Archive for January, 2010

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on January 31, 2010

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Brininstool, Kerwin and Lynch with plans for a high rise in Chicago’s West Loop/Greektown!

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on January 29, 2010

Just caught these plans for a new residential high rise building on the real estate message board, Skyscraperpage.  The proposed building, designed by Brininstool, Kerwin and Lynch, will replace one of the many parking lots in Chicago’s West Loop and Greektown neighborhoods on Green Street between Van Buren and Jackson. 

The Brininstool, Kerwin and Lynch website describes the building as having around 370,000 square feet in 28 story’s, eight of which will be above ground parking clad in glazed horizontal windows.  With the current plans, I’m definitely on the road to really liking the building.  The base from far away actually looks pretty interesting but once you see a close up photo, my opinion goes a complete 180…  It just looks so boring and sterile especially when it’s surrounded by dozens of old, detailed, brick buildings.  Please come up with something better!

Check out the Brininstool, Kerwin and Lynch website for information on the firm and their other projects!

Posted in Greektown, Proposed Developments, West Loop | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

The construction of new retail hits a 25 year low.

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on January 28, 2010

Sure this sounds really doom and gloom but when you think of it, this was bound to happen, it just took a bit longer to happen than the housing fallout.  Industrial, commercial, retail, and residential sectors don’t all fall or reach a low at the exact same time but just like the residential market, the retail market will get better soon.  Not sure about you, but I still see stores and restaurants packed full of people spending money so I’m not too worried.

Retail construction hits 25-year low

By: Thomas A. Corfman and Colleen Lobner
 Jan. 25, 2010

(Crain’s) — The construction of new shopping centers in the Chicago area continued to grind down in 2009, falling to its lowest level in a quarter century.

Retail construction dropped plunged 53% in 2009, to 1.7 million square feet, compared to 3.7 million square feet in 2008, according to an annual report by retail real estate brokerage Mid-America Real Estate Corp.Last year’s total was the lowest since 1984, when 1.6 million square feet of retail properties were completed.

Construction has plummeted nearly 80% since 2007, when nearly 8.4 million square feet was completed as many retailers were expanding rapidly to catch up with new residential development. The 2007 total was the highest since 1983.

Since the recession began in late 2007, consumers have cut back their spending, the retail industry has undergone a dramatic retrenching and construction lenders have little appetite to finance new developments of any type.

In 2010, the pace of shopping center development will remain unchanged at 1.7 million square feet, and will likely remain at that historically low level for several years, says Andrew Bulson, a senior vice-president with Oakbrook Terrace-based Mid-America.

In 2011, the pace of development will rise only “marginally,” he says.

“It’s perhaps the new normal for the foreseeable future,” he says.

Retailers still smarting from the recession are slow to expand and when they look to add locations are likely to focus on existing properties where rents will be cheaper. And amid the uncertain recovery of the national economy, investors are skeptical of backing new retailing ventures.

“The pendulum has completely swung in the opposite direction,” says developer Evan Oliff, president of Chicago-based Preferred Development Inc. “It’s about time….”

Read the full Crain’s Chicago Business article by clicking HERE!

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City of Chicago Property Tax Relief Program. Check it out!

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on January 27, 2010

I completely forgot where I saw this flier but I know that I saved it for this exact reason.  Check out the flier HERE!

This tax relief program asks if you’re a homeowner who pays property taxes.  Do you also make less than $200,000 a year?  Then you may be eligible for tax relief of up to $200!  To see if you qualify, just download an application at or visit one of the three locations! 

Again, click HERE! to view the pdf version of the tax relief flier.  No matter how you think of it, an extra $200 is nice for anyone and after being taxed like no other, why not get something back, right?

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Chicago area home sales still going up. December a good month!

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on January 26, 2010

Awesome news once again.  Even though, in the end, 2009 as a whole was flat, I’m taking that as a win because we all know it could have been much worse…haha.  If you’re looking to buy a home, sell your current place, or even if you know someone who’s looking to rent a place, send me a message to my @properties email:

Local home sales up in December, flat for 2009

By: Staff Jan. 25, 2010

(Crain’s) — Chicago-area home sales rose 33% in December compared with the same month last year and were essentially flat for the full year, according to the Illinois Assn. of Realtors.

