Chicago all over 1,000 feet tall: Trump Tower, Hancock Tower and Waterview Tower.
My family gets a little upset sometimes when I sneak away early from a family meal to check out the local real estate around town. What can I say, I have real estate in my veins! After talking with one of my favorite Agents around town, who is very connected to the downtown scene, we took a look at some Chicago Condos. With so much new construction around town, it is nice to get a mix of new construction and existing buildings. I was quite impressed with 474 North Lake Shore located right on Lake Michigan.
You know when something just feels right when you first experience it, well 474 North Lake Shore gave me that feeling. I am not able to say with 100% Accuracy if it was the 16th floor sundeck with gas grills or the on-site cleaners, but I will always cherish my time looking at New Chicago Condos. I really like traveling to various cities to see what there is to eat but more importantly, what are the opportunities in the local real estate market.
Stay tuned for my next update, from wherever my travels take me…..
July 8, 2008
In Chicago, the NCO staff recently visited the sales center for the tallest residential building in the world being built called The Spire. I just read that to combat this real estate market, “Irish developer Garrett Kelleher is catering to investors by offering to rent out the high-priced units at a guaranteed 7.5% return for two years.” This seems a bit unusual for other Chicago Condo projects. Typically this is seen in lower end buildings and not in luxury high rises but it may be a good lure to bring in buyers to the building. I am sure there will be a high demand to live in this building because the units are incredible. So far over 30% of the Chicago condo units in this building have been sold and over half of these buyers are International condo buyers.
The interesting thing to note is that this investment packages is not being advertised or heavily offered in the US and is being pushed overseas. With the current value of the dollar, US real estate is still a very attractive investment for International buyers and if they can build an income stream right away from that investment, it becomes even mroe valuable. Sometimes these offerings can be borderline legal according to the SEC, so the developer can’t outwardly promote them. Here at NCO, we have some amazing condos to choose from in the Chicago condo market. Come check out all your choices here.
July 7, 2008
Despite the slowdown of sales in the housing market, buyers continue to show substantial interest in condos vindicating two new high rises to be built on Roosevelt road in South Side Chicago. Plans to move forward with a large scale project in a time that many developers are on hold is an indication of the nearing stabilization and predicted future growth of the condo market.
The developer of the Near South Side’s largest new neighborhood Gerald Fogelson believes that the news reports of a dead housing market in Chicago are an exaggeration. Fogelson has stated that since the beginning of this year 1,400 people have visited the sales center and that traffic in its sales center is within five percent of the traffic over the last two years. Fogelson condo sales for this year have been estimated to exceed $400 million. The philosophy behind the inner city expansion is that despite the slowdown, developments in prime locations will always be a draw. He stands behind his belief by laying the groundwork for two new high-rises worth about $800 million in addition to his 1,400 units already under construction at Central Station all soon to be featured on www.newcondosonline.com.
The Chicago Planning Commission has given Fogelson the authority to increase the height of his two newest towers to 790 and 900 feet vs. the former 650 foot limit. The photo displayed below is a rendering of the high-rises planned to be built on Roosevelt Road between Indiana and Michigan as a distinguishing new feature of the skyline and part of an evolving row of buildings along Roosevelt Road. The status of each of the four buildings in the picture going from left to right is complete, under construction, leaving the two on the right (proposed) yet to be built. Plans to break ground on the project are set for late 2009.
Other projects that the Chicago Plan Commission also endorsed in its June 19th meeting include:
- A 107-story building combining condominiums with a Waldorf-Astoria hotel at the northeast corner of North Water and New streets near the Sheraton Chicago hotel. (Also soon to be featured on www.newcondosonline.com)
- A 26-story hotel and 52-story office building along the Chicago River northeast of Canal and Lake streets.
- 139 units of senior housing at 850 N. Lake Shore Drive saved from a wrecking ball because of its architectural heritage.
- Office towers of 27 and 30 stories at 601 and 625 W. Monroe.
The plan commission action sends each proposal to the City Council for final approval. Construction will depend on financing and sales.
