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List Price: $525,000
The Property: Set in a small tower atop a five-story loft building in Armour Square, this three-story loft sits among some of the Near South Side’s most interesting neighborhoods. The dining, shopping, and culture of Chinatown, Pilsen, and Bridgeport are all in easy reach—and they can all be seen from the loft’s four different balconies.
Even more of the city would be visible if a buyer took advantage of the roof rights that come with the home and built a deck on top of the tower. That would be on the equivalent of the eighth floor, directly above the seventh-floor master bedroom. For now, the best views in the home are from the master bath, where a large window frames a picture-perfect view across much of the South Loop to the Willis Tower. On clear days, the selling agent Patrick Schwartz tells me, the view stretches from U.S. Cellular Field all the way to the John Hancock Center; as you will see in our video, we shot on a rainy day when the view wasn’t quite as expansive, but compensation came in the form of the tasty aromas floating up from Chinatown’s bakeries.
The home is a classic “hard loft,” with very high ceilings and with its bricks, timber beams, and utilities exposed—but it functions more like a townhome because of its three-story layout. (Or more accurately, its three-and-a half stories: sandwiched between two levels is a half-height level that provides an unusually large volume of storage for a loft of this size.) The kitchen, living/dining area, a bedroom, and two bathrooms are on the lowest level—the fifth floor—with tall windows and doors onto two balconies and the building’s main roof. Above the storage is the sixth-floor level, a large space that the staircase divides into a family room (which could be used as an office, media room, or third bedroom) and a mini-kitchen, each with a balcony. Above that is the master suite.
The home comes with two parking spots; stops on the CTA’s Red and Orange Lines are within a few blocks.
Price Points: The sellers, Mark Christman and Kevin Hubbell, initially listed the home for sale at $550,000 earlier this year and then took it off the market for a while. It’s now back, at its present price, and the sellers have it rented out while it’s on the market. Their strategy is astute. Their tenant got a discounted rent in exchange for what Schwartz calls a “kickout clause”: when the unit sells, the tenant gets notice to move out within 90 days. As Schwartz and I discuss in the video, both sides benefit: the tenant gets a price cut on the rent, and the sellers aren’t locked into a long-term lease that might turn off buyers.