In the last six months, more property has sold on Madison Park Avenue than on any other two-block stretch of Kenwood or Hyde Park. Seven condos are presently for sale, two under contract, and are priced between $295,000 and $499,000—none smaller than 1,650 square feet.
This street along the official Kenwood/Hyde Park border is one of just a few private residential parkways in Chicago. Laid out with single family homes in the 1880s, it was preceded only by Groveland Park 20 blocks north in Douglas which stands today as a more modest collection of row homes and small apartment blocks pressed against the Metra Electric tracks. Rapid development in the 1910s and 1920s brought low-rise multi-family buildings to Madison Park, the kind of housing blocks that also fills in adjacent blocks of Woodlawn Avenue and Hyde Park Boulevard. Because of its exclusivity and manicured charms, Madison Park tends to hold its residents, and its value—although the prices slid a bit through the recession for the vintage condos.
Realtor Sanina Ellison of Luxe Marketing and Sales represents one of the for-sale condos, a 2,200-square-foot three-bedroom unit in an ornate three-flat. The seller has called Madison Park home for 30 years. The home sports hardwood floors throughout, jumbo common rooms with open double-width doorways, a separate sunroom, and a fireplace.
The asking price shrunk to $360,000 in June after starting at $425,000 in the spring. “When we listed in March, there weren’t a lot of similar places on the market nearby and it wasn’t easy drawing comps,” says Ellison. “There’s been a lot traffic and a lot more sales recently. Our price drops are strategic and respond to that sales activity.” Ellison adds that while they got interest at the initial asking price, offers were slow to come as some of the competing listings have more modern updates.
Madison Park was fortunate to record no foreclosures in the last year—a ravaging force on poorer streets, but still a menace in affluent areas. Across the Chicago area, completed foreclosures were down 50.7% year-over-year in May, according to CoreLogic. Let’s hope that trend continues.
Recent sales have been closing within the area’s average listing span of 60-90 days. One of those is a stellar family-sized vintage condo with four bedrooms and three full bathrooms that fetched $675,000 in early April after listing for $699,000 in late January. No, this seller didn’t recover the $800,000 spent in January 2008, but few would reasonably expect to. A sprawling duplex condo with a more punishing monthly assessment of $1,028 sold in June for $460,200 after listing in April for $445,000. And single-family homes, one an influential modernist Atrium Home by late architect Y.C. Wong and the other a new construction classic brick town home, sold in short order for $337,500 and $1.41 million, respectively, in May and June.
There are inklings that for-sale inventory may finally be rebounding citywide. There’s no doubt that’s already happening down on Madison Park.