Two Competing Views of Belmont Harbor
For a closer look at the condos, launch the photo gallery »
List Price (8th floor): $375,000
List Price (7th floor): $300,000
The Properties: Even among the many stately dowagers that surround it, 3314 North Lake Shore Drive stands out with its Beaux Arts façade, which features paired columns of bay windows that capture views out over Belmont Harbor. The building reveals what an elegant place the drive was already in 1915, when the architect L. G. Hallberg designed the nine-story structure. Much of that stylishness is still on display in the vault-ceilinged lobby, as well as in the two high-floor one-bedroom condos featured today.
Originally, each floor of 3314 contained a single full-floor residence, and each had two large oval rooms. Most floors have since been divided into four condos; each of today’s two condos—numbers 7B and 8B—has as its centerpiece the oval space that would originally have been a grand dining room. At about 20 feet deep, it’s more than enough to accommodate a condo’s living room and dining room. In both condos, the oval still has its classical details: crown molding, wainscoting, wood flooring, and a bay of windows.
Each condo also has a large original bedroom in the rear, with an adjoining bathroom. The differences here are mainly in the closets: 7B has one full wall of closets, while 8B fills that wall with a pair of smaller closets flanking a desk, as in the original layout.
The kitchens are also somewhat different: The one in 8B has a crisp, current look (after its more-recent renovation) and numerous built-in shelves in an extension of the kitchen that fills what in 7B is a hallway half-bath. Unit 8B also has library shelving in its spacious front hall.
As you will see in the video, I asked the agents on the two condos to tout their listings’ comparative advantages. Robert Anderson, the agent for Jeffrey Weingarten (who’s selling 8B), noted that his condo comes with a covered off-street parking space, is a floor higher for a slightly enhanced view, and has an already-renovated kitchen. Michael Kennelly, the agent for Brecht Horn (the 7B seller), counters that his listing has the extra half-bath, and that because of its lower price, buyers can renovate the kitchen to their taste and still spend less than they would on 8B. Watch today’s video all the way to the end; the agents literally duked it out while we were taping.
Price Points: Assuming both units sold for their asking prices and both borrowers get 4.5 percent interest rates on their mortgage, I calculated that the buyer of 8B would have $380 more a month in mortgage payments. I found rental garage spaces in the neighborhood priced from $150 to about $225 a month. A buyer who doesn’t mind the smaller, older kitchen in 7B could save a bit by buying that unit.