June 16, 2008
When investing in today’s Chicago condo market, the core factors of real estate investment taken into consideration have become more important than ever. These factors are location, price and amenities. Searching according to this specific criterion is made easy on www.newcondosonline.com. In an undersupplied market, the factors played a smaller role in the selection process. In an oversupplied market, location wins every time. Between this year and next, about 10,000 condominium units will come on the downtown market. In the suburban communities, the same rules apply, leading to pockets of healthy activity in many communities, whether it’s new construction, or condo conversions.
Chicago’s Gold Coast, comprised of residences in the 60611 zip code remains one of the better markets in the Chicago area. Between January 1 and April 30 of this year, 371 properties sold with a median selling price of $526,000, according to data from Midwest Real Estate Data LLC. That compares with 332 properties selling at a median price of $414,688 during the same period a year ago. Much of today’s current development activity lies in the South Loop condo projects which has proven to hold strong amidst changing market conditions. Sales are up from a year ago while average market time is down and the median selling price has remained relatively unchanged from a year ago. This and other positive data coming from the Chicago condo market proves that calculated decisions pay off in today’s market.
February 19, 2008
THe Spire in Chicago is a stunning new project happening in the heart the city and promises to break world records of height and amenities — it certainly defies traditional thinking and design when you first lay your eyes on it. It is said that it’s creator and chief architect Santiago Calatrava was inspired by natures design and the fundamental elements when he sat at his drafting table and sketched out his first rendering of the Spire. The project is creating a buzz heard around the world and The Spire aims to capture prospective homebuyers from far off lands, and here in the U.S — some of the targeted demographics residing in: Greater Asia, Japan, India, Canada, South America and European hubs. Calatrava states that it will be the tenants who will bring the concrete and glass its life and flare. Quite a poetic approach to marketing such an beautiful monolith, but its a great way to get people interested worldwide.
The simple fact that this project is being developed illustrates that the market in the U.S has hope of recovering in a somewhat quick order, even in the face of obvious recession. The Chicago condo market is seeing a great consistency and has grown in the midst of this nationwide fervor. Developments like 400 North LaSalle condos and Avenue East condos are seeing consistant traffic and are yeilding great results over all. This market will remain soft, but won’t break and everyone is banking on it, its a great thing to see that people are risking billions of dollars in every city across the nation to stimulate the economy with new developments in beautiful areas. Times are rough, but not without the ray of hope and proof that its not over yet.
February 15, 2008
As our real estate market enters 2008, we can only wonder how low it can go. Let me rephrase. Reports indicate that on the whole, prices in certain cities are heading south and will continue to do so, this year.
Not all cities in our fine country are feeling the heat in the winter in regards to the condo market. Although reports indicate that there is no end in site for the condo market, some cities like Chicago, on the whole, are going strong. According to a recent study, roughly 5900 new condo and new townhome units will be entering the market in Chicago in 2008. That’s a lot of new construction in a city…of any size. New condo developments like Spire, Trump Chicago, and the Mandarin won’t be helping the median price of the new influx of product.
I find this number intriguing. Almost 6000 new places to live – that’s a lot! Even though sales were much slower in 2006 and 2007 developers still are marching forward with new developments.
With a fear of recession, credit crunch, and the media frenzy regarding the worst housing market since the Depression, Chicago condos for sale are actually still slowly heading north. I can understand why. Chicago is one of the greatest cities in the entire country. Despite the blistering cold winters – Chicago is probably the only other place I would like to live.
January 16, 2008
It is Ol Blue Eye’s favorite city, a place where Ferris sang “Twist and Shout”, home to the World Fair back in the late 1800′s, and quite chilly in the winter. Yes, Chicago is one of the best cities in the country. Why is it so grand? Well, it has some of the best jazz, steaks and architecture in the entire country. Don’t believe me? Fly or drive there and you’ll come to the same conclusion. I have been to Chi-town recently and the new Chicago condo developments are quite breathtaking.
I am always curious to know about new developments going up in a city and today, I read some startling news. The Spire, which is slated for completion in 2011, is poised to be the largest residential development in the world…standing tall at roughly 2,000 feet. Sales for the Chicago condos went on sale a couple days ago and I’m sure many buyers are going to dig deep and fork up a pretty penny to own in this amazing development. The marketing gurus are taking this on a 15 city tour across the globe – hitting up all continents.
