Photo: Dennis Rodkin
List Price: $375,000
The Property: The sellers of this spacious West Loop loft in a historic building are asking $13,000 less than they paid for the three-bedroom, two-bath unit almost 13 years ago. That may in part reflect the fact that the kitchen, seen in the listing photos below, doesn’t appear to have been updated since the circa 1926 manufacturing building went residential in 1996.
But it also means that a good bargain may be in the making.
“It’s priced $20,000 below the market value,” says Christine Hancock, the Prudential Rubloff agent representing the property. She lives in the building and has represented other units there, including one that sold last month for $355,000, with one fewer bedrooms, no balcony, and a position on the southwest corner of the building that puts both the sight and the sounds of the Kennedy Expressway right up close. It sold in nine days.
The $375,000 unit is on the building’s much quieter northeast corner, with a balcony and a long wall of loft-sized windows that frame a view out over the West Loop to the Willis Tower. Two of the three bedrooms have exterior windows, unlike some loft bedrooms that are interior and have light openings but no actual window (the third here is that way). At 1,600 square feet, it has impressed several potential buyers, Hancock says: “They walk in and say, ‘oh my God, this place is huge.’ ”
Its price used to be huge, too. In 2009, the sellers were asking $525,000 plus $45,000 for parking. The parking price is now $40,000. The home came back on the market May 6 after six months off and a price cut. Compare the original combined total asking price, $570,000, to the current combined total of $415,000, and you can see the sellers have let 27 percent of the air out of their asking price. (A buyer does not have to purchase the parking space with the condo.)
Completed in 1926, the building was designed by Alfred Alschuler Sr., the architect of several downtown buildings, most notably the regal London Guarantee Building. The lofts are in a 13-story structure that was originally built for the A.B. Dick office supplies company and later housed the men’s clothing company Hart Schaffner & Marx before being converted to condos and re-named Haberdasher Square Lofts in 1996.
Surrounding blocks retain some of the flavor of the factory district that this part of the West Loop used to be, with a mix of old buildings gone condo—some, like this one on Quincy, with new-era additions—and still-working commercial buildings, including a streamlined art moderne structure a few blocks away that was recently renovated to house the Sara Lee meat spinoff Hillshire Farms.
But it’s not an all-concrete neighborhood. The park adjacent to Old St. Patrick’s Catholic Church is two blocks away, and the South Branch of the Chicago River four blocks away. Halfway home from the river, you can stop in at the venerable Lou Mitchell’s, which has been around a few years longer than this loft building.