New Eastside realtor making a splash

Long-time New Eastside resident Michael Emery, senior partner with Urban Real Estate, is no stranger to the industry – which is why his expertise was tapped in January 2015 to serve on the local Multiple Listing Service’s (MLS) board of managers, Midwest Real Estate Data.

A twelve-year seasoned broker, with years in client relations prior, Michael’s role on the board has several responsibilities.  Among them, ensuring real estate brokers are effective in representing and marketing their clients’ listings, as well as creating guidelines for mandatory information collected, to help accurately price homes presented for sale.


Michael Emery

In addition, Michael and his board peers are equally engaged in the very best way to serve the consumer – and specifically, how to present information that is accurate, updated as frequently as technology allows, offering a user-friendly interface regardless of which brokerage’s website you are searching.

“It is imperative that consumers across Chicago and the suburbs we serve have the very best data in their hands to help inform their choices.  We know the vast majority of homebuyers begin their search online before connecting with a REALTOR®, and therefore they should have as much accurate information as possible,” Emery adds.  “We, as brokers, know the stories of neighborhoods and buildings that professionals learn over time; It is immensely gratifying to be able to help clients be as informed as possible when they are making one of the largest investments in their lifetime.”

This year, Michael was also again recognized as “Who’s Who” by trade magazine Chicago Agent.  Michael couldn’t be prouder to have his home and Urban’s office in the New Eastside (and in the same building at 400 E. Randolph, to be exact!) With his wife Amanda, the couple has made our community home for years to come.

To connect with Michael, email him at or call (312) 528-9288.

First-time homebuyer education

Chicago’s diversity in culture, ethnicity, and socio-economic background brings opportunity for new business ventures to our great city. Knowing the nuance of the American process, especially as an expatriate, however, has a prevalent learning curve, as Urban Real Estate broker Justin Oliver, an expatriate himself, discovered.

Oliver sold real estate in London before moving to Chicago in 2008. In his quest to make new friends and connect with fellow expatriates, he noticed that many of his newly-transitioned peers were daunted by the American homebuying and lending process. “A flat in London, for example, is different to a condo here.

In London. you buy the right to live in the unit for a given length of time, up to 999 years, but not the deeded ownership,” Oliver notes. “An American condo offers that deeded ownership. There are many differences in terminology used between the two systems; knowing the jargon used is critical for clients.”

house-for-sale-clip-artSpearheading this initiative, Oliver, along with Urban, offers an informative program for British expatriates, and other audiences across the city, taking apart every component of homebuying, helping foreign nationals and locals, alike, understand what they are buying, and how to determine the property right for them.

The program has been so well-received, that Oliver and the Urban team now bring this, and other homebuyer and financing education as part of a series it hosts at venues across the city including homeowner associations who wish to offer real estate-related education for its residents. “It’s a tremendous responsibility to own a home – our goal is to offer quality consumer education to help make prospective buyers, sellers and investors as aware of the marketplace as possible,” says Oliver. “It’s what being Urban is all about.”

To attend a session, or to schedule one for your group, email Justin at or phone Urban at (312) 528-9200 or visit

Skyscraper update: Wanda Tower

42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilley hosted a community meeting about the Wanda Tower proposed for 381-383 E. Wacker Dr. in late October.

The Magellan Development Group was on hand to update neighborhood residents on the status of the project.

WANDA001-01The most notable details of Magellan’s presentation included:

1. a proposal to increase the height of one building and decrease the height of another;

2. a proposal to connect E. Waterside Dr. to E. Wacker Drive via what appears to be a right-angled, s-type curve that goes directly through Wanda;

3. a bullet point emphasizing “no increase to overall Lakeshore East density.”

Changes implemented by Magellan since the last community meeting include new landscaping and plans to increase lighting and improve the entrance to the automobile impound lot.

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