February Sales for Chicago Luxury Homes: Lincoln Park Single-Family Home Sells for Over $8 Million

Perhaps it was the winter doldrums or some overlapping effects from the volatile stock market, but Chicago luxury home sales in February were well, “just OK.” Just 26 luxury homes (those sold for more than $1 million) closed last month, totaling $46 million. More than $8 million of that was a single double-lot property that certainly stood out from the rest.

Even when one property is completely distinctive from the rest, there are often a few common threads that can be found among recently-sold luxury homes. This month, there’s a clear interest in a great location (Lincoln Park, the Gold Coast, Bucktown), oversized lots and generous square footage (2 homes boast 9,000+). And lastly, one commonality we’ve seen fairly regularly among luxury real estate sales in Chicago: purchasing with cash.

Cash is King in Chicago Luxury Real Estate

Four out of the top five most expensive homes sold last month were bought with cash. You’ll notice in the recap below that several of the top properties sold did so at a considerable discount to their list price—and it’s likely that the buyer has their cash offer to thank for that. Cash also helps buyers to negotiate a good deal, especially when the market is experiencing some volatility.

Here’s a closer look at the top five properties that sold last month in Chicago, in descending order from the most expensive:

mohawk2026 N Mohawk St
Original list price:
$8.95 million
Sold price: $8.35 million
This spectacular space was built on a double lot by developer firm Metzler Hull, who is known for building beautiful, upper-bracket homes in Chicago. Boasting a location on the best block in East Lincoln Park, no luxury was spared in this 11,000 square foot home, from the fine details to the thoughtful floor plan that blends intimate family living with fabulous entertaining space. The list of features for this Chicago luxury home is lengthy. Each of the 7 bedrooms has an ensuite bath and large closet. The state-of-the-art kitchen is built for gathering and relaxing, with a seamless transition from the family room. The elegant master suite features a large walk-in shower, soaking tub, double vanity, dressing room, walk-in closet and make-up area. Other spaces include a library, exercise room, private professional theater, indoor/outdoor basketball court, coat room, a large laundry room , attached four-car, heated garage and four private outdoor areas.

lasalle1352 N Lasalle Blvd
Original list price:
$3.49 million
Sold price: $3.05 million
This stately Old Town mansion sits on an oversized (149 foot) lot. Its 9,200 square feet include 5 bedrooms and 4.2 baths, a large eat-in kitchen, paneled dining room, den, family room, foyer, five-stop elevator and a lower-level in-law apartment. There’s even an additional 2 bedroom, 2bath guest apartment. Other details include a grand staircase, 7 fireplaces with carved mantels, intricate moldings and 8-foot original pocket doors.

honore1917 N Honore St
Original list price: $2.995 million
Sold price: $2.8 million
Just built in 2013, this brick/limestone home—on an oversized 33.5-foot lot—was customized by Tom Stringer Design in a warm, transitional style. A fully integrated kitchen includes commercial-grade appliances and stardust marble with leather finish countertops, while the luxurious master suite features a separate sitting room and spa-like bath with heated flooring, towel rack and oversized steam shower. A 900-square foot rear patio/yard encompasses a completely private rooftop oasis complete with IPE decking and a custom stainless steel hot tub. And the home’s location is ideal on one of the premier blocks in Bucktown.

hudson1916 N Hudson Ave
Original list price:
$2.5 million
Sold price: $2.5 million
A recently upgraded single-family home in East Lincoln Park, this 6,000 square foot Chicago home features a ton of great space for family living on a residential, tree-lined street. The generous spaces include a full-floor master suite with a 21 x 10-foot closet and brand-new master bath; a penthouse room, study, library plus several terraces and patios, including a mini “children’s deck.” Other features include 4 brand-new baths, high ceilings throughout, a chef’s kitchen with breakfast area for 10, a two-story family room, wide walnut floors throughout, heated lower-level floors and an attached two-car garage.

bellevue69 E Bellevue Pl
Original list price:
$2.6 million
Sold price: $2.1 million
This home’s wow factor comes from its unique design, featuring an open-concept floor plan that is rarely found among the vintage homes in the Gold Coast. The first floor features a deck off the kitchen, and the third level includes an additional deck beautifully shaded by a nearly 200-year old maple tree. The home also boasts lots of natural light, a music system, four large bedrooms, 4.5 spa baths, a basement apartment and garage.

For more information on the Chicago luxury homes that have recently sold, or to see what’s on the market now, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

Why Certain Chicago Luxury Condos Should Rise in Price

Given that the last decade of real estate across the country has had it’s ups and downs, it’s important that home buyers consider the “big picture” when thinking about a home purchase.

That means not just evaluating what’s right in front of them—the current sale price. Sure, that’s the number that’s right in front of them and plays a huge role in negotiating a deal. But I encourage all of my clients to look beyond that, and think about future resale price as a major factor in determining the value of a home.

This consideration might seem like it requires a crystal ball, but it’s really as simple as taking a good look at the building itself, the property’s features, and any included amenities. These are all important factors that play into making a Chicago condo building stand out among the rest. If it’s a run-of-the-mill building now, it’s not likely to be a “wow” building in a few years down the line.

