Mega companies coming to downtown Chicago leads to opportunities in housing market

By Urban Real Estate

A new year has brought a wait-and-see attitude as the national climate, interest rates and a major local mayoral election bring some pause to buyers and sellers looking to make their next move. Chicago City Hall, the future of the city’s pension plan and property tax proposals all have people watching to see what the next Chicago will look like.

Multinational companies, however, have bigger bets set on the Windy City and that might be the key difference to our future over any other market.

Matt Farrell, managing broker of Urban Real Estate, sees this as the opportunity that makes downtown neighborhoods desirable even when the national and local climate may differ.

“Each of these companies has hundreds of employees who are also making their move into the city. Some are renters, others are prospective buyers. They all need a place to live, and there are few communities like the New Eastside that offer an immense level of convenience, privacy and beauty, all within steps of the hustle and bustle of the city.”

Chicago has a great deal to offer, both to companies and residents.

“There is really no surprise as to why this city continues to draw investors and businesses from across the globe,” Farrell added. “We may have our winters, but the access to public transportation, universities, museums, medical systems, an unrivaled lakefront setting, paired with O’Hare’s planned expansion, make Chicago the perfect fit.”

“The best advice we can give our seller clients is to do everything they can to make their homes look as pristine as possible. Beautiful, updated homes will always do better than a home that hasn’t been tended to. Consider your own personal and financial goals, and plan whether this may be the time to sell your home or to seek a second home at a great price,” Farrell said. “The market pace may have stabilized, but Chicago has and will continue to find its way to continued growth.”

The things in your home really should bring you joy

By Urban Real Estate

Winter in Chicago is the perfect opportunity to stay inside and tidy up. With the popularity of organizer-extraordinaire Marie Kondo’s Netflix hit “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo,” many are turning closets inside-out with the goal of finding happiness while decluttering.  

In real estate, decluttering ensures that a prospective buyer can “visualize” themselves in a space, so that a buyer is less focused on your life, and more focused on the home. The bonus is that living in a residence that looks and feels great is a win, all the way around.

Kondo’s six-step method is both a physical and emotional journey. The importance of loving your space isn’t just about the walls you live in – but also the momentos that share your home, as well. Michael Emery, senior partner and broker with Urban Real Estate, sees clients who struggle with what to do with belongings.

“When we are preparing a home for sale, all things will need to go at some point, so we recommend starting that packing process before we bring buyers in the door,” Emery said. “The goal behind bringing joy to your home is compounded with emotionally being prepared to remove a loved one’s belongings who has passed, clothes that simply don’t fit or you will never wear, or items from your children that simply need a new place other than your front closet,” Emeray adds.

As you declutter, think about how you want to use the items in your home. Some things you might want to keep, but it may not be necessary to keep them in your home.

“That’s what storage facilities are for. Think about what could go where, what you might keep for a second home or investment property, or what could be better used by someone else you know, and proceed confidently,” Emery added.

Contact us at Urban Real Estate for a consultation on the resources we have for organizing and staging, or for your next home. UrbanRealEstate.com or (312) 528-9200.

[Winter is a great time to declutter a home. Photo courtesy Urban Real Estate]

It’s a new year – Is the time right for a second home?

By Urban Real Estate

Each year, we set out a list of resolutions and goals — things to achieve in the new year — but some goals are more important than others.

One important goal is understanding what your real estate aims are and deciding where you want to go and how you want to get there.

“The beginning of the new year is the ideal time to map out your short and long-term real estate dreams,” says Michael Emery, senior partner, Urban Real Estate. “Buying a second home is both rewarding and can generate revenue until you are ready to enjoy it. Think about recreational climates, cities where the opportunity of short-term rental services are welcome and where they make sense.”

According to the National Association of Realtors, 45 percent of investment buyers bought their investment property to generate income through renting the property. Of those surveyed, 24 percent of those with investment properties rented the property in 2017 as a short-term rental.

Urban Real Estate agents work with clients and help them consider not only their investment buying options in Chicago but in other cities as well. Whether a buyer is considering cottages in Michigan, homes on golf courses in Florida or a chalet in Vail, being able to set yourself up for making that dream a reality doesn’t need to seem out of reach.

“We have a network of brokers across the country we work with to help identify just what might work for you, and the lifestyle markers you hope to realize with its immediate purchase,” Emery says.

Jumbo loan products paired with ways to generate income for the investor can make the dream of second-home ownership a more attainable reality. “Vacation rental services can help you cover many of the costs related to a turn-key or fixer-upper purchase in an attractive community which welcomes short-term rentals. The key is working with a trusted broker to help you identify property that is valuable and worth the investment if the home isn’t one you’ll be using often for yourself,” adds Emery.

