There’s No Place Like Tome

High volume of sales as buyers book title to Library Tower condos


South Loop
From $267,000 to $842,489

The blocks between Printers’ Row and South Michigan Avenue are filling in fast. First came University Center, an 18-story college dorm (serving Roosevelt and DePaul universities and Columbia College) at State Street and Congress Parkway. Now comes Library Tower, a 16-story condo building that is going up on the west side of State Street opposite the dorm. Lennar, the Hoffman Estates–based developers of Library Tower, broke ground in March for the building, whose brick-red exterior and metal roof will complement the Harold Washington Library Center, immediately north across Congress. When completed in 2008, the building will have 184 condominiums.

At press time, 95 condos had already sold. The remaining condos start at $267,000 for certain one-bedroom units, which range in size from 865 to 905 square feet. Midrange units (1,430 square feet) go for $439,655, and prices top out at $842,489 (2,130 square feet). “We think our price points are very attractive,” says Leigh Nevers, Lennar’s marketing vice president. “You have the theatres, the colleges, the financial center, and State Street shopping all nearby. But [our] prices are low for the neighborhood.”

Make Way
Apartments converted to condos


River North
From $199,500 to $704,000

An apartment tower that is only two years old is going condo, in yet another sign that converting existing buildings to condominium towers-rather than taking on the financial risk of putting up something new-is the current preference among Chicago’s developers.

In this conversion, the number of residences in the 45-story 400 North LaSalle building will drop from 452 to 432, in part because the developers, DK/Equity, merged some studio apartments with their “one-plus-den” neighbors. On the top floor, one of the building’s largest units, with a 1,530-square-foot floor plan, is priced at $704,000. The smallest units are 515-square-foot studios, which, on the lower floors, start at $199,500. About 18 percent of current renters bought units in the building, says Kathleen Ullo, a vice president of Equity Marketing Services, which is a partner with Draper & Kramer in the joint venture. Tenants who did not buy are moving out in waves, with the last slated to leave in June 2007.

A New “Neighborhood” on Boul Mich
Ad agency’s exit from the Bloomingdale’s building makes room for 48 condominiums

North Michigan Avenue
From $1.275 million to
$4.6 million

The departure of the ad agency J. Walter Thompson from a block of offices in the 900 North Michigan building has created an arrangement unique for Chicago: a high-rise with two distinct “neighborhoods” of condos, each with separate assessments and owners’ associations.

The 66-story tower, which houses Bloomingdale’s and the Four Seasons Hotel, already has condos on its top 20 stories. Now floors 21 to 28 are going condo as well. According to the sales director, Katherine Chez, the newer units offer more current floor plans and finishes, higher ceilings, gas cooking, and (because of their location in the building) larger windows. That may explain why owners from the older block of condos had already snapped up 3 of the 11 units that had sold at press time. For them, the 19-year-old building’s high-end amenities-which include two health clubs, shopping at Bloomie’s, and elegant dining at Seasons, the hotel’s signature restaurant-will remain only an elevator ride away.

The 48 new condos, ranging in size from 1,900 to 4,700 square feet and in price from $1.275 million to $4.6 million, are scheduled to welcome new occupants late in 2007.

 


Illustration: Courtesy of Lennar
Photography: DK/Equity LLC, Courtesy of The 900 Shops

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