There are a number of condo buildings in Chicago, though, that have this differentiation factor nailed down. They are renowned enough to be known by name rather than an address, thanks to features such as:

Noteworthy architecture: From Benjamin Marshall to Lucien Lagrange to Jeanne Gang, Chicago has an impressive offering of famous architects behind some very unique residential buildings. This is the city where much of modern architecture was born, and for design buffs, living in a building that showcases that star status is a major plus.

Interior details: The “little things” go a long way in terms of real estate value. Ceiling heights, high-end finishes, top-of-the-line appliances and more are must-haves in any luxury Chicago condo; and better yet, each of these seemingly small features will have a story behind them. For example, there are hardwood floors, and then there are 5-inch Brazilian oak floors. Which do you think stands out more in a real estate listing?

Location: It’s what everyone wants in real estate, right? Location, location, location. This of course, can mean different things to different buyers, but a safe bet is a location in a great neighborhood, close to downtown with easy access to an airport.

Chicago Condo Buildings with Resale Power

imageWANDA VISTA TOWER: This new condo building in Lakeshore East is being designed by Jeanne Gang, and will showcase a nature-inspired, crystal-like façade on the front of the building. A show-stopping feature like that is one that can’t be found in any other building in Chicago, making this an ultra-unique (and therefore valuable) property from the start. The Vista Tower’s 93 stories will also surpass the Aon Center in height and become the city’s 3rd tallest building.

2550LINCOLN PARK 2550: This Luxury condo building aimed to set itself apart for its inception, and it’s done just that. First, the building’s jaw-droppingly beautiful lobby is a perfect introduction to what waits beyond 2550’s doors. It’s elegance is felt the moment you step foot into it. This building also shines with its long list of amenities, which cater to everything from families to executives to pet owners. A ¼-acre private park, a dog run, a theater room, club room, game room and a stunning pool and spa are a few things that residents here enjoy right outside their front door.

Trump Tower Downtown Chicago

TRUMP TOWER: This is the building in which I get the most inquiries about from prospective buyers wanting to buy luxury real estate in Chicago. It’s a famous name, of course, but I always explain that living in Trump Tower isn’t just your address—it’s a lifestyle. It’s having your car valet parked each day, or having dinner from the building’s Michelin-rated restaurant brought to your front door, or having five-star service at top-rated luxury spa just a quick elevator ride away. In the heart of River North, Trump Tower also has the location factor. Living here puts you a short walk to Michigan Avenue, the Loop, shopping, the beach and much more.

These are the buildings that are getting the attention in the market, and it’s not a mystery as to why. I’d love to show you in person what makes these properties so special and important to the future of Chicago luxury real estate with a tour of the building and neighborhood. Contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

Search Chicago Luxury Condos with More than 3,000 Square Feet

Whether moving from a house to an amenity-full condo building or swapping the suburbs for the city, there are plenty of reasons my clients find themselves in the market for a Chicago luxury condo.

And with a condo search almost always comes this requirement: plenty of space. Even if they are downsizing, I find that clients searching for a high-end condo want the square footage to go with it. The magic number is usually 3,000 square feet, which can be found in a number of Chicago condo buildings like Trump Tower, Lincoln Park 2550 and a number of co-op buildings along the prestigious Lake Shore Drive (plus many others).

That’s why I’ve created a new search on my website specifically for Chicago condos that meet the 3,000 square foot requirement many of my clients have. Each of the for-sale condos listed here have that minimum square footage, and you can search by budget range as well.

Search Chicago condos with more than 3,000 square feet

Even if you aren’t immediately in the market for a new home, it’s a great way to see the size-to-price relationship for luxury properties and use that when determining your own budget or space needs. And if you are currently in the market for Chicago real estate, this is a great place to start and avoid sifting through properties that don’t meet your square footage requirements.

You can also save your search to ensure you’ll receive updated listings right to your inbox.

Check out the new search right here, and be sure to contact me for more information at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

Chilly November Doesn’t Stop Chicago Luxury Home Sales

While last month’s sales numbers certainly showed signs of a seasonal slowdown, sales for luxury homes held relatively steady in November, especially considering the arrival of snow and the start of the holiday season—two things that typically contribute to near radio-silence on the real estate market.

But sales didn’t stop entirely, and November saw a total of 30 luxury homes sold (those priced at $1 million and up) for a total of $50 million. If the December market sees relatively strong sales as well, I am anticipating that the spring 2015 market should be rather strong for Chicago luxury real estate.

Chicago New Construction Sells in November

Of the top five most expensive homes to sell last month, the majority of them were new construction—brand new homes, a few of which were still in development and allow the buyer to work with the developer to complete. Since new construction is still fairly light compared to what it once was, these homes seem to move very quickly on the market.

Another trend among last month’s sales was how real estate is being bought. High-end real estate buyers are becoming more apt to take out a mortgage for their home purchase, rather than using cash. We’ve discussed a few times this year that banks have made it especially easy for wealthy buyers to obtain a jumbo mortgage and retain their cash assets.

