4 out of the 5 Most Expensive Luxury Condos Sold for Cash in March

Last year when the luxury real estate market in Chicago was experiencing a major surge, it was common to see many homes being sold to cash buyers, even into the ultra-luxury, multi-million dollar price range. When the luxury market becomes competitive for buyers, cash is king for standing out to a seller as the buyer who will provide the smoothest transaction.

You can really see this at work in March’s luxury condo sales. There were clearly some negotiations that went on between these buyers and sellers, and a cash offer likely helps those deals fall in favor of the buyer, especially given our current real estate environment. With the government trying to increase the rate of inflation, we’re anticipating interest rates going up periodically in 2017. That anticipation only fuels sellers’ desire to move their property, and they really perk up at a cash offer that they won’t lose to a mortgage contingency. Several sales this month show that the seller was willing to discount from the listing price considerably in order to make the deal happen.

Here is a closer look at what sold last month, starting with the most expensive (and highly discounted) Chicago condo sale:

800NMichigan800 N Michigan Ave, Unit 5001
Original list price: $5.9 million
Sold price: $4.35 million
The most expensive Chicago condo to sell in March sold for cash, and for a significant reduction in price. This property was negotiated down to more than a whopping $1.5 million off the original list price. Plus, a unit like this in Park Tower is a rare find on the market. Located on a half-floor in the iconic building, this condo lives more like a home in the sky, with a generous 4,200 square feet of living space. The open floor plan includes three bedrooms, a theater room, eat-in kitchen and laundry room. Two east-facing terraces boast breathtaking east, south, and north wraparound views of the lake and city from every window. Other details include rich finishes, hardwood walnut floors, custom millwork and abundant storage. Residents of Park Tower also have access to the adjacent Park Hyatt’s renowned five-star amenities, NoMi Restaurant and much more.

77-e-walton77 E Walton Pl Unit 24C
Original list price: $5.2 million
Sold price: $3,870,260
The cash buyer of this Chicago condo got one heck of a deal—the purchase price came in at more than $1.3 million less than the original asking price. This 4,788 square foot, three bedroom unit has stunning lake and city views, thanks to its great location that allows residents easy access to 900 Michigan Avenue and to the amenities at the Four Seasons Hotel. Inside, you’ll find floor-to-ceiling windows, 10-foot ceiling heights and a split bedroom floor plan. The gracious entry foyer leads to spacious rooms throughout, providing a wonderful arrangement for casual or formal entertaining. Other key details include a Snaidero kitchen with butler’s pantry, a state-of-the-art audio decibel electronic system and a huge, multi-room master suite.

77 E Walton St, Unit 26C
Original list price: $3.895 million
Sold price: $3.65 million
This chic, sleek and sophisticated residence spans nearly 4,800 square feet, and was recent redone and move-in ready for a new buyer. The home boasts fabulous southeast views of the lake, city skyline and southern end of the Magnificent Mile. Plus, you’ll find perfect wood floors, a state-of-the-art Snaidero kitchen and a handsome wood-paneled library. The four-room master suite has a separate sitting room with fireplace, a luxurious master bath and huge master closet. Every room has an amazing view. The building at 77 E Walton is a prestigious, intimate boutique community in an iconic building, with amenities that include a private concierge and service, roof deck, immediate access to shopping and dining in 900 Michigan Avenue and the Four Seasons Hotel. This unit was also bought with cash.

840-n-lake-shore-dr840 N Lake Shore Dr, Unit 601
Original list price: $3.5 million
Sold price: $3.3 million
This Lake Shore Drive gem is one of the city’s finest addresses, having been exquisitely maintained and exuding luxury and grace through and through. It’s A+ lakefront location means sweeping lake views, visible through floor-to-ceiling windows in this property’s 3,965 square feet. . The marble foyer opens to an expansive living room with fireplace and gorgeous built-ins. An incredible dining room in a rotunda boasts unbeatable views in every direction. The eat-in kitchen includes professional-grade appliances and access to south-facing terraces that overlook a park. And the huge master suite features a sitting area, built-in book cases and dual walk-in closets. The buyer paid cash for this incredible Chicago condo.

