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Prices plunge at SoNo development in Lincoln Park

filed under: Buyers, Developments, Lincoln Park posted on June 16th, 2009

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SoNo slashed prices by up to 20% this week to lure buyers.

Developers around town are slashing prices this summer in an effort to move their inventory before the sluggish winter months return. Even brand-new highrise buildings with modern finishes can now be found in the bargain bin, at prices significantly lower than they stood just a month ago.

At SoNo, a stylish pair of new towers near North and Halsted developed by Smithfield Properties, prices plunged this week. One-bedroom units originally priced at $316,750 are now being sold at $275,900. Spacious two-bedroom units, with 1650 square feet, have dropped more than $100,000 β€” from $579,900 to $475,900. Even parking spaces are now on sale, for $9,000 rather than the $30,000 they once cost. The new prices are certain to irritate exisiting owners who spent more, but it’s a good deal for newcomers. Sales have reportedly been brisk, with at least ten units going under contract over the weekend. (Disclosure: The property is being marketed by @properties, but I have nothing to do with it.)

While SoNo is a particulary visible example, the story is much the same all over Chicago. Developers who planned projects two or three years ago are hurting, facing tough lending climates and far fewer qualified buyers than they expected. With profit margins shrinking β€” and many of them pressed to pay back their construction loans β€” some builders are now swallowing the medicine and cutting prices to levels that will actually attract buyers.

Among the deals my buyers have snagged in the last 3 months:

* A Bucktown 3-bedroom, 3-bath duplex for $399,000, in a building where the developer expected to sell each unit in the mid-$500s.

*A Rogers Park 2-bedroom, 2-bath condo for $200,000, in a building where similar units sold for about $245,000 two years ago.

* A Logan Square 3-bedroom, 2 and a half-bath condo for $380,000, on a block where smaller units sold for $50,000 more in 2006.

Such deals are no longer the exception in Chicago. For buyers with good credit, verifiable income, and some money saved for a down payment, the whole city is basically on sale.

Written by Sue Fox // 2 Comments »

Andersonville's Midsommarfest: Proof that summer actually exists

filed under: Andersonville posted on June 15th, 2009

IMG_1877After an impossibly chilly, rainy and otherwise dreary June, the sun finally came out this weekend for Midsommarfest, Andersonville’s annual street fair. Thousands of people turned out to roam Clark Street, buying trinkets ranging from $100 handmade silver necklaces to 25-cent temporary tattoos. There was eating, there was drinking, and there was much dancing, as about 50 bands played over the course of the weekend. Retro ’80s anthems — think Bon Jovi — seemed especially popular this year, and one ’80s cover band, Sixteen Candles, even closed their set Saturday night with a rousing rendition of Corey Hart’s “Sunglasses at Night.” Picture 300 semi-drunk people, all apparently over the age of 30, wearing their sunglasses as they chanted along.

By Sunday, the weather was even better, and the crowd swelled with families and children and dogs and couples and clusters of friends sharing six-packs of Miller Lite that they smuggled in, a lovely mix of gay and straight people so unique to Andersonville (and parts of Lakeview.) A good time was had by all, and the $5 donations collected at the door go to support the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce.

Written by Sue Fox // 1 Comment »