Here’s a more detailed look at what helped sell the top 5 most expensive homes last month:

18701870 N Orchard Street
Original list price: $4.975 million
Sold price: $4,883,623
New construction was a major part of last month’s luxury sales, and this brand-new home from Environs Development helps showcase why. Built on an extra wide, extra deep lot in Lincoln Park, the home boasts 6 bedrooms, 7,260 square feet and a huge backyard. An elevator services the 4+ floors, which are topped with a massive penthouse roof deck that offers exceptional views of the city. Because this home was still being developed, the buyer had the opportunity to work with the developer on the final floor plan and façade and customize it just to their specifications.

4141929 N Cleveland Avenue
Original list price: $3.75 million
Sold price: $3.525 million
Nestled in East Lincoln Park, this single-family home was just renovated to offer 6,400 square feet, 5 bedrooms and significant upgrades throughout. A spacious interior includes dramatic ceiling lights, a den with built-in office, new bathrooms and an attached garage. The outdoor space is ideal for entertaining, with an outdoor kitchen and a private landscaped garden deck with wood-burning fireplace.

21512151 N Magnolia Avenue
Original list price: $3,050,000 million
Sold price: $3,007,500
This just-built home sold even before the listing was printed, and it’s easy to see why. On a quiet, tree-lined street, the all brick and limestone home features 5,200 square feet of luxury: custom cabinetry and millwork throughout, professionally designed natural stone baths, tremendous outdoor space, and an oversized two-car garage.

19231923 W Wabansia Avenue
Original list price: $2.995 million
Sold price: $2.75 million
This contemporary new construction home has a long list of things to love about it: 1,400 square feet of private outdoor space (including roof decks and a private garden), a dramatic staircase, a custom kitchen with commercial-grade appliances, Duravit and Grohe fixtures, radiant heated flooring, a steam room, a lower level wine cellar and bar that leads to an outdoor fireplace, and a 3.5 car garage.

414414 W Grant Place
Original list price: $2.95 million
Sold price: $2.375 million
Located on an extra-wide corner lot, this luxurious Lincoln Park home is bright and airy, thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows and a 3-story atrium with a huge skylight. The architecture is highlighted by modern, clean lines, with details like oak hardwood floors, a custom Poliform kitchen with a dome skylight, and a private elevator that services all 3 stories. The home’s 4,885 square feet includes 4 bedrooms, each with an en-suite bath.

If you’re shopping for Chicago mansions or a luxury single-family home, contact me to see what’s on the market and what might be available for your budget. Contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

Buyers Primarily Purchasing Luxury Chicago Condos with Cash

For the second consecutive month, cash buyers were the stars of the show when it came to luxury Chicago condo sales. Four out of the top five most expensive homes sold were bought with cash, something sellers should certainly take note of.

April’s condo sales are further evidence that downtown Chicago is where buyers want to be. And not just anywhere downtown—luxury buyers are still gunning for new or newer properties with ample square footage in buildings with loads of amenities to offer.

Buildings like the Ritz-Carlton Residences and Lincoln Park 2550 continue to make appearances on each month’s sales report. These buildings are moving because many high-end clients have realized the value of luxury real estate in Chicago compared to other parts of the country and the world. Here, the cost per square foot is relatively inexpensive—a maximum of $1,200—whereas upscale properties in New York or San Francisco are priced upwards of $3,000 per square foot.

Buyers are also drawn to condos with the space of a single-family home. Luxury condos with more than 3,000 square feet move quickly, as buyers don’t want to sacrifice space if they are moving from a house to a condo or into the city from the suburbs.

Each of the top 5 sales for April demonstrate these key features on today’s buyers’ wish lists. Here’s a detailed look at each sale, in descending order:

118 E Erie St, Unit 37J
Original list price: $4,333,200
Sold price: $3,901,700
The most expensive Chicago condo to sell in April was none other than a unit in the Ritz-Carlton Residences, a favorite among high-end buyers in the last year or so. And this property sold in just three days. This condo was partially finished, allowing the new resident to design certain aspects of the home to their liking. This 89-residence tower is in the heart of the Magnificent Mile, with the private Landmark Club that includes a grand salon, a staff chef, a staffed bar, wine storage, movie theatre, full-time staff and athletic and spa facilities.

2550 N Lakeview, Unit N1701
Original list price: $3.95 million
Sold price: $3.4 million
Lincoln Park 2550 continues to be one of luxury buyer’s favorite buildings this year. This Chicago condo in particular is a rare combination unit spanning more than 3,500 square feet. Breathtaking views of Lake Michigan, Lincoln Park and the city skyline can be enjoyed from inside or either of 2 balconies. The home is fitted with the latest technology, with high-tech upgrades and state-of-the-art systems. The building itself features a number of sought-after services and amenities, including a superb fitness center, a ¼-acre private park, and an outstanding lobby. Plus, this is one of the latest projects from famed Chicago architect Lucien Lagrange.