Below is a monthly year-over-year comparison of home sales (single-family and condo) in the nine-county Chicago area.
Month 2009 2008 Change
January 2,965 3,927 -24.5%
February 3,082 4,326 -28.8%
March 4,260 5,759 -26.0%
April 4,747 6,094 -22.1%
May 5,634 6,927 -18.7%
June 7,140 7,806 -8.5%
July 7,427 7,408 0.3%
August 7,009 6,917 1.3%
September 6,862 6,477 5.9%
October 7,286 5,467 33.3%
November 6,826 3,978 71.6%
December 5,752 4,320 33.1%
Full year 69,290 69,406 -0.2%
Source: Illinois Assn. of Realtors

Median prices, however, fell sharply last year both in the region and the city.

For all of 2009, 69,290 homes sold in the Chicago area, down a scant 0.2% from 2008, the Realtors said in a release Monday.

That’s a major improvement from 2008, when local sales fell almost 26% compared with 2007.

In December 2009, home sales rose 33.1% locally, to 5,752 compared with 4,320 in December 2008, the sixth consecutive month that area sales increased over the year-ago month.

“In 2009, we saw demand primarily for lower-priced homes from first-time buyers in addition to short sales and sales of foreclosed homes,” Mike Onorato, president of the association and broker-owner of Onorato Real Estate in Coal City, said in the release. “There is opportunity now for the move-up buyer to take advantage of the tax credit that ends April 30 and lower mortgage interest rates, which many analysts expect to rise by mid-year.”

Last year, sales in the city of Chicago fell more sharply than in the entire Chicago area. In the city, 2009 sales fell 7.4%, to 19,401 compared with 20,946 in 2008.

In December alone, city sales rose 39.8%, to 1,768 compared with 1,265 in December 2008.

The median price plunged last year in both the Chicago area and the city. The Chicago-area median — the price at which half the homes sell for more and half for less — dropped 18.3%, to $196,000, compared with 2008….

Check out the full Crain’s Chicago Business article by clicking HERE!

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New year, new outlook on real estate?

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on January 25, 2010

Things are getting BUSY for me and for pretty much all other agents I’ve talked to lately.  Buyers are coming out in droves to get started with their home searches, a lot are determined to buy before the April 30th deadline for the First Time Homebuyers Tax Credit, and sellers are taking advantage of it by getting their homes listed!  Let me know if you need any help with your dive into the real estate market and send me a quick email.  Check out my @properties agent website by clicking HERE!

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GREEN ROOF ALERT! New 33 story residential buidling planned near Old Main Post Office!

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on January 24, 2010

Investors to be ready to build if market improves

Looking ahead on high-rise

January 15, 2010


An investor team that includes two Bridgeport businessmen and a specialist in industrial cleanups is trying its luck with high-rise housing. They have proposed a 33-story building at 519 S. Clinton, just west of the vacant Old Main Post Office.

It’s a poor market for planning a high-rise, so work won’t start anytime soon. But Langdon Neal, the investors’ zoning lawyer, said they wanted to start the approval process anyway.

“They wanted to get the entitlement work done, so if the market does turn, they can take advantage,” Neal said.

The investors include William Pacella and George Bonomo of Bridgeport. Pacella owns a trucking firm that won contracts under the city’s scandal-scarred Hired Truck program exposed by the Chicago Sun-Times. Bonomo owns a supplier of paper and cleaning supplies.

They’ve invested together in race horses, and in the 1990s they tried to renovate the old Evans furrier building at 36 S. State, but couldn’t finance the deal.

Another investor is Shadow Mirkhaef, an executive at GSG Consultants Inc., which handles industrial cleanups.

Their proposal calls for 276 units of either rental or for-sale housing, depending on the market’s inclination, Neal said. Also included would be 327 parking spaces, a large allotment that would enable the site to provide parking for a Holiday Inn next door….

