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Can This RiverBend Condo Sell for $1.3 Million?

The tower once boasted the city’s best views of the Chicago River. But a new neighbor will change all of that—and could affect the selling price.

RiverBend (center)   Photo: Courtesy Berkshire Hathaway KoenigRubloff

A condo once owned by former Bears player R. W. McQuarters will be listed for sale early next year for an expected $1.3 million.

McQuarters, a cornerback who played for the Bears from 2000 to 2004, bought the unit at RiverBend (333 N. Canal St.) for $1.2 million in 2002. After he left town, the unit slipped into foreclosure. The current owners, Patrick and Carolyn Handley, picked up the 18th-floor space for $865,000 in 2009.

The window walls in the living room and master bedroom look east and south over the Chicago River, one of the major selling points of the place. But those views have changed recently, and will again soon. That’s because the building is close to Wolf Point, a new three-tower complex going up near Merchandise Mart that already blocks some views of the river. Wolf Point West, the first tower to be built, now blocks what had been clean views down the river to the east, and Wolf Point South, which will be finished by 2020, will further diminish the vista. However, Wolf Point will not block the skyline or portions of the Riverwalk.

Still, Victoria Thomas, an @properties agent who has had recent sales at neighboring Fulton House, expects that owners in the building will react much more strongly when the 900-foot-tall south tower is finished. “Based on the renderings, that tower will stick out enough to steal a good deal of the due east river view,” she says. “And every unit at Riverbend faces east.”

However, there’s a steep demand for large condos west of the river—in the Fulton River District and all through the West Loop. In fact, the 149-unit RiverBend notched 17 sales in the last 12 months, 16 the year prior, and eight two years ago. Of the 17 sales last year, eight sold for more than $1 million. So it’s unclear how much of an affect the coming tower could have on this unit’s final price.

The current owners put about $50,000 into reconfiguring the unit and updating the lighting and appliances. They turned the three-bedroom space into basically a huge one-bedroom by removing the doors from two of the bedrooms, converting one into a den and the other into a billiards room.

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