33-e-bellevue33 E Bellevue Pl Unit 7-E

Original list price: $2.995 million
Sold price: $2.85 million
This penthouse-level duplex has it all: 3,094 square feet. Lake views. Two huge terraces. The space is idea for entertaining, with a large master suite, three bedrooms and 2.2 baths. One parking spot was included in this sale, which was purchased through conventional financing.

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

Excellent Deals For Buyers Purchasing Chicago Luxury Condos In October

The middle of October is a special time for real estate buyers. As I constantly emphasize to my clients, this is the best time to take action if you’re considering a purchase.

Mid-October is when deals are happening, and this past month was no exception. Sellers who have had the market advantage for much of the year are no longer in the driver’s seat, and you can see that all of the top five most expensive condos and co-ops to sell in October went for considerably below the asking price.

Every single luxury condo, including the co-op at 209 E Lake Shore, sold for big-time discounts from the original listing price. Each property exceeded the 3,000 square feet requirement that Chicago luxury condo buyers are looking for, as well.

But just because October is over doesn’t mean the ideal time to buy is not now.. You can see that luxury sales have started to slow down, and the number of high-end sales in excess of $2 million has come down dramatically from previous months. So buyers looking to purchase a Chicago condo could still have the upper hand now that it’s not prime season for sellers.

Here’s a closer look at the top five Chicago condos sold in October. Note the major differences between the listing prices and sale prices for each:

77-e-walton77 E Walton St, Unit 26F
Original list price: $3.475 million
Sold price: $3.11 million
In Chicago’s most desirable neighborhood, the Gold Coast, this exquisite luxury condo is fitted for modern living, with no expense spared. Features include custom kitchen cabinetry, built-in buried oak bar, beautiful hardwood floors, oversized doors and millwork throughout. Its 3,479 square feet are made into a smart, spacious floorplan that includes three ensuite bedrooms and 3.1 baths. This is also a full amenity building with multiple garage parking spaces and interior access to the Four Seasons Health Club.

445-e-north-water-st445 E North Water St, Unit 2601
Original list price: $2.7 million
Sold price: $2.5 million
This three bedroom (plus den) has fantastic lake, river and city views from its south-facing corner exposure in Streeterville. Spanning 3,983 square feet on the 26th floor, the unit includes a huge gourmet chef’s kitchen with granite, Subzero appliances and a wine cooler, along with several professionally organized closet spaces. The property also includes two parking spaces, a valuable commodity in this area of Chicago.

209ELakeShoreDr209 E Lake Shore Dr, Unit 6W
Original list price: $4.2 million
Sold price: $2.1 million
This Chicago co-op is city living at its finest. With 5,675 square feet, five bedrooms and 6.1 baths, this half-floor residence boasts a whopping 60-feet of Lake Michigan views. The building was once home to famed architect Benjamin Marshall, and is one of the finest, service-oriented co-ops in the city with full amenities, parking and a rear garden. This unit in particular offers exquisite architectural details and an extraordinary floorplan made for family living and entertaining.

180 E Pearson180 E Pearson St, Unit 7203
Original list price: $2.2 million
Sold price: $2.1 million
A spot on the 72nd floor brings three coveted qualities to this property: It’s quiet, private and offers unobstructed north, south and east views. This 3,320 square foot unit begins with a majestic entry foyer that makes an ideal showcase for artwork. A large living room overlooks the lake and city, and you’ll also find a wood-paneled library, three bedrooms with ensuite baths and his-and-her master closets. Residents of the Water Tower can enjoy the world-class amenities offered by the adjacent Ritz-Carlton Hotel, and the unbeatable location on Michigan Avenue puts them steps from superb dining, shopping and the lakefront.

180 E Pearson St, Unit 6104
Original list price: $2.4 million
Sold price: $2.1 million
Located in the southeast corner of the 61st floor of the Water Tower, this 4-bedroom Chicago condo was recently redone in marble, slate and granite finishes. Spanning 3,320 square feet, this unit boasts a raised floor in the living room to take advantage of the view, custom shelves, cabinetry and built-ins throughout, wood floors, custom closet designs and a DeGuilo kitchen with leaded glass-front cabinets and high-end appliances. The master bath—one for four baths in all—includes a Kohler jetted tub and steam shower.