30 W Oak Street, Unit 8B
Original list price: $3.15 million
Sold price: $3.25 million
Spanning more than 3,300 square feet, this Gold Coast home is an immaculate 3 bedroom, 3.1 bath with 10-foot ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows and custom stone floors. The kitchen has undergone major upgrades with Poggenpohl designs, Miele appliances, a butler’s pantry and organized storage. A spacious terrace off of the kitchen makes a great addition for entertaining. The master bath features built-ins, and organized walk-in closet and ultra-luxe master bath with an oversized shower, separate tub and double sinks.

229 E Lake Shore Dr East, Unit 6W
Original list price: $3 million
Sold price: $2.9 million
This Lake Shore Drive co-op unit has been renovated into a stunning, high-end property from end to end. With 4 bedrooms and 3.5 spa baths, this home boasts elegance in a luxury, full-service boutique building. Inside you’ll find breathtaking lake views, exquisite architectural detailing, a new DeGullio kitchen, new windows and three fireplaces.

415 E North Water St., Unit 802
Original list price: $2.8 million
Sold price: $2,805,000
In a highly coveted building, this rare Chicago condo in River View has been upgraded to the nines. This 4,705 square foot condo is flooded with sunlight and opens up to amazing city, river and lake views. Inside features a huge dining room with gorgeous built-it wine fridge, a master suite with an office/sitting area, 2 large organized closets and a luxury bath. The 3 bedrooms are large and each features its own private balcony, with 4 balconies in total.

As spring and summer arrive, it’s the perfect time to check out the Chicago condos in some of these great buildings. Many offer both private and shared outdoor space that can be truly appreciated after the city’s long winter! To learn more about these sales or any of the buildings featured in last month’s sales, contact me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com or (312) 498-5080.

Up the ‘Wow’ Factor with a One-Stop Coffee Shop in your Chicago Luxury Home

Will that be a grande or venti? It's easier than ever to create a one-stop coffee spot in your luxury home. Here: The TopBrewer from Scanomat, which can be controlled through a smartphone app.

When it comes to luxury real estate in Chicago, it seems the next big thing is always right around the corner—a smarter home technology, the trend du jour, or a device that promises to take luxury living to the next level.

With home amenities evolving quickly, a walk-in closet or hardwood floor doesn’t quite cut it if you’re looking to evoke the “ooohs” and “aaahs.” I’m finding more and more that my clients are looking for the wow factor, not only to make a purchase worth their dollars but also to ensure a healthy resale value down the line. When they’re shopping for a luxury home, there almost certainly has to be something that induces a surprise-and-delight reaction.

The kitchen space is especially en vogue with new homebuyers or clients who are contemplating building a new luxury home. Lately, the spotlight has been on one very specific kitchen feature: anything and everything to upgrade your morning cup of Joe.

Having a one-stop coffee shop in your own kitchen can single-handedly differentiate a property from others like it. Manufacturers are creating espresso machines that fit seamlessly into upscale kitchens, with remote features and advanced technology that make a morning routine more luxurious. Here’s a look at some of what’s out there, as recently highlighted by the Wall St. Journal:

Fully Automatic Coffee Machine by AEG Appliances
Cost: $2,999
This home espresso system has two pour spouts for simultaneous serving—a great option for those who entertain or host often. It can brew up to four servings in one cycle, and is kept warm in a thermal coffee pot.

CM210 from Gaggenau
Price: $3,249
This German coffee system includes an LED clock and timer that can easily be pre-programmed. But its showstopper feature is a self-cleaning system, various grind functions and a matching drawer that keeps coffee cups warm.

Fully Automatic Coffee Machine from Thermador
Price: $2,549
This coffeemaker may completely eliminate the need for a coffee shop around the corner. It produces six grind options and 12 drink sizes, with a steam wand that froths milk and dispenses hot water for tea or other drinks.

Whole Bean Coffee System by Miele
Cost: From $3,199
This modern home espresso machine includes a high-power grinder for consistent granule sizes and to preserve bean oils. Several grind options ensure that coffee is best suited for the drink type.

TopBrewer from Scanomat
Cost: $10,999
Remote features are becoming huge in the kitchen, and this Danish coffee system can be controlled by mobile devices through an app. A single stainless-steel tap doubles as a self-cleaning milk foamer, and the device can product traditional coffee, espresso drinks and cold beverage. It also includes a cabinet hidden below the counter surface that includes a commercial-grade grinder and refrigerator unit.

You can see that differentiating a kitchen in Chicago real estate doesn’t necessarily come cheap–these in-home devices can carry a hefty price tag. But because buyers are hunting for the next big thing, it is built-in features like this that they get excited about a property. So investing in new and alluring features can be worth it in the end.

For more information about home trends in Chicago real estate, or to find a “wow” property for yourself, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

Brand New Chicago Luxury Construction Perfect for an Art Aficionado

The right property for an art collector is often unique. It should be somewhat of a blank canvas, with high ceilings that allow for large-scale pieces; it should be a space that can protect pieces from bright sunlight; and many include architectural details that create spaces ideal for showcasing paintings or sculptural pieces. It’s also an added bonus if the building itself lends itself to art appreciation.