Explore your second home dreams with the Urban Real Estate team of brokers. Contact us at (312) 528-9200 for your second-home or other real estate needs.

Waterfront penthouse makes a global splash as online tools upgrade buying experience

By Urban Real Estate

The New Eastside has become a cornerstone in the city of Chicago for luxury, elegance and community. The Chandler is no exception, bringing to life some of downtown’s most magnificent residences. Making news this month is a new listing at the coveted 450 E. Waterside address, unit 3001. This is a penthouse with a story that is attracting buyers from across the globe.

This premier 3,200-plus square foot residence has everything one could want in a dream home in the sky. Among its best assets are its permanent, unobstructed panoramic views of the Chicago River to the north, Navy Pier and Lake Michigan to the east, and the city’s skyline as far as the eye can see.

Matt Silver, partner/broker at Urban Real Estate, said, “This home’s meticulous interior design by the team at Ashworth & Associates, impressive state-of-the-art kitchen, 11-foot-high ceilings with floor-to-ceiling windows and with every inch customized with impeccable finishes and sweeping views makes this a show-stopper. The owners have left no detail to chance.” Silver added, “Our goal is to bring as much of our listing to life to a prospective buyer, leaving the guesswork out. We want them to love it before they even visit onsite.”

Aside from being impressive in layout and design, the three bedroom, three-and-a-half bathroom boasts a large foyer ready to greet guests when they walk in the door. Two car parking is included in the $2.75 million price tag. “It’s really the ultimate in city living,” Silver said.

Urban Real Estate strategically markets its properties using interactive online visual media to garner interest from prospective buyers around the world. Virtual property tours, along with guided video tours and strategic media efforts, help increase traffic and interest to a property, and often lead to offers from buyers reached via more tailored marketing methods.

Contact Matt Silver at Mattsilver@urbanre.com or call (312) 399-0017 for more information, or visit us at UrbanRealEstate.com to preview this listing. Or connect with any Urban broker who can show you just what you are missing at (312) 528-9200.

Market trends indicate buying a good bet in Chicago

By Urban Real Estate

Chicago has historically remained a steady market for home buying and selling as residents have often made Chicago home (versus other markets where second home investing was more prevalent and often also the first to feel the impact of a distressed marketplace).

That said, interest rates remain low and with a lower rate, comes housing affordability. If the Federal Reserve announces interest hikes before the end of the year, it is likely that that, too, will impact mortgage rates, increasing the cost of a home and decreasing the buying power a consumer might have today.

Matt Farrell, managing partner with Urban Real Estate, has these recommendations for contemplating what to do in today’s market:

First, there are great opportunities to buy in the Chicago market. If buyers are on the fence, lower rates today can be locked in through Urban’s recommended lender for a fixed limited time with a pre-approval, giving you the buying power to negotiate strategically on your next purchase. Buyers are not obligated to make any purchase, but at least have the “financial house” in order, with a low interest rate locked in.

Next, sellers are motivated, especially with good offers. A solid offer is better than no offer to a seller and often sellers have a variety of reasons why they may be looking to move. While buyers may have not planned to purchase in the winter, there may be a chance to secure a great primary or investment property and appreciate the residual benefit of a more aggressive decision.

Finally, If interest rates drop in the future, buyers can always refinance. The reality is, that is a better situation to be in rather than to miss a great opportunity, or to not find what one is looking for later. Moreover, as housing prices continue to increase in Chicago, buyers may later fight the battle of both a higher priced home, and higher interest rates.

Contact one of the trusted advisors at Urban Real Estate to help consider buying or selling in this market, and help get on track for a pre-approval with Urban’s preferred lenders who have a loan program right for you at (312) 528-9200 or visit us at UrbanRealEstate.com.

New Eastside’s Urban Real Estate gives back to neighbors (and dogs) in need

By Urban Real Estate

October 2, 2018

The brokers at Urban Real Estate have been involved in giving back to the community and the housing industry since the organization’s inception more than twelve years ago.

It is a goal shared by the brokers, as well as the partners, to give back where they live, work and play.

 

During the back to school season, the team at Urban partnered with no-kill, all-breed dog rescue One Tail at a Time, to help dogs find temporary and permanent homes.

An event held at Urban, 400 E. Randolph, turned a real estate brokerage into a neighborhood hot spot for a doggie meet and greet.

“Our goal isn’t to just make a difference for a dog who could use a great foster or permanent home,” senior partner Michael Emery said. “It is also to bring people and dog lovers together to make our community even stronger with new friends and residents, alike.”