For more info on the Chicago condos that sold recently and how what’s happening on the market might fit into your own search, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

Chicago New Construction Condo Sales Back In Force In May

Chicago’s Gold Coast were at the top of the list for condos sold in May; and one particular standout building was the brand new building at 4 East Elm. Total Chicago luxury condo sales in May were $88.5 million with 53 luxury condos sold.

Three out of the top five most expensive condos sold last month are in this new construction building, and each boost around 3,500 square feet of space. I have been noting for some time that 3,000+ square feet seems to be the magic number in terms of the space that luxury condo buyers are looking for.

Search Chicago condos with 3,000+ square feet

All five of the top luxury condos sold in were above 3,000 square feet, proving that upscale condo living in the heart of the city doesn’t mean sacrificing the space you might get in the ‘burbs. The most expensive home to sell in May was in 800 Michigan Avenue, with the unbelievable square footage of 6,240 square feet—that’s the size of a large home, all on one floor of one of downtown’s most iconic buildings.

For a limited time, I am offering $2,500 at closing for buyers who begin and end their home search with me. This is a great opportunity to have a little influx of cash to help with moving or decorating expenses. I encourage you to read a bit more about me in my bio, then contact me to see if I can help you get started on a search for your new Chicago home.

Here are additional details on the most expensive Chicago luxury condos to sell in May, starting with the most expensive:

800NMichigan800 N Michigan Ave, Unit 5101
Original list price:
$5.1 million
Sold price: $4.5 million
The crown jewel of May’s luxury condo sales was a 6 bedroom, 5.1 bath condo in the iconic Park Tower on Michigan Avenue. This unit spans a whopping 6,240 square feet and was priced well below market value for the building. The unit boasts an open floor plan that allows for entertaining above breathtaking, unobstructed, 360-degree lake views that can also be enjoyed from two 8 X 14 foot balconies. And residents of Park Tower have access to all of the amenities of the adjacent 5-star Park Hyatt Hotel.

image4 E Elm St, Unit 16S
Original list price:
$3.8 million
Sold price: $3,987,391
The mots expensive home to sell in 4 East Elm in May, this 3 bedroom, 3.1 bath condo spans 3,486 square feet on the 16th floor of the Gold Coast’s hottest new construction building. Four East Elm is home to just 35 Chicago condos in the heart of one of the city’s most beloved upscale neighborhoods. The building is sleek and modern with half- and full-floor residences and offer residents a bevy of amenities, including garage parking, 24-hour doorman, an outdoor pool and spa, a screening room and fitness center.

image4 E Elm St, Unit 17S
Original list price:
$3.9 million
Sold price: $3.9 million
The second most expensive sale in 4 East Elm in May, this 3 bedroom, 3.1 bath unit is high on the 17th floor and spans 3,486 square feet. If May condo sales are any indication, this Gold Coast condo building is already proving to be one of the most sought-after properties for luxury buyers in 2016. Each unit offers 10-foot ceilings and floor-to-ceiling Windows that emphasize the spacious, open interiors, with finishes that include Florense cabinetry, fully-integrated Sub-Zero Wolf and Miele appliances and wide plank solid white oak flooring.

401NWabash401 N Wabash Ave, Unit 29A
Original list price:
$3.5 million
Sold price: $3.5 million
Designed by John Robert Wiltgen, this downtown Chicago condo lives up to all of the luxe expectations you’d have for Trump Tower. Boasting 3,487 square feet two bedrooms, 4 baths plus a media room and den, the unit has been totally customized for luxury living. The living room has Trump Tower’s signature curved shape that allows for a panoramic skyline view of the river, lake and Navy Pier. Other features include 11-foot ceilings, spa-like master baths, a master bedroom with generous walk-in closets, gourmet kitchen with Wolf appliances and a SubZero refrigerator. Trump Tower has a great location in River North and is a full amenity building with health club and spa, pool, restaurant and bar.

image4 E Elm St, Unit 14S
Original list price:
$3.475 million
Sold price: $3,483,229
This new construction condo in 4 East Elm Is a 3 bedroom, 3.1 bath on the 14th floor. With 3,516 square feet, the unit boasts high-end finishes with at least 3 exposures in a building that is the ultimate urban oasis of luxury and privacy—amenities include an outdoor pool, sun deck, fitness center, screening room and clubhouse lounge.

