The very definition of 'boutique condo project' is wrapping up at 747 N Clark Street: Six River North-specific, high-end units molded from the half-built shell of a failed development before it. Ranquist Development Group teamed with architect Miller Hull Partnership on the infill. The fruitful union has also produced an expressive nine-story steel and glass condo box around the corner at 156 W Superior and Wicker Park’s captivating Urban Sandbox condos.
Ranquist Development has projects that are taking a bigger bite out of pent-up demand, and those are getting press. BackYard Andersonville, Basecamp River North, and FlexHouse are delivering 23, 47, and 15 row-homes, respectively, priced in the mid- to high-six figures and boasting green features and a clean, replicable style.
But 747 N Clark tempts the really big spenders, as a piece of modern architectural candy jammed into an aesthetically underperforming block. Five of six full-floor layouts, ranging from 2,000 to 2,600 square feet (the smallest is the top floor unit, owing to its 600-square-foot front terrace), have sold, and the sixth is scheduled to close Friday. Each buyer surfaced prior to the building’s completion, and is shelling out the full asking price, plus the $25,000 garage parking fee, and any extra developer-accommodated finishes. It adds up to a per-unit total of between $1.23 and $1.31 million.
747 N Clark is one of the smallest multi-family new-builds in the neighborhood, and definitely the smallest commanding an astronomical price point. It's on par with the aforementioned 156 W Superior and the Contemporaine at 201 W Grand, both of which were boom-time triumphs.
Move-ins began this month, and I had to dance around boxes and tools to compose my shots. The two units I dropped in on with Karen Ranquist of Koenig & Strey were on the fourth and fifth floors with near identical layouts but different finishes. Broad plank white oak floors, white porcelain bath tile, and white kitchen cabinetry and counters are in the sold fourth floor space; a natural hardwood finish and granite are in the unoccupied fifth.
With fewer obstructions, it was easier to take in the full sweep of the fifth floor condo, which, like every other unit, has a generous open living and cooking space, punctuated by 10-foot floor-to-ceiling windows onto Clark. The larger of two balconies is perched over the street, and from the third floor up, the views north and south are unimpeded. The rear balcony off the master suite has a more classic skyline view, as well as a fine perspective on John Ronan’s sinewy Poetry Foundation.
Two of the three bedrooms are flooded in natural light, and the master has two walk-in closets and a decadent granite-walled bathroom with a soaking tub and a “rain” shower. And all three bathrooms are full service.
“It’s a unique building—all the buyers kind of got it and enjoyed the process of picking their stuff out.” And speaking to the building’s architectural integrity and market durability, Ranquist thinks this sort of design, not being tied to any waning trend, “tends to persevere over time.”
It’s typical for Ranquist Development to engage in soft sales and score a large number of commitments before breaking ground on a project. That strategy lessens the specter of going bust. Around 30 of the 47 Basecamp units have gone under contract in a two-month span, and construction has yet to begin in earnest at 450 W Oak Street. FlexHouse Phase 2 has touched down at Kimball and Wrightwood in Logan Square with similar pre-sales success. Says Ranquist of her husband Bob, who heads the company: “He has the infrastructure now, the different partnerships…it’s not that we weren’t able to do the larger projects [in years past], just that Bob’s always been so architecturally-minded and into smaller scale boutique stuff.”