Vista Tower: Newest Chicago Luxury Condo Building Expected to be Iconic

Over the last few years, Chicago has seen a number of exciting new construction projects for luxury buyers—but it’s been some time since something as exciting as Vista has been on the horizon.

This new luxury building is under construction now—but the anticipation for it is building even more quickly, as this is expected to be among the largest, most high-end condominiums in Chicago. Designed by famed Chicago architect Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang Architects, the Vista Residences will be a part of Lakeshore East, an idyllic community with an unbeatable location where the Chicago River and Lake Michigan meet. Its 90 floors feature 1- to 4-bedroom condos (starting at $1 million), including 18 floors of penthouse units.

But one paragraph certainly isn’t enough to summarize what’s to come with the Vista Tower. Let’s take a closer look at this sensational new building:

The Architecture


A celebrated Chicago architect, Jeanne Gang is no stranger to stunning silhouettes along Chicago’s skyline. She is the name behind many Chicago buildings, including Aqua Tower, City Hyde Park, and the Eleanor Boathouse at Park 571, plus projects in New York and all around the globe.

Vista Tower will transform Chicago’s famed skyline. The three towers take on a crystalline form in a striking design, unlike anything along the city’s panorama. Its glass façade will reflect the never-ending blues of the lake and sky surrounding it, making an elegant, visual masterpiece in the sky.

The Amenities


Many of Chicago’s residential buildings can enjoy the benefits of luxury hotel-caliber amenities, typically from an in-building or adjacent high-end hotel that offers its services to the building’s residents. Vista Tower will be no exception. This project will include the American debut of the Wanda Vista Hotel, a hospitality heavyweight in China that has won countless hospitality awards and will bring the epitome of luxury and indulgence to Chicago. Residents can enjoy direct access to the 5-star amenities that come with the Wanda Vista Hotel.

Plus, residents of Vista Tower can enjoy an exclusive amenity floor, called Club Vista, which promises a private oasis on the building’s 47th floor. The club will include just about every amenity under the sun without even having to leave the building: a fitness room, outdoor pool deck, theater room, wine storage and tasting room, a private dining suite, a demonstration kitchen, a sky lounge, a children’s room and activity space and game room.

The Residences


With all of this outside your front door, it will be no surprise that what awaits you on the interior is equally impressive. These single-floor Chicago condos are perfectly appointed, with spacious layouts, 360-degree views, 9-plus foot ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, wide-plank hardwood flooring and Snaidero cabinetry.

From the 73rd to the 90th floor, you’ll find penthouse units with 11-plus foot ceilings and a bevy of additional features with no detail overlooked.

The Location


At the heart of Lakeshore East is an enduring community that Chicago residents love to call home, all in the middle of an urban oasis. The master-planned community has one a number of awards for its thriving neighborhood, luxury living options with incredible views and near-it-all location at the intersection of the river and lake. It is home to an idyllic 6-acre park that wide, open green space, seating areas, a children’s play park, dog park, and beautiful gardens throughout.

And if a day alfresco isn’t your thing, just about any activity you might enjoy downtown is within an easy walk of Vista, including the Chicago river walk and lakefront, Millennium Park and Maggie Daley Park, the Magnificent Mile, the Loop, the Art Institute and Navy Pier. Work, play and everything in between are right outside the front door.

Buying New Construction Condos in Chicago

It’s incredibly exciting for Chicago to have a project like this in the works, and I have no doubt it will change the luxury real estate market here. One of the most important considerations for a potential buyer of new construction is to work with your own agent throughout the process as you visit the sales center and work with the developers.

A new development’s sales center is a great resource to introduce you to the building, but it’s also important that a potential buyer has someone working with their interest in mind. I’ve visited many sales offices with clients to help review floorplans, choose product selections that will maximize resale value or to guide them around the nuances of different units or parts of the building. Visiting with your own agent will ensure you are being represented as a potential buyer only.

My experience with buyers of new construction properties has been honed by working with some of Chicago’s major developers and helping buyers make important decisions off of floorplans, renderings and models while the “real thing” is still in production. If you’re looking at a development like Vista Tower or other, I can represent your interests to make sure you negotiate the best deal possible and make the best decisions for your future home.

If you’d like to learn more about Vista Tower, I would be happy to introduce you to the project and show you what’s in store. Contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

Chicago Luxury Condo Sales Went Out Strong in December

As we wrapped up 2016, the top Chicago condos were singing much of the same song that they did for much of the year. Ultra-luxury properties reigned among the most expensive homes sold, not just in terms of price but in the exceptional elegance found in each and every one.