Looking at recent sales of luxury condos can help prospective buyers understand what is popular on the market and at what price. Buyers can use that information to determine their own budget and wish list of features they would like to find in their own home.

If you’re interested in additional details on these sales, or what to see what’s available on the market now, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

Luxury Condo Chicago Sales in Chicago Lower For March

Although luxury condos didn’t move as quickly as they have in recent previous months, sales in March did not disappoint, with 6 sales that exceeded $2 million and went all the way up to $4.65 million. There were just 8 luxury sales total (those units sold for more than $1 million) but total sales volume was $46 million.

As far as trends go, it’s no surprise that last month’s sales were concentrated among well-known buildings with hotel-grade amenities and coveted locations in downtown Chicago and the Gold Coast. Two of the top 5 sales were located in the Park Hyatt at 800 Michigan, which is an amazing location on the Magnificent Mile and offers residents all of the services and amenities of the Hyatt Hotel next door.

Here’s a closer look at each of the top five sales and the features that landed them on this month’s top sales report:

132EDelaware132 E Delaware Pl, Unit 6308A
Original list price:
$5.125 million
Sold price: $4.65 million
The month’s most expensive sale was this rare offering high above the Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago’s Gold Coast. This contemporary penthouse duplex is one of a kind, offering 300-degree breathtaking views of the lake and city. A sweeping, stainless steel-and-glass staircase is the centerpiece to the home, with a dramatic open living space, soaring ceilings and 22-foot windows to take it all in. This Chicago condo is built for entertaining, whether a grand scale event or small, intimate gatherings. Smart home technology allows for control of the climate, window shades, lighting and music with the touch of a button. Residents of 132 E Delaware have access to all of the lavish amenities offered by the hotel, including a health club, spa, indoor pool, around-the-clock room service and an on-site concierge. And if that didn’t add up to a luxury buyer’s ultimate wish list, the offerings of the Gold Coast neighborhood are icing on the cake, with high-end shopping, restaurants, nightlife and beaches all within a few blocks.

800NMichigan800 N Michigan Ave, Unit 3801
Original list price:
$3.2 million
Sold price: $3 million
This is a unique home in the Park Hyatt built for the most discriminating luxury taste. Spanning 3,200 square feet high on the 38th floor, this home features east and south exposures with amazing views of the lake and city. Details include beautiful finishes, hardwood floors, granite, marble, mill work, and a gas fireplace. The private master suite features a sitting room, balcony, generous closet space and a luxurious in-suite master bath.

Chicago real estate at 840 N Lake Shore Dr840 N Lake Shore Dr, Unit 2103
Original list price:
$2.67 million
Sold price: $2,512,500
An exquisite home on the 21st floor, this Chicago condo boasts stellar views of the lake, museum and city from every window. It’s perfect 2,909 square foot floor plan includes 3 bedroom suites, enormous chef’s kitchen, spa-like master bath with steam shower and custom closets throughout. A gorgeous balcony overlooks the lake, park and city. The previous owners used this condo as an in-town with very minimal use, leaving the unit immaculate and beautifully decorated. Two heated garage parking spaces were also available for purchase with this unit.

800NMichigan800 N Michigan Ave, Unit 2402
Original list price:
$2.6 million
Sold price: $2.375 million
The 3,024 square feet of this downtown Chicago condo have plenty to offer the luxury buyer. With 3 bedrooms, 3.1 baths, this home was prime for a new owner’s decorating and design to enhance the open layout. Panoramic views facing east, with and south, allowing for beautiful vistas throughout. Features include a balcony, large living room, sitting area, dining room, huge chef’s kitchen and a master suite complete with 2 huge walk-in closets, a lux master spa bath and an abundance of natural light.