Urban Real Estate has continued to seek ways to strengthen its bond with the community. Long-time advocates on the local, state and national housing scene, Urban brokers have fought for property owner rights for years, and dedicated thousands of hours on issues of affordable housing, property taxes and public safety.

Additionally, Urban continues to remain friends of organizations such as the Union Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago, supporting the sustainability and growth of programs for young children and teens in neighborhoods developing better citizens and stronger students.

“We follow our heartstrings where we can, and encourage our brokers to make a difference wherever that may take them,” Emery said. “We will continue to try new things and engage our New Eastside neighbors in every way we can because every voice and hand counts in making our community better.”

 

Reilly announces updates to Parcel O plans

Staff report

In late September, Alderman Brendan Reilly announced that Magellan Development agreed to work a number of public improvements into their project at 193 North Columbus Drive, commonly known as Parcel O.

The public improvements came from a public meeting held with the New Eastside Association of Residents (NEAR) in July. Reilly pointed out that the development group did not need to agree to any public improvements by law, but they agreed to build the improvements after extensive negotiations with Reilly. In a recent newsletter, Reilly credited the public support for the public improvements with the success of the negotiations.

Magellan will pay for the improvements, which are expected to aid pedestrian and traffic safety.

The proposed improvements include a pedway connection through Village Market and Blue Cross/Blue Shield to the greater pedway, improved lighting, public elevators servicing the 3 levels of Columbus Dr., as well as numerous improvements for pedestrians and vehicles.

Some of those improvements include:
•    A new traffic signal will be installed at Upper Columbus and East South Water Street.
•    At the intersection of Upper Columbus Drive and South Water Street, the crosswalk will be realigned on the south leg of the intersection. The east end of the crosswalk will move to the corner next to the Aqua building rather than the corner next to the fire station.
•    At the intersection of Upper Columbus Drive and South Water Street, a curb bump-out on the southwest corner will be installed to narrow the roadway and pedestrian crossing distance on Columbus Drive.

Reilly said the project must get Lakefront Protection Approval from the Chicago Plan Commission, and when that vote occurs, Reilly will announce it in his newsletter.

Reilly unveils revised designs for Lakeshore East

By Jesse Wright | Staff Writer

Published Sept. 4, 2018

More green space and three towers are planned for the I, J, K and L sites in Lakeshore East.

A year after the initial proposal was unveiled for the Lakeshore East development, Alderman Brendan Reilly (42nd Ward) and developers met in August with members of the community and the New Eastside Association of Residents (NEAR) for an informal discussion of revisions and updates on the project.

The Lakeshore East development will feature public walking and biking ways, intended to
Turn to IJKL, Page 4 facilitate thoroughfare in the area. Rendering courtesy of bKL Architecture

The project will develop land parcels I, J, K and L, which are located from 197 to 302 N. Harbor Drive and from 452 to 500 E. Waterside Drive. Representatives from the Lendlease Development Inc. and Lakeshore East LLC development teams were present.

The key announcement from the meeting was that residents can expect to see a larger park area developed and one less tower. Initially the master plan called for four towers, and hotel space. Now the hotel is scrapped in favor of condominium space. The space will include up to 1,700 residential units and 30,000 square feet of retail. The buildings will be approximately between 80 and 45 stories tall. Tom Weeks, a representative for the development team at Lendlease, said he believes the new plan is an improvement.

“I think we have a better plan tonight,” he told the audience. “Had you asked me that a year ago, I would have been skeptical of that.”

The plan includes 27 percent more green space and the elimination of a grand staircase, to be replaced with a meandering path. Developers said the plan is currently about half green space and that should improve pedestrian and bike traffic through the area. The green space will be developed and maintained by private developers but it
will be a public park, similar to Lakeshore East Park.

Alderman Brendan Reilly unveiled updates for the Lakeshore East development plans. The new
designs include one less tower and more green space. Rendering courtesy of bKL Architecture

“We wanted it to be universal access. We wanted it to be universal to all,” said Tom Kerwin, an architect from bKL Architecture.

For the most part, residents’ concerns and complaints were focused on traffic and safety, both of which Alderman Reilly said the development group would continue to address.

Upon news of the larger green space, several residents complained of people using illicit substances and homelessness in nearby parks. Reilly suggested residents call 911 and be willing to make an official complaint if they see illegal activity in parks.

The proposed green space will have a camera system and a funnel to
direct pedestrians through surveillance areas, he said.

“You’ll be able to get eyes east and west,” Reilly said. “We will know who’s going through the neighborhood.”

