Price: $1.85 million
A gorgeously assertive modern condo has hit the market in River North, occupying the full eighth floor of a nine-story building at 156 West Superior Street. A 2006 project of Ranquist Development Group and architect David Miller of Miller Hull Partnership, the linear 3,000-square-foot unit has plenty of width and it’s easy to imagine large gatherings in the open living, dining, and kitchen areas, with their wide view of River North and points south.
When the sellers, who asked not to be named, moved in the unit was new and well appointed but not entirely to their liking. For one, there were two kitchen islands inefficiently spaced with no comfortable place to stage a party. The sellers replaced these with one 14-foot Arclinea chef’s island lifted in by crane through the back windows. They then installed stainless steel counters, all new appliances, lighting throughout the home, and outfitted the powder room with leathered Italian tile and the hallway with a 200-bottle wine rack.
The improvements matched a barrage of stellar developer finishes, including high-gloss concrete flooring, floor-to-ceiling windows, a fireplace, sliding glass doors concealing storage space along the hallway and offering privacy for the office, and two elegant steel and concrete terraces protruding from the front and rear. The front terrace is as industrial chic as it gets with wiry rails, a permeable steel screen, painted beams, and partial shelter provided by the terrace above. The back terrace is more of a standard balcony, but one that echoes the hanging balconies of industrial loft conversions. Two of three bedrooms have en suite baths, and these spaces take up roughly equal shares of the unit's rear north-facing window walls. The master claims an advantage, though, with its walk-in closet and soaking tub.
It’s important that a boutique building supplies large windows wherever it can in case it gets boxed in quickly. This way you’ll protect your great light and views. This building has the windows and the tall neighbors, though at a comfortable remove. It will add one more in the coming year: 720 North LaSalle, or the “HoJo tower”, a 38-story apartment building by Magellan Development Group and bKL Architecture on the site of a classic Howard Johnson Inn. In a stroke of luck, the tower’s mid-block siting will preserve a chunk of skyline views to the south for 156 West Superior’s high-floor residents—those with units that clear the parking podium’s 55-foot height. “It’ll definitely be an improvement over the HoJo,” ventures listing agent Diana Radosta of Conlon Real Estate. “At the end of the day, this is urban living.” Another perk is the pocket park destined for the corner of Wells and Superior. Anyone who knows River North knows green space is rare.
Price Points: The home is well priced. The sellers paid $1.525 million in 2007 and the new ask aims to recoup that plus upgrades. The upper penthouse fetched $2.4 million in late 2013, with the same square footage and pair of terraces but offering in addition a stupendous private roof deck.