500 W Superior St, Unit 2305
Original list price:
$2.69 million
Sold price: $2.275 million
The elegance of this condo is felt the moment you see the glass wall foyer that greets every guest. With 3 bedrooms and 3,600 square feet, this breathtaking home includes a family room, modern kitchen with stainless steel counters, Wolf range and built-in grill and an impeccably finished bath. There is ample attention to detail throughout, plus amazing east views that puts the city skyline as a beautiful backdrop.

imageFor more information on last month’s luxury condo sales or to see what’s on the market now, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

Chicago Condo Sales in November Were All About Square Footage

With 23 units sold for a total of $51 million, the luxury condo market wasn’t hibernating in November. And the properties that sold all had one major thing in common: square footage. Of the top five Chicago condos that sold, the “smallest” still clocked in at 3,200 square feet and the largest all the way above 5,600 square feet.

It’s also worth noting that the top five buildings and units each have something unique to offer the buyer–whether that’s unbeatable views through expansive windows, a one-of-a-kind design, architectural details or a great floor plan. Three of the top five were also designed by beloved Chicago architect Lucien Lagrange: 800 Michigan Avenue, 180 Pearson and 65 East Goethe.

Here’s a closer look at the top Chicago luxury condos that sold in November:

340 on the Park340 E Randolph St
Original sale price: $5.7 million
List price: $5.2 million
Now this is luxury. This 4,900 square foot penthouse allows for soaring 12-foot ceilings and three outdoor terraces for taking in jaw-dropping views of the lake, Millennium Park, Daley Park and the city skyline below. Other features include a high-end chef’s kitchen with multiple entertaining spaces, master bedroom suite with sitting area and office space, contemporary finishes, electronic window treatments, plenty of closet space and much more.

Chicago real estate at 65 E Goethe65 E Goethe St.
Original sale price: $6.2 million
List price: $4.9 million
A crown jewel in the Gold Coast, this 5,500 square foot Chicago condo spans two levels and overlooks Goudy Park. This is a great unit for an art collector, as expansive wall space was made for a home gallery. The first floor features custom terrazzo flooring, with hardwood on the second floor, and the unit’s floor plan can be adapted to add additional bedrooms or baths. The building itself was designed by famed Chicago architect Lucien Lagrange and offers an on-site concierge for its residents.

180 E Pearson Chicago180 E Pearson St, Unit 3705
Original sale price: $2.799 million
Sold price: $2.745 million
This 3,400 square foot, three bedroom unit in Water Tower Place on Michigan Avenue is one of Chicago’s top luxury buildings, and this unit is in the prime southeast corner, allowing for sweeping views of the lake and city. The unit just went though a complete gut renovation and now showcases the finest finishes and materials with custom cabinetry, wide-plank flooring, electric shades, library, huge closets and plenty of storage. The building offers a wide range of amenities for its residents, including all hotel services from the adjacent Ritz-Carlton Hotel.

Chicago real estate at Park Tower 800 Michigan Avenue800 N Michigan Ave, Unit 5802
Original sale price: $2.8 million
Sold price: $2.7 million
Park Tower is one of the coveted luxury condo buildings in downtown Chicago. Soaring above the city on the 58th floor, this property is like a home in the sky, enhanced by unobstructed views to the east, north and west. The unit spans a generous 3,200 square feet, with two bedrooms, two and a half baths, hardwood floors, limestone fireplace, and gracious, open floor plan to enjoy the stunning views.

333 n canal333 N Canal St, Unit 1002
Original sale price: $2.4 million
Sold price: $2.15 million
Spanning a huge 5,700 square feet, this Chicago townhome overlooks the river, with a private elevator, private entrance and much more. The property itself offers and exquisite master suite with two bedroom size walk-in closets, plus a master bath with infinity tub. You’ll also find four fireplaces, two terraces on the river, two parking spots and storage room. The building itself–located between the Fulton River District and the West Loop–includes a bevy of amenities, including a 24-hour doorperson, valet parking, exercise room and party room.

The great thing about Chicago is that condo living is hardly considered “downsizing” as it might be in other cities. You can find the same square footage, if not more, than you would in a single-family home in the ‘burbs, minus the upkeep of a home and plus a plethora of services and amenities made for the luxury lifestyle.

For more information about the best condo buildings in Chicago, or to see what’s on the market now, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

Luxury Condos in Chicago Continue to Sell Well in April

It’s all in the name—last month’s top sales for April condos in Chicago reads like a who’s who in high end real estate. Lake Shore Drive, Trump Tower, Michigan Avenue, Gold Coast—all indicators of the best of the best in Chicago luxury.