While amenities like outdoor space and a state-of-the-art gym were once things to set a Chicago condo building apart, art has taken a front seat as a way to differentiate among new high-end developments. Many integrate art into the building’s public spaces, which makes it not only appealing to potential buyers, but others in the community as well. The Wall St. Journal recently covered this trend, highlighting one building in Chicago that was made for art aficionados in particular: The Ritz-Carlton Residences.

For the person who has his or her own art collection, or even if you simply enjoy art, this building was designed with you in mind. This is a unique new construction building that stands out from all of the luxury condos in the city, in part due to its gallery-like spaces in common areas and private art collection available only to the building’s residences. The units themselves feature high ceilings and ample wall space that allows for large, museum-quality artwork on each wall.

If you’re an art collector, I would be pleased to give you a personal tour, especially highlighting the ways your collection can work really well within this building. I also have access to an architectural lighting expert who has done the lighting for Chuck Close’s private art collection and can work with you on all of the fine lighting details to protect and showcase your art properly.

Buying a condo at the Ritz-Carlton Residence can even translate into buying a share of the building’s art collection. The pieces displayed throughout the building’s common areas are collectively owned by the homeowners, who could conceivably opt to change it out or sell it and divide the proceeds amongst themselves. The collection includes seven pieces worth around a half-million dollars, including works from local artists and noted Brazilian artist Vik Muniz.

Inside the Landmark Club at the Ritz-Carlton Residences. Photo via Ritz-Carlton Residences Chicago

The Ritz-Carlton Residences a Jewel of Luxury Living in Chicago
Art aside, the Ritz-Carlton Residences are one of the most sought-after buildings for luxury real estate in Chicago. A new construction property, its location right off of Michigan Avenue is ideal for shopping, dining, and a swift commute into the loop.

This is another building in Chicago real estate that goes beyond an address—living here is a lifestyle, filled with unsurpassed services and amenities that cater to every need. Other highlights of the Ritz-Carlton Residences include:

The best staff and service: The expert staff is trained and managed by the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, ensuring five-star services down to every detail. Whether its having the concierge get you last-minute dinner reservations or having dinner ready when you return from a business trip, the staff here will attend to even the most discriminating residents.

The Landmark Club: Residents here have exclusive access the building’s private club, designed for everything from unwinding to socializing to conducting business. This is also home to the building’s private art collection, along with a billiard room, wine storage, and screening room. A private chef can create custom meals in the club’s dining room or in the privacy of your home.

Resident Amenities: Valet parking, a private storage locker, and the Landmark Club and Spa are additional building amenities at the residents’ fingertips. The staff includes housekeepers, doormen, security and many others.

If you’d like to learn more about the Ritz-Carlton Residences or see this building in person, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

The 15 Hottest Buildings for Luxury Chicago Condo Sales in 2013

If the real estate market was hot in 2013, then Chicago condos were on fire. Sales among luxury condos totaled $680 million. And of that number, nearly half of the sales volume came from just 15 buildings—clearly some of the most chic and coveted addresses in the city.

So what is it that makes a select group of buildings so special? In the last year, it was clear that luxury buyers were gravitating toward particular features:

New: The newer, the better. With new construction having slowed down in years prior, buyers were on the hunt for brand-new or almost brand-new properties, such as the Ritz-Carlton Residences or Lincoln Park 2550.

Space: Living large—literally—was a key factor for condos sold in 2013. Properties that offered generous square footage (think 3,500 square feet up to 8,000) live more like a single-family home than a condominium, but come with all of the services and amenities these buildings have become known for.

Views: A spectacular panorama is something that can your breath away, and high-floor units that offer city views or vistas of Lake Michigan are a buyers’ dream. Many luxury condos boast unbeatable views, and with additional perks like floor-to-ceiling windows, no obstructions, and outdoor space, taking it all in is all the more wonderful.

Popular Buildings Among Chicago Luxury Condos

If you’re in the market for a luxury Chicago condo, I highly recommend getting familiar with these 15 buildings. Check them out in person so you have the most up-to-date information as to what keeps the luxury real estate market buzzing in Chicago.

The popularity of brand-new buildings last year can be seen here—the top four buildings are all new construction. Several of these buildings were also designed by famed Chicago architect Lucien Lagrange. And it’s interesting (though not surprising) to note that nearly all of these buildings are downtown with a close proximity to Michigan Avenue. The few exceptions are found in Lincoln Park and the Loop/South Loop.

These were compiled from luxury sales ($1 million and up) that closed throughout the entire year of 2013, as shown in the Multiple Listing Service. Let’s take a closer look at the top 15 buildings with the greatest sales volume last year, in descending order:

The exquisite lobby at Lincoln Park 2550.

2550 N Lakeview
Luxury condos sold in 2013: 22
For a total of: $50.1 million
Lincoln Park 2550 was one of the city’s most anticipated new construction projects over the last few years. Bar none, it boasts the best lobby among condo buildings, drenched in elegance from the atrium to the mail room. The amenities available leave nothing to be desired, including a 1.25-acre private park, a dog run, a private fitness facility, club lounge with catering kitchen, private movie theater, a concierge and more.

