List Price: $109,000
The Property: An investor did an extensive revamp of this 620-square-foot studio in the South Loop after buying it out of foreclosure last April. The work included replacing the kitchen appliances and cabinetry, the toilet and cabinets in the bath, the flooring, and the window treatments, according to the listing. In all, the investors spent about $25,000 getting the place into sellable shape, says the listing agent, Ken Reeder of Baird & Warner.
Even with all those new finishes, the condo is still listed for $99,000 less than the last price it sold for, in 2004. That buyer, who paid $208,000 for the condo according to the Cook County Recorder of Deeds, lost the property to Wells Fargo Bank in September 2012. Eight months later, the bank sold it to the investor for $67,000. The investors put it on the market Saturday.
The home has three closets, the third of which could convert into a small office area, Reeder suggests. It also has a balcony—only River City’s studio units have balconies—that looks southeast, over some of the building’s landscaped property toward the booming shopping blocks of Roosevelt Road. Residents share a few large outdoor spaces, including a rooftop deck that Reeder describes as “a stellar place to watch the Air & Water Show.”
Prices in the building “were hit really hard by the depression,” Reeder says. Two years ago, 16 of the 30 units on the market were short sales according to one website, and some were listed as low as $49,000. And a storm-driven flood in the basement-level parking garage in 2010 prompted a few years of special assessments to repair the damage and prevent further flooding. But both troubles are in the past, says Reeder, who said he has sold or rented 30 units in the complex in the past three years. Prices have been rising again this year, he says, and now that the flood repairs are over, there are no more special assessments planned, he says. (Assessments are now $420 a month, according to the listing.)
River City is a love-it-or-hate-it landmark. Designed by architect Bertrand Goldberg as a successor to his now-beloved Marina City towers, River City was originally supposed to be six towers, each 72 stories high. The much shorter version that was completed in 1986 has Goldberg’s characteristic organic curves, but doesn’t occupy the Design Darling place that Marina City does. Nevetheless, it’s well located close to all the good things that have come to the South Loop in the past couple of decades.
Same-sized units in the building have sold recently for less than this one’s asking price, but Reeder points out that they don’t have the updates this one does. Those condos include this one and this one. Earlier this month, this one sold for $110,000, just above the ask for today’s featured property.
Potential buyers of this unit will be paying cash or have financing from a credit union. Because over 50 percent of the units are rented, most banks won’t finance a condo purchase. He says he and another agent who works the building hope to be able to announce a financing deal with one bank soon.