Each of the top 5 condos sold was either on a prestigious block or in a prestigious building, with 42 units sold totaling $69 million. And there was another reoccurring theme among the top homes sold—square footage. Even though these are condo units, not one of these units skimped on space, going all the way up to 6,000 square feet.

Here is a closer look at the top 5 Chicago condos that sold in April, in descending order from the most expensive:

1021 N Dearborn St
Original list price: $5.5 million
Sold price: $5.5 million
Last month’s top sale was an exquisite, one-of-a-kind end unit located in the Gold Coast at Oak and Dearborn—it sold even before the listing sheet officially made it to the printer. The elegance of this unit is apparent as soon as you step inside, with a dramatic stone-tiled 2-story foyer to welcome you. Beyond that, you’ll find 5,800+ square feet over 4 levels, with a huge living and dining room, a 441-foot wraparound balcony, cook’s kitchen with luxury stainless steel appliances and granite counters, a full-floor master suite with sitting room, walk in closet and stunning master bath, plus a media room that opens to a grand terrace.

Trump Tower Chicago real estate401 N Wabash Ave, Unit 46A
Original list price: $4.29 million
Sold price: $4.025 million
It’s certainly not uncommon for River North’s Trump Tower to have a place on the top condo sales each month. This 3 bedroom unit is just under 4,000 square feet and puts the building’s iconic views front and center, offering a stunning eastern view from the master bedroom. The unit is located on one of the best tiers in the building, with only 9 other units offering the same features. Plus, residents of Trump Tower enjoy some of the most high-end services and amenities in any Chicago condo building, from a private chef to world-class spa and much more.

Chicago real estate at Park Tower 800 Michigan Avenue800 N Michigan Ave, Unit 2801
Original list price: $4.2 million
Sold price: $3.5 million
This condo is located in the iconic Park Tower, one of the most architecturally famous buildings on the Magnificent Mile. Its location on the 28th floor allows for breathtaking views of the lake, city and daily sunsets from every window. With 4,200+ square feet, this Chicago condo takes up a half floor with a custom design that maximizes space for entertaining and casual living, including features like a dramatic entry, formal living and dining room, cook’s kitchen, huge family room, large master suite, rich finishes, hardwood walnut floors and custom millwork.

1347_ndearborn1347 N State Pkwy, Unit 1
Original list price: $3.999 million
Sold price: $3.3 million
Called a “magazine caliber” residence, this Gold Coast triplex lives more like a single-family home than a condo (with a whopping 6,000 square feet of living space!). The 6-bedroom unit is located in the Gold Coast and includes a lavish master suite with exercise room, incredible bath, media room, terrace, billiards room, dream kitchen and 800+ bottle wine cellar. The location is especially ideal, with the Gold Coast being a favorite among luxury buyers, and this property being within walking distance of Lake Michigan, Old Town, Rush Street and the Magnificent Mile.

179-e-lake-shore-drive-co-op-apartments-360179 E Lake Shore Dr, Unit 21E
Original list price: $2.45 million
Sold price: $1,999,999
Lake Shore Drive is among the best blocks in the city, and this gorgeous half-floor, 3,045 square foot co-op helps showcase why. Located in a landmarked building designed by famed Chicago architect Benjamin Marshall, this unit includes superb views, beautifully updated architecture, new baths and kitchen, a luxurious master suite, a handsome paneled library and gracious upgrades throughout. The building also adjoins the prestigious Drake Hotel. The buyer for this co-op paid cash, but it is important to note that the co-op stated upfront that a buyer would only be able to finance 50% of the cost. The building was also on the market for just over 500 days, which isn’t surprising considering the approval process required for co-op buyers is often a long one.

Whether it’s in a condo, a co-op or a single-family home, it has been apparent for months that ample space is at the top of luxury buyers’ wish lists when shopping for a home. This month was no exception. If you’re looking to buy in the next several months, I encourage you to keep an eye on the monthly sales and see what types of homes are selling for what price. Then you can keep that in mind when establishing your own wants/needs list for your real estate purchase.

To learn more about last month’s Chicago real estate sales or to see what’s on the market now, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.