The Legacy Chicago condos60 E Monroe
Luxury condos sold in 2013: 26
For a total of: $47.1 million
The Legacy at Millennium Park puts residents steps away from everything Chicago has to offer. Nightlife, museums, shopping, parks and dining are right outside the front doors. With 72 stories, the condos here offer views of several downtown Chicago destinations. Residents can also enjoy the perks of the historic University Club next door, with access to its dining, guest rooms and fitness facilities.

Chicago condos in Trump Tower

401 N Wabash
Luxury condos sold in 2013: 20
For a total of: $33.2 million
Ah, Trump Tower. I’ve long said that this building isn’t merely an address in River North. It’s a lifestyle that only its residences can truly experience through the number of amenities and services offered here. Inside you’ll find a Michelin-rated restaurant, an internationally acclaimed spa, and top-notch service from the driveway all the way up to your home. Not to mention, Trump Tower condos offer stunning views and the entire building is tailored to the finest detail.

118 E Erie
Luxury condos sold in 2013: 9
For a total of: $20.9 million
Located in the heart of the Magnificent Mile, the Ritz-Carlton Residences was also an exciting addition to the Chicago condo market. Designed by Lucien Lagrange, this 40-story building is home to 89 residences and the Landmark Club, a full-floor private club with a private art collection, movie theater, athletic and spa facilities, and a private on-site chef. The building’s five-star staff is trained and managed by the Ritz-Carlton hotel company, ensuring unsurpassed service to the requests of each and every resident.

21 E Huron
Luxury condos sold in 2013: 9
For a total of: $21.2 million
The luxury Pinnacle Residences offer dramatic views and was yet another building designed by Lucien Lagrange. The lavishly appointed homes here feature marble entries and master baths, floor-to-ceiling windows and expansive balconies. The amenities and services reflect those of the Fordham (which is a block east), such as a health club, spa, indoor pool and sun deck, entertainment suite and private theater.

30 W Oak
Luxury condos sold in 2013: 6
For a total of: $19.1 million
This Gold Coast building was built for luxury, thanks to its location just one block from the most exclusive shopping in Chicago (Harry Winston, Hermès, Tom Ford). It’s a newer building with a boutique feel to it with just 45 units inside. It really lends itself to an art aficionado, with its minimalist aesthetic and rare 10-foot ceilings that would be ideal for displaying a collection.

340 on the Park

340 E Randolph
Luxury condos sold in 2013: 11
For a total of: $17.5 million
Known as 340 On The Park in the newer Lakeshore East area, these condos offer exquisite views of the city, Lake Michigan, and Millennium and Grant Parks. Aesthetically, the building exhibits the importance of design details, from its contemporary exterior to the modern lobby made for an urban lifestyle. Amenities include an indoor pool, large health club, winter garden and a 24-hour doorman.

180 E Pearson180 E Pearson
Luxury condos sold in 2013: 11
For a total of: $15.6 million
Water Tower Place, located just off of Michigan Avenue, is home to shopping, dining and luxury condos. Since the building is next door to the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, residents of Water Tower Place can enjoy all of the same amenities as hotel guests, such as concierge services and an upscale exercise facility.

600 N Lake Shore Drive600 N Lake Shore
Luxury condos sold in 2013: 11
For a total of: $15.1 million
The two high-rise buildings that comprise 600 N Lake Shore Drive put residents steps away on the beaches of Lake Michigan. Units feature unobstructed views, 9-plus-foot ceilings, and 7-foot windows. It’s also one of the few newer construction buildings along Lake Shore Drive, one of the most exclusive blocks in Chicago for luxury real estate. Amenities include a 24-hour door staff, concierge, rooftop sculpture garden, entertainment rooms and heated indoor parking.

65 E Monroe
Luxury condos sold in 2013: 9
For a total of: $15 million
The Park Monroe offers its residents the luxuries of a five-star hotel without having to leave the building: an attentive staff, club-quality fitness center, large-screen theater and an indoor pool, to name a few. The location in the heart of downtown makes it easy to enjoy the recreation and entertainment that surrounds the building, from Grant Park to the Museum Campus and endless dining and shopping options.

10 E Delaware10 E Delaware
Luxury condos sold in 2013: 9
For a total of: $14.8 million
Lucien Lagrange also designed this building, just north of the loop in the ultra-picturesque Gold Coast. Large windows, rich hardwood floors, gourmet kitchens, and private balconies are a few highlights of the units here, along with the tree-lined streets near high-end shopping and dining at Rush and Oak streets. The uppermost level of Ten East Delaware is dedicated to the residents-only Ten Club, which features a rooftop swimming pool, stunning sundeck and gardens, fitness center and private club room.

Chicago real estate at 840 N Lake Shore Dr840 N Lake Shore
Luxury condos sold in 2013: 4
For a total of: $13.9 million
The Chicago Condos at 840 N Lake Shore live more like a nice home in the ‘burbs, with ample square footage and a Parisian style designed by Lucien Lagrange. The Lake Shore Drive address alone points to prestige and elegance, but residents can also enjoy amenities like a 24-hour door staff, valet parking, storage lockers, individual climate controlled wine cellars and exercise facilities.