Last summer Reilly introduced construction plans to the NEAR group and since then, his office has been receiving feedback.

“If we have to say no, I’ve failed in my job because I’ve failed to find the middle ground and move the project forward.” – Alderman Brendan Reilly

Reilly has not signed off on the project and the meeting was intended to show how resident feedback has been incorporated into the designs.

“Negotiations have been many, many, many hours long,” Reilly told the audience at the start of the meeting. Those negotiations, he said, stemmed from community concerns.

“I don’t know if you’ve read, but there’s a story about the municipal race and it’s suggested there’s a habit that I drive developers crazy,” Reilly said. “And while I cringed a
little bit, I realized it’s part of doing my job.” Reilly told the audience he must also work for business interests.

“If we have to say no, I’ve failed in my job because I’ve failed to find the middle ground and move the project forward,” he said.

One objection he would not entertain was that of residents who complained the
new development would block views.

“I can’t protect your view,” Reilly told a resident. “That’s not the role of an alderman and that’s not how development works in a big city. If you want me to protect your view, I’m not your guy.”

Another concern involved pedway development. Several residents asked about forcing developers to build an underground pedestrian walkway but Reilly said that wasn’t going to happen.

“I don’t have the jurisdiction to assign a $10 million dollar obligation for a pedway system,” he said.

Following the meeting, Reilly said he
thought the discussion went well and while he does not expect to have any more public meetings on the development, his office is still taking resident concerns. Alderman Brendan Reilly can be contacted via his website, ward42chicago.com.

Dogs seeking a ‘furever’ home in New Eastside area

By Urban Real Estate

Join Urban Real Estate for its first-ever Urban Furever Home Pet Adoption event, with partner One Tail At A Time Dog Rescue, a no-kill, all-breed dog rescue. On Aug. 26, from 1–3 p.m. the New Eastside real estate brokerage will be hosting the event on the first floor of its office at 400 E. Randolph St.

“With our business focused on human clients, we thought we should take the opportunity to welcome some new four-legged neighbors to our great community—dogs who need help finding their ‘furever’ home,” said Michael Emery, senior partner at Urban Real Estate.

“We are proud to embark on this endeavor with One Tail At A Time, rescuing more than 550 dogs a year from Chicago and across the country.”

The Bucktown-based dog rescue offers vaccine clinics and supports the Chicago-land Rescue and Intervention Support Program shelter diversion program. They are also working on a soon-to-be implemented isolation clinic for dogs who need special care, offering bustling adoption and foster programs.

Jennifer Rogers, adoption counselor with One Tail At A Time, relies on the dedication of the group’s volunteers, and foster and adoption families to help bring these dogs to Chicago’s best homes.

Serious adoption applicants can pre-apply at OneTail.org prior to the event, or visit its Bucktown location during business hours.

“Neighbors can plan on coming to the Urban event to meet a few of the dogs that we will have available for adoption, as well as learn more about how to get involved,” Rogers said.

The Urban event will include prizes, surprises, and refreshments for adults and the four-legged neighbors.

Dogs seeking a ‘furever’ home in New Eastside

 By Urban Real Estate

 Published August 1, 2018

Join Urban Real Estate for its first-ever Urban Furever Home Pet Adoption event, with partner One Tail At A Time Dog Rescue, a no-kill, all-breed dog rescue. On Aug. 26, from 1–3 p.m. the New Eastside real estate brokerage will be hosting the event on the first floor of its office at 400 E. Randolph St.

“With our business focused on human clients, we thought we should take the opportunity to welcome some new fourlegged neighbors to our great community—dogs who need help finding their ‘furever’ home,” said Michael Emery, senior partner at Urban Real Estate. “We are proud to embark on this endeavor with One Tail At A Time, rescuing more than 550 dogs a year from Chicago and across the country.”

The Bucktown-based dog rescue offers vaccine clinics and supports the Chicagoland Rescue and Intervention Support Program shelter diversion program. They are also working on a soon-to-be implemented isolation clinic for dogs who need special care, offering bustling adoption and foster programs.

 

Jennifer Rogers, adoption counselor with One Tail At A Time, relies on the dedication of the group’s volunteers, and foster and adoption families to help bring these dogs to Chicago’s best homes. Serious adoption applicants can pre-apply at OneTail.org prior to the event, or visit its Bucktown location during business hours. “Neighbors can plan on coming to the Urban event to meet a few of the dogs that we will have available for adoption, as well as learn more about how to get involved,” Rogers said. The Urban event will include prizes, surprises, and refreshments for adults and the four-legged neighbors.

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