Upper-Bracket Luxury Condo Sales in Chicago Were Gangbusters in February

For the third consecutive month in what is often a slow period for Chicago real estate, condo sales in the city have soared, with $90 million in luxury units sold during the month of February.

Chicago saw 54 luxury condos sold (I define “luxury” condos as those sold for $1 million and above). In fact, last month’s sales went all the way up to $4.850 million, with 54 condos sold for a total of $90.9 million. A number of ultra high-end units contributed to that number, as 14 of the luxury condos sold for over $2 million. For a more detailed look at last month’s Chicago condo sales, email me for photos and a list of the top sales.

From the ‘Burbs to a Chicago Condo

I’ve noticed with many of my own clients and on the market in general that many folks are selling their large homes in the suburbs for a condo in the city. Many Chicago condo buildings require a large upkeep, plus there has been a large increase in local taxes. People are also evaluating other conveniences like a commute and access to entertainment and services, and many have realized that relocating into the city puts these things right outside your front door. Plus, many buildings offer amenities and services that make the day-to-day easier on all of its residents by having staff available at a moment’s notice.

Here’s a look at what buildings were popular among luxury buyers last month:

Chicago real estate at Park Tower 800 Michigan Avenue800 N Michigan Avenue, Unit 3501
Original list price: $6 million
Sold price: $4.85 million
Spanning a whopping 5,250 square feet, this Chicago condo is elegance and luxury at its finest. This 35th floor unit offers magnificent sweeping views to the east, south and west. The interior boasts custom cabinetry, hardwood floors, a kitchen with island and breakfast bars, and a media room with drop-down screen and surround sound. The master suite also includes two large walk-in closets.

6 N Michigan Avenue, Unit 1901
Original list price: $4.75 million
Sold price: $3.9 million
The size and space in this unit lives more like a single-family home than a condo, but with all the perks of living in the city. A 4-bedroom penthouse with 6,400 square feet overlooking Millennium Park, this Chicago condo offers some of the most spectacular views in the city. Formerly the Montgomery Ward Observatory, it features four floors of living space, 20-foot ceilings and 2,000 square feet of outdoor terrace space. Its restoration of the vintage building beautifully blends vintage elegance with today’s transitional style.

118 E Erie Street, Unit 33E
Original list price: $3,387,426
Sold price: $3,387,42
Located in the Ritz-Carlton Residences right off of Michigan Avenue, this 2-bedroom condo offers 2,700 square feet on the building’s 33rd floor. The Ritz-Carlton Residences have quickly become one of the most sought-after luxury buildings in Chicago, with its five-star staff, award winning design, and private Landmark Club with its own private art collection.

Chicago real estate at Park Tower 800 Michigan Avenue800 N Michigan Avenue, Unit 4001
Original list price: $3.499 million
Sold price: $3 million
This 2-bedroom unit in downtown Chicago’s Park Tower is totally customized with concrete and wood floors, extensive cherry built-ins and no detail left undone. Technology upgrades like a Lutron light system and Creston audio/visual enhance the interior, along with fabulous east views from every room. Residents here can take advantage of all of the hotel services at the neighboring Park Hyatt Hotel.

415 E North Water Street, Unit 2205
Original list price: $2,999,900
Sold price: $2.85 million
A fairly new unit, this Chicago condo was redone in 2012 with fine new finishes, woods, stones, tiles, trim, updating, surround speakers, lighting and more. This 24th-floor unit boasts 4 balconies with 180-degree views, while the building itself features a newly decorated common area, health club and all building amenities.

The market for luxury Chicago condos has been surprisingly strong this season. Buyers continue to flock to high-end, service-driven buildings with offerings that can’t compare to a suburban home. If you’re in the market for a condo, I think it’s very important to take a look at the previous month’s sales to learn more about popular buildings and what certain types of units are selling for.

For a more detailed look at February’s sales or to see what’s on the market now, 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.

September’s Highest Priced Luxury Condos Sold in Chicago’s 2 Most Exclusive Buildings

Each month we’re able to see any trends associated with the previous month’s top condo sales and gain some insight into what buyers are looking for. Sometimes it’s new construction, or proximity to great schools, or summer-worthy outdoor space. But there’s typically one thing we almost always see in the top luxury sales in Chicago real estate—the proverbial location, location, location.