The amazing thing about these condos is that no two condos will be alike! The building is supposed to have 1,194 units ranging from 534 sf to 10,309 sf (2 floor penthouse). Prices will remain moderate – especially for the 2 floor penthouse which is only $40,000,000.00. That’s a lot of zeroes. Also, this development will be LEED Certified. I am going to keep a close eye on this project and am hoping for the best!
The official sales program has begun for what will be the tallest residential and environmentally sound building in the world. There has been a lot of buzz around these new luxury Chicago condos and the global marketing campaign will include a road show hitting major cities across the world. The project is of course called The Chicago Spire and has one of the most unique designs created by architect Santiago Calatrava.
The tower reaches 2,000 feet into the Chicago skyline and has the appearance of a futuristic drill bit. The amazing Chicago condos are scheduled to be completed in 2011, The Spire will have 1,194 new condos all with unique floor plans ranging from 500 square feet to well over 10,000 square feet. The building will also have 52,000 square feet of amenity space including retail space, business facilities, and a children’s playroom! The condos will start at $750,000 and go to $40,000,000 for the largest two-story penthouse.
Chicago condos have been continuing to sell quite well considering the national housing market statistics. The absorption rates are still healthy and new developments are moving forward. The market is expected to have corrected by 2011 but pre-sales are always the most challenging part of the sales cycle in a down market. Like New York, Chicago is a city that attracts buyers and investors from around the world and is really the original birth place to the sky-scraper. The global marketing campaign will be crucial in attracting buyers for pre-sales.
The fact that this will be the tallest residential building in the world is a marketing campaign all in itself and wealthy buyers will want to own there simply to be a part of this phenomenon. These are by no means inexpensive homes and I doubt that there will be too much speculation and investment from the non-savvy types. People buying these Chicago condos will be buying to live there or keep as a legitimate second home. It will be interesting to see how quickly the condos are absorbed and how effective the road campaign will be for the pre-sale effort!
January 2, 2008
Chicago’s urban vitality is undeniable and a sound “business model” for other cities to follow. Chicago is the third largest city in the country and has been undergoing massive redevelopment, infill development and revitalization over the past 10 to 15 years. Chicago condos and urban retail development combined have set up a perfect frame work for the true urban center for the downtown area. Much like many other cities where downtown has primarily been composed of office developments, Chicago in the past would shut down after dark. Once more retail, residential components such as high-rise condos, and infrastructure is set in place…a world of opportunity opens up.
Chicago’s downtown neighborhoods are now among the liveliest in the country because of the sound mixture of office, retails, infrastructure, new condos and residential developments, and transportation. Other cities in the country are trying to follow the lead and set up a similar model. What happens especially during a high-rise condo boom is that there is a massive influx of residential inventory flooding the market but not enough infrastructure to support it. It doesn’t necessarily matter what comes first but one usually is meant to support the other especially when trying to create a real urban environment. Miami is one of those cities that is trying to incorporate the “Chicago model”.
Miami, much like Chicago did to support their ongoing condos under construction, is calling for city approval to build waterfront parks, more transit systems, a new ballpark, and more downtown amenities to ensure the future of the area and help regain interest in the high rise condos. Moving people back to the urban core is essential for the growth of any downtown area, but there has to be the proper support structure for residents to want to live there. You must make urban living easy and convenient so you can eliminate the assumptions that it would be too hectic and inconvenient. Will Brickell and Biscayne Avenues become the next Michigan Avenue? Could be, but it will take time.
There are some problems to following the lead of a city like Chicago. The Chicago model is based on a population of 2.9 million. Miami’s population and transit system pale in comparison to that of Chicago. This growth model needs to scale both ways if other cities are to follow the lead. Major redevelopment and infill development causes its own problems and can often push lower income residents to the cities edges creating new blighted areas. This was the case when creating new developments for Chicago condos and holds true for many cities. The bottom line though is that a city must get people interested in moving back to the core if a downtown area desires to be anything more than a place to go to work.