The priciest condos to sell in December were all found in some of the city’s most prestigious buildings. Whether vintage, co-op, new or old, these buildings are all in highly coveted locations, thanks to the walkability to exquisite shops, city activities and diverse dining options.

The other common denominator among the condos sold last month was square footage. Luxury buyers want at least 3,000 square feet, and that showed in the top sales. A penthouse co-op offered 5,580 square feet, which is a number typically associated with a single-family home in the ‘burbs.

Lastly, a majority of these top sales were sold at a major discount from the original listing price. A co-op on East Lake Shore Drive sold for a solid $1 million less than it was originally listed at. That’s a great deal for the buyer who isn’t afraid to shop for real estate during the cold winter months, when sellers are apt to negotiate and get those properties off the market.

All in all, December saw $68 million in total sales for December. Let’s take a more detailed look at what sold, with the top five properties in descending order:

Water Tower Place at 180 E. Pearson in Chicago

180 E Pearson St, Unit 5603
Original list price: $3.5 million
Sold price: $3,562,460 million
This ultra-luxury Chicago condo (purchased by a cash buyer) is one of five custom residences in the iconic Water Tower Residences, one of downtown’s most beloved buildings. These condos are being transformed into gorgeous, custom homes by Centaur Interiors, completely renovated using the finest materials and fixtures, state-of-the-art technology and precise attention to detail. The new residents can enjoy forever views in every direction, along with AAA+ amenities of the Ritz-Carlton, such as a concierge, 24-hour door staff, fitness center, pool, room services and more.

450ewaterside450 E Waterside Dr, Unit 2801
Original list price: $3.9 million
Sold price: $3.45 million
A penthouse unit with nearly 5,000 square feet of living space, this Chicago condo was a rare opportunity for the buyers to get into one of the premier buildings of Lakeshore East. This neighborhood offers spectacular lakefront and riverfront living, with breathtaking water and skyline views from every room. The unit boasts a dramatic foyer that opens to more that 46 feet of open, spacious living space fitted for modern living. Lux features include 11-foot ceilings, smart home technology, LED lighting and an exceptional level of detail given to the comfort and ease of living throughout the home. Located just a few blocks from Millennium Park and Navy Pier, the Chandler amenities include an indoor rooftop pool fitness and media rooms and an array of offerings still in the works.

4EastElm4 E Elm St, Unit 13S
Original list price: $3.4 million
Sold price: $3.4 million
The new construction condos at 4 East Elm were easily among luxury buyers’ favorite buildings in the second half of 2016—and sales are still going strong, with more than 90% sold. These sleek and modern half-floor residences each have elevator entry and most have three exposures that allow expansive lake and city views. This building is the ultimate urban oasis of luxury and privacy, with amenities that include an outdoor pool, sun deck fitness center, screening room, clubhouse lounge and 24-hour door staff. This 3,500+ square foot unit in particular was purchased with cash.

209ELakeShoreDr209 E Lake Shore Dr, Unit 1E
Original list price: $4.2 million
Sold price: $3.2 million
A beautiful co-op building in the Gold Coast, this three-bedroom property spans a generous 5,580 square feet and was completely redone by renowned architect John Ronan. The exquisite renovation kept the unit’s classic design and enhanced elegant, rich details like hardwood floors, extensive millwork, sleek moldings and more. The open floor plan is ideal for entertaining, and calming views overlook the lake and the treetops along East Lake Shore Drive. This co-op was also purchased by a cash buyer.

1550_N_State_Unit_FrontView_1_1550 N State Pkwy, Unit 402
Original list price: $3.85 million
Sold price: $3 million
Purchased by a cash buyer, this 4,160 square foot Chicago condo is in one of the most revered buildings in the Gold Coast. Occupying a half floor, this property boasts east and north views of the stunning lake and park from every room. Along with three bedrooms and three-and-a-half baths, this home features four balconies, 10-foot ceilings, major windows and bays and two fireplaces. The building amenities include 24-hour door staff, a guest apartment, exercise room, wine room and a live-in engineer.

For more information on Chicago condos that sold last month, or to take a look at what’s on the market now (and take advantage of those winter buyer benefits!), 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.

Big Change for Chicago Luxury Condo Sales in February

After several months of strong sales in the luxury condo market, February’s numbers signaled a slowdown among luxury condo sales. As 2014 ended and we moved into the winter months, luxury real estate wasn’t showing many signs of hibernating, with high-end sales continuing all the way up into the $5 million range.