Chicago had 29 luxury condo sales (those sold at $1 million or higher) totaling $47 million. The top 5 condos sold in Chicago in September are each located in downtown Chicago or very close to it. Being in the heart of everything the city has to offer—shopping, fine dining, museums, the theater and lots more—is a highly desired point for luxury buyers.

These buildings are also more than simply an address—two of the units sold are found in two of the city’s most exclusive buildings, Park Tower and 11 East Walton, formerly known as the Elysian Residences.

What makes these buildings so elite? Both were designed by the famous Chicago architect Lucien Lagrange. Both are in great locations, one right on Michigan Avenue and the other tucked away one block west. Each of these buildings has access to their adjoining luxury hotels, and can therefore have access to best-in-class concierge services, from a late-night meal brought to your home to access to the hotel pool.

I’ve also found that luxury buyers are looking for ample square footage, whether they’re shopping for a single-family home or a Chicago condo. The units in these buildings are also quite large, with 4,000+ square feet that helps it live more like a home than an apartment.

Top Luxury Chicago Condo Sales for September

Here’s a detailed look at the top 5 Chicago condos sold last month, in descending order.

Chicago real estate at Park Tower 800 Michigan Avenue800 N Michigan Ave, Unit 5501
Original list price: $4.9 million
Sold price: $4.1 million
The top sale for September is no surprise, as 800 N Michigan is an address closely associated with luxury living. “Pure perfection” describes this Michigan Avenue Chicago condo, perched on the 55th floor with 4,200 square feet and 3 bedrooms. This must-see unit comes with a long list of coveted luxury features: a grand entry, limestone floors, electronic blinds, 2 fireplaces, and an elegant master suite with an onyx shower. A gourmet kitchen has easy access to a large terrace, and the family room boasts a cove ceiling and wood paneling.

The Elysian Residences

11 E Walton St, Unit 3902
Original list price: $4.199 million
Sold price: $3.875 million
Formerly known as the Elysian Residences, this luxury residence is known for its elegance and its 5-star hotel amenities—such as dine-in room service, a concierge, 4,000 square-foot spa and indoor pool—from the adjacent Waldorf Astoria hotel. The unit itself spans 4,000 square feet, with 3 bedrooms and an exceptional floor plan for entertaining. All-important details include top-of-the-line finishes, commercial-grade appliances, custom closets, hardwood floors, 10-foot ceilings, and custom cabinetry, wall covers and window treatments.

50 E Chestnut St, Unit 1701
Original list price: $3.18 million
Sold price: $3.06 million
A premier Gold Coast location at the corner of Rush and Chestnut, this building was designed with just one residence per floor and only 34 units in the building. This Chicago condo was ready for occupancy or could be customized to the buyer’s liking. Luxury touches like floor-to-ceiling windows, a private elevator foyer, Snaidero or Brookhaven cabinetry and Wolf and Subzero appliances take this condo to the next level.

219 E Lake Shore Dr, Unit 2A
Original list price: $2,199,950
Sold price: $2,125,000
This vintage condo building is on one of the city’s most prestigious streets, overlooking Lake Michigan and East Lake Shore Drive. With 2 bedrooms and 2,435 square feet, this condo includes an elegant renovation with the finest details on the inside and two spacious outdoor private terraces on the outside. With just 27 units total, this Lake Shore Drive building is intimate and elegant.

180 E Pearson180 E Pearson St, Unit 7203
Original list price: $2.195 million
Sold price: $2.1 million
Available on a rarely available corner of the building, this top-floor condo boasts spectacular unobstructed views of Lake Michigan and Navy Pier. The unit also includes a wood paneled library that opens up to a spacious living room where the views are truly at their best. You’ll also find a formal dining room, master suite with huge bath and coveted closet space throughout. The building itself has a stunning brand-new lobby, and residents can enjoy all of the amenities of the Ritz-Carlton hotel, which is right next door.

Living downtown certainly doesn’t mean settling for “apartment life” to maintain access to all of the city’s offerings. The downtown Chicago condo market has much to offer in terms of space and amenities that provide residents with the features they’d find in a single-family home. To see what’s on the market now or learn more about the features of downtown condos, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at ssalnick@dreamtown.com.