(Crain’s) — With the condominium market stuck in a funk, two more downtown condo developers are considering replacing “For Sale” signs with ones that say “For Rent.”
The Mondial, a 141-unit condo project in River West, and the 100-unit Trio high-rise under construction in the West Loop could go rental in the coming months, a switch that has become increasingly attractive in an overbuilt and cutthroat downtown condo market.
“We’re just trying to figure out how fast all the other guys who are dumping units will clear the marketplace,” says Jack Berger, the developer of the Mondial, a nearly finished 15-story building at 900 W. Huron Street.
Mr. Berger says he recently canceled about 50 purchase contracts for condos in the project and gave the buyers their deposits back. Yet he hasn’t given up completely on condos, saying he expects to make a final decision by the end of the year on whether to switch over to apartments.
“Do you think someone who has a contract for a $450,000 unit that they signed two years ago is going to close?” Mr. Berger asks. “They aren’t going to close, so why alienate the marketplace? We have to do the responsible thing.”
Many condo buyers nowadays can’t get a loan to finance a new condo purchase, one reason downtown developers are sitting on so many unsold units. Switching to apartments could make sense for projects close to completion, allowing developers to trade a risky condo market for a more stable, albeit still sluggish, downtown rental market….
Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on September 24, 2009
Thanks again to Crain’s Chicago for this article about developer and real estate veteran Sean Conlon’s proposed apartment building in Chicago’s River West neighborhood, located at 1100 W. Grand Avenue. This location used to house a gas station but after purchasing the property for $1.9M, the existing building and underground gas tanks have been removed. This proposed rental building will include 4,000 square feet of ground floor retail and 59 parking spaces. The amount of apartments is unknown at this point.
I’m pretty excited about this proposed building, not only because I live a couple blocks away but I truely believe this neighborhood has so much potential and Mr. Conlon is helping it reach that potential. I would love to see a contemporary building with floor to ceiling windows which will take advantage of the amazing skyline view.
When taking a walk around my new neighborhood, I stopped and noticed this odd but pretty cool window on the top floor of an old building. They don’t build them like they used to do they? Oh, and my bad for the blurry picture. I don’t know what I was doing when I took this…I thought I got a really clear picture of the window.
Mondial River West, a 15 story condominium building is designed by BDS Architects, Inc. and is being developed by CITTA Development, LLC. Mondial consists of 142 homes and is located at 900 West Huron Street in the River West neighborhood. Throughout Mondial’s contruction, I was very unimpressed by how it was turning out, and at times, the building looked like a Cold War era housing project. However, now that the building is for the most part complete, I am more than impressed by the way the high-rise turned out and how it stayed true to its original plans. The main entrance looks like it will turn out really impressive with two glass-backed elevators and a nicely landscaped area in front of the buiding. I even like how the parking garage turned out with the dark but simple stonework.
River West Lofts, located at 925 W. Huron Street, offers 28 floor plans including studios, one bedrooms, one bedrooms with den, and two bedroom lofts. River West Lofts also has amenities such as a 24-hour fitness center and a penthouse clubroom with a wood burning fireplace and wet bar. There is also a rooftop deck that is furnished with bistro tables and lounge chairs and surrounded by plantings. Gas grills and an open air shower are also located on the rooftop deck. I don’t really know what the point of having a shower on the roof is, I just figure people can take the elevator down to their loft and use their own shower…I’m just old fashioned I guess. Overall, I love this building and those windows are amazing. I have always wanted to have windows like that in my place. The one bedroom apartment shown below is the most affordable apartment that rents for $1325/month.
Grand Station Condominiums is a proposed transit oriented development by Paramount Homes that will be located at the intersection of Grand, Milwaukee, and Halsted Streets in the River West neighborhood. Paramount Homes has three other transit oriented developments either completed or in the works such as Polk Street Station, a row home and condo development in the Printers Row neighborhood. According to their website, Grand Station Condominiums is in the pre-development phase and does not have a concrete timeline for delivery which, to me, is unfortunate because the plans will make such a positive change to the intersection. For some reason, someone had the bright idea to paint the entire block a blue/gray color.
This article from Today’s New Homes publication goes more in depth about Grand Station and other transit oriented developments from Paramount Homes. According to the article, Grand Station will have 144 homes on 12 floors in addition to 18K square feet of retail space. Paramount Homes will build a handicap accessible entrance for the Grand Blue Line stop and will also donate the site’s borders for landscaping, wider sidewalks, and bike racks. While reading about Grand Station Condominiums, I found that the types of homes offered in the development are different everywhere I look so we will have to find out when this project moves further along.