1201 S Prairie
Luxury condos sold in 2013: 10
For a total of: $12.7 million
A recently “re-launched” building in the South Loop, The Grant offers five-star living with everything from great architecture, a sought-after location and luxury amenities and services. It’s just steps away from Grant Park (the building’s namesake), Museum Campus and lakefront activities. Residents here enjoy an indoor pool and spa, a state-of-the-art fitness center that overlooks Grant Park and Lake Michigan, an entrainment suite, children’s playroom, screening room and lobby lounge.

159 E Walton
Luxury condos sold in 2013: 6
For a total of: $11.6 million
The Palmolive building is a vintage gem just off of Michigan Avenue, loved for its art deco style and architectural significance. Once a luxury office for the Colgate-Palmolive Company, the building was converted into ultra-luxury condominiums in 2001. Many units have unobstructed views of the city’s skyline, and properties on the 22nd floor and up are full-floor units. The ideal location puts residents near dining, shopping, the beach and lots more.

The Elysian Residences

11 E Walton
Luxury condos sold in 2013: 3
For a total of: $10.9 million
This is another notable building from Lucien Lagrange and is just a few years old. Formerly known as The Elysian, the condos here share the building with the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, allowing residents to take advantage of hotel services, plus a 24-hour concierge, clubhouse party room, and state-of-the-art health spa and fitness center. The units at 11 E Walton are known for their generous size and attention to every detail, like high-end finishes and appliances.

These buildings are essentially a Who’s Who for high-end real estate in Chicago. Each offers a unique lifestyle for luxury living, and each new construction property seems to offer something that takes it another step further.

If you’re looking to buy a luxury condo in Chicago this year, I encourage you to get to know these addresses to see what best fits what you’re looking for. I’d be happy to give you a personal tour and help you get familiar with the features and offerings of each. Contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

Chicago’s Luxury Single-Family Home Sales Were Gangbusters in December

The weather may have been cold, but the luxury home market was hot, hot, hot last month. The Chicago real estate market saw 43 single-family luxury homes (those priced at $1 million and higher) close for a total of $74.7 million. And those homes didn’t skimp on luxury. The most expensive home sale clocked in at $9.035 million.

This is big news for December, a month that is typically rather slow and uneventful when it comes to real estate in Chicago. But last month was clearly an exception and an exciting way to close out 2013. Two of the top five most expensive homes are in the Gold Coast, one of Chicago’s premier neighborhoods for luxury living. The $9 million piece de resistance is on Howe Street, one of the most exclusive blocks in the city for single-family homes.

Here’s a look at the top five most expensive Chicago homes sold last month, starting with the most expensive:

1866-70 N Howe St
Original list price:
$10 million
Sold price: $9.035 million
This 6-bedroom Chicago home is on one of the best blocks in Lincoln Park, let alone in the city itself. It sits on a triple lot, spanning 11,000 square feet inside and room to park 6 cars. It’s sleek, contemporary design lends itself to breath-taking finishes throughout with an elevator to all 3 floors. Features include a 50-foot sports court above the 4-car attached garage, an in-home theater, a fully equipped gym, billiards room and a landscaped, private side yard. Lincoln Park is highly desirable thanks to its great schools, a residential-meets-urban style and ideal location with easy access to downtown.

1624 N Wolcott Ave
Original list price:
$2.995 million
Sold price: $3,105,429
A new construction property in Bucktown, this home was a custom build for the buyer, on an oversized (double) lot on a sought-after street. Its contemporary design features the finest craftsmanship and finishes, with 6 bedrooms and more than 7,000 square feet. Other features include great natural light, abundant outdoor green space and roof deck, with an open kitchen leads to a breakfast room and family room with 4 bedrooms upstairs. Beyond that, the home was slated to become whatever the buyer wanted, as a custom build like this allows them to essentially design their dream home.

4307 N Hermitage Ave
Original list price:
$2.65 million
Sold price: $2.71 million
This Ravenswood property boasts two factors luxury buyers love: new construction, and on an extra-large lot. That, along with a huge yard sets this home apart from other Chicago homes, with a gorgeous restored facade and new construction from the front door back.

32 E Bellevue Pl
Original list price:
$3 million
Sold price: $2.7 million
While this home was originally built back in 1892, a recent renovation has it up to date with all of today’s modern luxuries. Designed by John Wellborn, this home is an architecturally significant piece of Chicago real estate, with 6,000 square feet and a 1,200 square foot deck. Inside, the room sizes are generous, including a De Guilio kitchen, spa marble baths, a great room, living room/dining room idea for entertaining and a guest apartment. Other luxury characteristics include 12-foor ceilings, a high-tech lighting and stereo system, six marble fireplaces and a 2-car garage and 2-car parking pad. The open space along with the proximity to shops, restaurants and the beach make this home a luxury buyer’s dream.

