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July 7, 2008

Confidence in the Chicago Condo Market

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

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

- 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.

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