Demonstrating once more the ravenous appetite for multi-million dollar penthouses at key locations, the sellers of a 46th floor three-bed at the Park Monroe have accepted a contract four days after listing the remodeled space for $2,845,000. The unit is among a handful of 4,000 to 5,000-square-footers in the 213-unit conversion of the top ten stories of the Mid-Continental office building and the only space not on the 49th floor to have penthouse privileges: access to a semi-private section of roof, negotiated by the condo’s first owner. That, major upgrades, and devilish views east over lake, park, and city meant the pricing would draw attention.
“This is not a flip,” assures listing agent Phil Skowron. “If that was the case [the owners] wouldn’t have put this much money into it.” A wall blocking out the main balcony was removed; the kitchen was reoriented to open up views; a third bedroom was molded from a compilation of closet and office space; a new office was built near the entrance; and the walk-in closet between the master bed and bath was liberated from a compartmentalized state.
Then there were the finishing touches: 6” plank hardwood flooring was installed throughout the unit, even in the bedrooms where carpet reigned previously; a wall of cement tile and a built-in jumbo flatscreen accent the living room; the master bathroom was rebuilt with stone walls and a soaking tub; and $60,000 worth of gangly, prickly light fixtures hang everywhere, under the control of a centralized smart home system.
This classy and seamless renovation plays second fiddle to the views: south and east through 10-foot window walls, taking in Museum Campus, Grant Park, Millennium Park, the new Maggie Daley Park, bracketed by towers at Lakeshore East and Central Station. For the brave, three inset glass balconies give you astounding lake views. “Everything in front of you [on Michigan Avenue] is historic landmark,” says Skowron. “This is as protected a view as you can get.” Last year an F-16 flew right between Park Monroe and neighboring CNA Center (that bright red tower lording over Wabash Avenue) during the air and water show.
Price Points: At $712 a square foot, this place is a steal relative to other downtown penthouses with a view. I found just one rival in price and quality near the top of a new Loop tower: a 4,668-square-foot four-bed asking $3.35 million at 130 North Garland Court. At perennial favorites Aqua and 340 On The Park, high-floor units sometimes with basic finishes can command close to $1,000 a square foot, and, back at Park Monroe, an identical southeast corner unit five floors below is on the market for $3.2 million. Both condos were closed on for around $2.3 million in December 2013. A half-mil will get you into a West-facing one-bed at the Park Monroe, with tremendous city views and access to the rooftop sun deck, garden, gym, and pool guaranteed.