Photo courtesy of Chicago Sun-Times

Check out the full Chicago Sun Times article by clicking HERE!

I’ve always wanted SOMETHING to be built on this side of the river and Congress.  The land is soo close to the Loop and it’s being incredibly underutilized.  This building looks great and should fit in nicely…not to mention the amazing green roof that’s planned for the building!  I love green roofs!

Posted in Green, News Articles, Proposed Developments, West Loop | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Target may move in to Sullivan Center on Chicago’s State Street.

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on January 23, 2010

Target Corp. eyes historic Carson’s site on Chicago’s State Street for new store.

By: Eddie Baeb January 18, 2010

Discount giant Target Corp. is in talks for a full-line store that could include groceries at the historic Carson Pirie Scott & Co. building on State Street.

A spokeswoman for the firm that owns the building, Joseph Freed & Associates LLC, says talks with Target are at an advanced stage for a lease at the store designed by architect Louis Sullivan more than 110 years ago.

“There are serious conversations going on,” she says, declining to provide specifics.

                       Sullivan Center, Chicago

Real estate sources say Target has been scouting in recent months for big downtown and River North sites, including the Carson’s building at 1 S. State Street. The landmark building has been rechristened Sullivan Center as part of Chicago-based Freed’s efforts to redevelop the property since Carson’s closed its department store about three years ago.

Landing Target, which has built an image as a stylish discounter in apparel and home furnishings, would boost Mayor Richard M. Daley’s bid to bolster downtown’s residential and retail mix. It also would be a major victory for Freed, which has only one tenant at Sullivan Center, a small restaurant, and is battling foreclosure up the street at the newly opened Block 37 mall.

“It would be a huge boon and shot in the arm for State Street,” says Bruce Kaplan, a retail broker at the Chicago office CB Richard Ellis Inc. who’s tracked retail vacancies on State for 20 years. “Target is really the state of the art in department stores and the kind of brick-and-mortar store positioned to succeed in the future.”

The retailer is looking to occupy about 80,000 square feet on no more than two stories, which would make the State Street outlet almost half the size of its new SuperTarget suburban stores. Such space will be a challenge to find in and around the Loop. Indeed, Target has looked periodically for a downtown site for at least a decade. It also has been trying to get into Manhattan for years and is poised to open its first store in East Harlem this year….

Check out the full Crain’s Chicago Business article by clicking HERE!

Posted in News Articles, Retail, State Street, The Loop | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

REALTOR® Magazine ranks Chicago as third smartest place to buy!

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on January 22, 2010

I just got my weekly email update from REALTOR® Magazine where I found an article that had the Chicagoland area ranked as the third smartest area to buy a home.  YES!  Things are picking up like crazy lately.  I’ve been insanely busy with showings and on the verge of some good things to come!

If you’ve decided, or are having a hard time deciding to get into the market of buying, selling, or even renting, send me a quick email and I’m more than happy to help out or lend some advice.  My @properties email is

Here are the top 10 cities the magazine chose as the best places to buy right now.  Full article HERE!

1 – Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Mass.

2 – Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord, N.C.-S.C.

3 – Chicago-Naperville-Joliet, Ill.-Ind.-Wis.

4 – Cincinnati-Middletown, Ohio-Ky.-Ind.

5 – Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, Colo

6 – Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minn.-Wis.

7 – Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, Pa.-N.J.-Del.-Md.

8 – Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, Ore.-Wash.

9 – San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, Calif.

10 – Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Va.-Md.-W.V.

Posted in Chicago, News Articles | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Register to win HGTV’s Dream Home 2010 now till February 19th!

Posted by ChicagoismynewBlog! on January 21, 2010

Ever wanted to win a brand new, sustainable, and literal dream home in the mountains of New Mexico?  Well here’s your chance to win that…and more.   Talk about $500,000, a brand new 2010 GMC Terrain and a lot more with a prize totaling over $2 million from HGTV.  Not bad eh?

Just check out HGTV’s Dream Home website where you can sign up once a day until February 19th.  If anyone wins, can I come visit at least once and take advantage of your $2 million prize?

Photos courtesy of HGTV’s website.

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