38 E Schiller St
Original list price:
$2.75 million
Sold price: $2.525 million
Another winner in Chicago’s Gold Coast, this historic home has been renovated to retain its 1887 facade, but upgrade the interior from the ground up. With 4 levels and 4 bedrooms, the home features exquisite details, like a granite main floor, DeGiulio stainless steel chef’s kitchen, attached oversized garage, stereo surround, 6 motorized skylights, 4-5 oversized bedrooms and high-end finishes. There’s also plenty of space among 4,300 square feet, with a huge terrace and balcony.

Getting Year-End Deals in Chicago Real Estate
It’s interesting to see that the month’s most expensive sale at $9.035 million closed at nearly $1 million less than the asking price. The deal was also all in cash. This is a huge win for the buyer of this property, who likely took advantage of benefits that come with buying at the end of the year. December is typically an “off” month in real estate, so sellers are eager to negotiate and get their properties off the market before the new year.

I always suggest that buyers don’t give up on shopping for a new Chicago home in November and December. This is a time to get the best buys and have them close before the end of the year. Even the early months of a new year can be a great time to look at purchasing property in Chicago, as the cold weather can slow things down and make deals more likely to happen between buyers and sellers.

For more details on last month’s luxury sales or to see Chicago homes for sale now, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

Amazing Number of Chicago Luxury Chicago Condos Closed in December

It’s rather typical for me to see a significant slowdown in Chicago condo sales in December. With the holidays and cold weather at work, real estate often isn’t top of mind.

But last month was certainly an anomaly, with a surprising 45 luxury condos (those priced at $1 million and higher) sold in Chicago for a total of $92.6 million in sales. These numbers just prove that Chicago luxury real estate, particularly the extremely upper-bracket condos, are alive and well and continue to thrive in even a market with seasonal challenges.

Another unusual factor in December’s condo sales was price—the top 5 most expensive units sold ranged from $3.5 million all the way up to $7 million. Expanding that out to the top 10 sales, the least expensive was a $2.292 million condo at 65 East Monroe. So not only did plenty of sales come through, they carried an ultra-luxury price tag with them.

For the full list of the top 10 most expensive Chicago condo units to sell, just give me a call at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com and I’ll be happy to send them over. In the meantime, here’s a more detailed look at the top 5 luxury condos sold in December, in descending order:

189 E Lake Shore Drive, Unit 17
List price: $7.2 million
Sold price: $7 million
This is a huge condo on one of the most exclusive blocks in Chicago: East Lake Shore Drive. Considering this was the highest price tag of the month, this unit spans a generous 8,000 square feet—which equates to about $875 per square foot, an excellent price considering the prestigious building (the Mayfair) and its coveted location. Property like this in New York could easily be priced thousands of dollars above that per square foot price. This full-floor unit in particular has plenty to offer inside: 4 bedrooms, meticulous attention to detail, north/east/south views of the lake and skyline, two terraces, marble floors and 2-car deeded parking.

Palmolive Building in Chicago159 E Walton Place, Unit 31A
Original list price: $7.5 million
Sold price: $6.75 million
On the 31st floor of the iconic Palmolive Building, this 5,500 square foot unit sold as quickly as it was listed. With 3 bedrooms and 3.5 baths, there’s no doubt this was a highly desirable unit in a sought-after, exclusive building.


2550 N Lakeview Avenue, Unit D6-36
Original list price: $6.092 million
Sold price: $5.4 million
The luxury Chicago condos found in 2550 Lincoln Park (designed by famed Chicago architect Lucien Lagrange) are truly stunning. This unit is a half-floor residence with 4 bedrooms and 4,700 square feet. Other features included a formal dining room, deluxe master bath, custom finishes, 14-foot ceilings and gracious living spaces.

840 N Lake Shore Drive, Unit 1701
Original list price: $4.35 million
Sold price: $4.18 million
Another Lake Shore beauty. Perched on the 17th floor, this pristine 4-bedroom offers unobstructed views of the lake and city. The 4,300 square foot interior features impeccable finishes, wide plant walnut floors, custom millwork, built-ins and surround sound. The chef’s kitchen includes every luxury finish and amenity for the cook or entertainer, with custom cabinetry and SubZero and Bosch appliances. The floor plan boasts a large foyer, formal living room, rotunda dining room, separate guest quarters and a sumptuous master suite.

118 E Erie Street, Unit 38L
Original list price: $4,377,500
Sold price: $3,572,000
Located in the Ritz-Carlton Residences just off of the Magnificent Mile, this Chicago condo was sold unfinished. The building offers some of the city’s finest luxury living, marked by the legendary service of the Ritz-Carlton. The building is also home to the Landmark Club, which includes a grand salon, dining rooms, a staff chef, a staffed bar, wine storage, a movie theater, athletic and spa facilities and a full-time staff.

As we often see with luxury real estate, square footage and location are two important factors that always play into high-end condo sales. Each of these units are found in extremely desirable buildings and offer living space that is more like that of a single-family luxury home than a condo. It will be interesting to see next month’s sales to see if luxury properties keep moving at this pace as winter continues.

For more details on these properties or other Chicago real estate that sold last month, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.