But last month, Chicago luxury condos—those sold for $1 million or more—totaled just $35.8 million. That number was not only a drop from January, but also indicated a shift in what types of properties were selling. There were considerably less ultra-luxury properties sold (those over $2 million) than we’ve seen in recent months. 

Of course, none of this is terribly surprising since Chicago is no stranger to a winter slowdown in real estate. The cold weather isn’t always so inviting for house hunting. But with spring right around the corner, I would guess that this market change will be fairly short-lived.

If you’re considering purchasing a home in the near future, it’s important to have some knowledge about what is currently selling on the market. Each month I like to wrap up the most noteworthy luxury deals—typically the most expensive—to illustrate what types of properties are going for what price. That way, you can get a sense of what features, amenities, space, etc. you might expect for your own budget.

Here’s a detailed look at the top 5 most expensive Chicago condo sales in February:

340 on the Park

340 E Randolph St., Unit 5403
Original list price: $2.8 million
Sold price: $2.58 million
Located in Chicago’s Lakeshore East neighborhood, this 2,750-square foot, 3-bedroom unit features one of the neighborhood’s trademarks—exquisite views of the lake, city, and parks below. Its location also offers easy access right into downtown, and is within walking distance to several parks, Michigan Avenue, the loop and the beach. Inside, you’ll a lovely kitchen with upgraded Snaidero cabinets, a custom Ann Sachs backsplash, Hyland Design custom shelving and much more (including bamboo floors!). The building itself offers residents a fitness center, indoor lap pool, steam/sauna room,H 24-hour door staff and a winter garden. It’s also important to note that the buyer for this sale paid cash.

Search Chicago condos for sale at 340 E Randolph

ritz118 E Erie St., Unit 29G
Original list price: $1,997,430
Sold price: $1,997,430
The Ritz-Carlton Residences is an exceptional, 89-unit building with 40 stories, a private city club and an unbeatable location just off of the Magnificent Mile. And of course, it’s all backed by the legendary service of The Ritz-Carlton, with a five-star staffed that has been trained by the renowned hotel group. The building’s Landmark Club includes a grand salon, private staff, a wine room, a billiards room, a screening room, plus athletic and spa facilities. This 2-bedroom unit stretches across 2,874 square feet high on the 29th floor.

View 118 E Erie condos for sale

415ENorthWater415 E North Water St., Unit 3106
Original list price: $1.999 million
Sold price: $1.95 million
A beautiful penthouse-level condo on the edge of Lake Michigan, this 3-bedroom unit has a gracious floorplan that features walk-in closets, and enormous living room, 2 spacious balconies and a custom kitchen. It’s 3.498 square feet also make it ideal for entertaining. The building itself also offers residents a full amenity package, putting everything you need just a few steps from the front door.

Search Chicago condos for sale at 415 E North Water

416 w deming416 W Deming Pl., Unit 3
Original list price: $1.849 million
Sold price: $1.78 million
This 3400+ square foot new construction condo in East Lincoln Park is the first resale in a boutique building developed by Larry Booth and Ogden Park. The 13-unit elevator building is just steps from North Pond Café and Lincoln Park. Taking up the entire 3rd floor, the condo features 9 ½-foot ceilings, fantastic views through floor-to-ceiling windows, a fireplace, high-end finishes, top-of-the-line appliances and a spectacular balcony that can be accessed through all bedrooms.

Chicago real estate at 840 N Lake Shore Dr840 N Lake Shore Dr., Unit 402
Original list price: $1.749 million
Sold price: $1.683 million
This stretch of Lake Shore Drive is one of the most sought-after addresses in the city, and this building one of the more coveted ones for luxury buyers. This 2-bedroom Chicago condo features 2,100 square feet, making it feel more like a spacious home in the ‘burbs than an urban condominium. The Parisian-style building was designed by Lucien Lagrange, and features amenities like a 24-hour door staff, valet parking, storage lockers, individual climate-controlled wine cellars and exercise facilities. This was also a cash sale.

Search Chicago condo listings at 840 N Lake Shore Drive

There are some buildings, such as those along Lake Shore Drive or the Ritz-Carlton Residences, that are often found among the top sales from month to month. But others—such as the new construction development in Lincoln Park—are appearing for the first time. Last month’s sales especially illustrate the range of what you might find among high-end Chicago condos at a variety of price points.

For further details on last month’s home sales, or to discuss what you might be looking for in your own home search, contact me for updated listings of what’s available: Call me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

Chicago Mag’s Best Neighborhood’s List Include Great Choices for Chicago Real Estate

Chicago's Lakeshore East neighborhood includes Millennium Park and the famed Aqua building.

