Logan Square is a boiling-hot development zone. Mid- and high-priced infill is ubiquitous across its three square miles but there are blocks that have seen total upheaval. One to slap on a poster is the 2600 block of West Medill Avenue, a quiet drag near the booming bar corridor at Milwaukee and California Avenues—quiet but for the construction that has taken over during the past four months.
The big driver on the block is a 14-home project by Noah Properties (two wrap around the corner to Belden Avenue). The builder razed a warehouse and essentially cloned its half-block makeover of Erie Street at Damen Avenue in Ukrainian Village, with almost the same pre-construction price tag. Noah has also built swaths of homes on Ohio Street and further east in Lake View and Lincoln Park.
There’s usually a deal given in the pre-construction period to entice and reward early buyers who in turn help solidify a project’s financing. Once a home is built, the price may jump 10 or 15 percent. All but two have sold or are under contract and only two are move-in ready. “We had two go under contract in the first week of pre-sales in November, with the help of a waiting list,” says Melissa Govedarica of Sergio & Banks Real Estate. Eight were under contract before any ground had broken.
Govedarica has sold Noah homes for years and hitched a ride with the company up the Blue Line. Curiously, her buyers are not following the same route. “Most of our interest and contracts have come from renters and condo owners in Lincoln Park and River North.” Only one is relocating from Wicker Park, and no buyer to date is from within the neighborhood. This makes sense, considering the huge potential upgrade in space over those two neighborhoods for just a little more cash.
The subtly varied run of facades on the south side of the block have shifting brick hues and window configurations to stave off monotony. Workers are laying fence and finishing stoops, garages, and interior finishes, and the unitsare expected to be move-in ready by early May. The 3,000-square-foot four-beds have been selling for $799,900, $844,900, and $899,900. The lots are zoned for smaller homes than Noah built in Ukrainian Village, but the price per square foot is right in line.
In addition to the Noah project, this block of Medill has a medley of single-families and one three-story loft building. Condo sales have picked up at the lofts in the last year, with five spots closing at or above $250,000 with no price cuts. Nothing sold in 2013 and in 2012 there were three: two in the $190,000s and all selling for a loss over bubble prices.
Whether Logan Square has a new bubble of its own is yet to be seen. In the first quarter of 2015, median sales price was $277,000 according to Trulia; at the start of 2010, it was $131,000—111 percent appreciation. Citywide there has been a 16 percent gain in median sales price in that time.