List Price: $1,095,000

The Property: The 16-story Elm Tower, at Elm and Dearborn streets, is a six-year-old building designed to look and feel like the vintage co-ops of the Gold Coast. When he was building it, the developer, Jim Letchinger, told me he had grown up in the neighborhood and wanted to put up something that captured the intimate, urban feeling of the 1920s residential buildings he loved there. The building’s exterior blends Art Deco and Gothic styles; inside, there are just 39 condos.

This aggressively priced seventh-floor condo has the sprawling layout of a suburban ranch house and northwest views over a mostly low-rise section of the neighborhood. The floor plan benefits from two customizations that the sellers, Bob and Mary Levin, made to the original layout. They removed a wall between the kitchen and living room—creating the “great room” style of a suburban home—and converted the third bedroom into a glass-walled study or family room off the living room. The redesign enhances the already spacious (2,632 square feet) residence with an open floor plan—which goes right along with the big west-facing balcony off the living room. There is a roomy foyer, a large master bedroom, a lavishly outfitted kitchen, and solid-core doors throughout. A parking space is included in the asking price, and there are a dozen good restaurants within a few blocks.

Price Points: The Levins, who live in California, say they bought the condo as a second home (Bob Levin is a healthcare executive whose business is in California and the Midwest, and he grew up here). But this winter the couple finally realized they weren’t going to get any time in Chicago, so they listed it for sale. “This is not the time to have unrealistic expectations of what we can get for the condo,” says Bob Levin. “We wanted to price it extremely competitively.” (The $1,095,000 asking price, says Karen Strohl, the Levins’ agent, equals the $995,000 the couple paid for the condo plus the additional $100,000 they sunk into it.) The unit is priced for less than comparable properties in the building: the condo immediately below this one is priced at $1,199,000, which is what the same layout on the ninth floor sold for in July.

Listing Agent: Karen Strohl, Rubloff, (312) 368-5347;