Chicago Magazine highlighted the area’s best neighborhoods in its April issue, and while many Chicago suburbs made the list, I’m partial to the city itself when it comes to real estate in Chicago. East Lakeshore, a newer neighborhood from within the last 10 years, and Roscoe village both made the cut for Chicago neighborhoods that have it all.

Lakeshore East includes luxury real estate options like the new Aqua Tower, which was named Skyscraper of the Year 2009. Aqua’s 82 stories include 718 Chicago condos as well as apartments, and the building’s unique exterior architecture would make it a fine home for design buffs. Many of Aqua’s residences offer floor-to-ceiling views of the surrounding Millennium Park, Lake Michigan, downtown Chicago and the Chicago River. (You can’t see all that from the suburbs!) Continue reading

Live in an Urban Village: The New Lakeshore Community

Purchasing Chicago real estate downtown, in Streeterville, or in the River North holds plenty of appeal, especially if you work in the Loop – the commute is short and everything you’ll want, from groceries to high end shopping, is only a few short blocks or a quick taxi ride away.  On the other hand, the constant noise and grit of the urban environment can leave you longing for the quiet and green space of the suburbs.

Fortunately, there is now a happy medium – the new Lakeshore East community, located just east of the Loop and directly north of Millenium Park.  It is home to seven contemporary skyscrapers as well as the upcoming luxurious Parkhomes (which start at $1.5 million and will be ready for occupancy mid-2009).  Centered around an expansive, pet friendly park (that even has free WiFi for residents), this mixed commerical and residential community is one of the most exciting developments on the Chicago real estate scene. Furthermore, the site is already home to a bank, a coffee shop, and several restaurants, with plans for a CVS pharmacy and drugstore, an elementary, and a grocery store in the future.

Perhaps the most prominent part of Lakeshore East is the Aqua building, which will be completed by mid-spring 2009.  With eighty-two stories that each feature unique terraces, making the facade resemble rippling water, this high rise is anchored by a 80,000 square foot deck complete with gardens, pools, fire pits, gazebos, and cabanas – the perfect compliment to the adjacent park.  Condos will range from $485,000 to $1.6 million.

Of course, the other buildings in the community are certainly more than worthy of consideration as well.  The 340 on the Park is a LEED certified structure with a high percentage of locally sourced building materials and units with spectacular views of Millenium Park, the Chicago skyline, and Lake Michigan.  The neighboring Chandler and Lancaster were the first buildings to be completed in the development, and what these relatively dimunitive buildings lack in height they make up for in amenities like indoor pools and landscaped rooftop decks.

The New East Side: Chicago Condos With Amazing Views

Although popular neighborhoods like Lincoln Park and the Gold Coast are home to plenty of fantastic Chicago condos, one of the hottest neighborhoods right now is the new kid on the block – the New East Side, that is. Also referred to as the Lakeshore East community, the New East Side is a massive mixed-use Chicago real estate development located just south of the Chicago river and east of the Loop.

Lakeshore East is home to some of the city’s most impressive new construction and award-winning architecture, including the Aqua building. When it is completed it will stand eighty-seven stories high, and every unit will have a unique balcony – the facade is glass with glass with undulating balconies which change slightly from floor to floor giving it a rippling effect. It is already being heralded as one of Chicago’s most impressive new buildings and it will certainly be a prestigious address. Other noteworthy buildings include 340 on the Park with its views overlooking Millenium Park, the Tides, and the Regatta. All of the properties have units that offer stunning views of Lake Michigan and the Chicago landscape.

If high rise living just isn’t your thing, Lakeshore East is also home to single family homes, called the Parkhomes. This luxury Chicago real estate presents an unusual opportunity for homeowners – the chance to own a substantial home on Chicago’s lakefront. They have been designed by the Steinberg Group from San Jose, and feature high end materials including graceful wrought iron and copper highlights; they also include rooftop terraces, two-story living rooms, private entrances and park and lake views. Currently under construction, the Parkhomes will be delivered beginning Spring 2009.

Another reason the Lakeshore East community is an ideal choice for your Chicago home is the fact that it is a mixed-use development, with retail shops, a bank, a planned grocery store and even a city of Chicago school in the works. Furthermore, the buildings are centered around a stunning park with botanical gardens, creative water elements and even wireless internet, so residents can work and play simultaneously. Overall, it is an exquisite addition to downtown Chicago – and the perfect “urban village” for those who want a small town feel in the heart of a big city.