Condominium Buyers Search for Breath-taking High-Rise Views in Loop

by Chicago Agent

Condominium appraisers say breath-taking, unobstructed Windy City views are worth their weight in gold at resale time, especially in today’s slow real estate market.

Great views have a concrete, and often hefty, value as an amenity, according to Gail Lissner, vice president of Appraisal Research Counselors, Ltd., who notes that the value of premium vistas sometimes could account for up to half of a condo’s value.

Identical units are priced higher if they are positioned on higher floors, or overlooking Lake Michigan, the Chicago River or downtown’s skyline instead of city neighborhoods.

235 Van Buren

Great views of Lake Michigan, the yacht harbor, Buckingham Fountain, and the South Branch of the Chicago River are showcased at 235 Van Buren, an innovative new 47-story condominium tower in the Financial District on the southwestern edge of the Loop, noted developer Colin Kihnke, president of CMK Companies.

Designed by renowned architect Ralph Johnson of Perkins & Will, the 714-unit 235 Van Buren is one of the tallest modern new buildings downtown.

A duplex penthouse on the 46th and 47th floors has the most breath-taking panoramic views at 235 Van Buren. The one-of-a-kind 2,300-square-foot duplex features a 1,000-square-foot private terrace and price tag of $1,050,000.

East-facing residences on higher floors at 235 Van Buren showcase the coveted lake vistas. Kihnke notes. “From the 30th floor to the top of the building panoramic lake views are featured. On the 45th floor, you have a drop-dead southeast view of the lake and Museum Campus and Soldier Field from the terrace.”

On lower floors, bold, urban city views are spotlighted, with vistas of the Board of Trade, Mercantile Exchange, Federal Building and the movement of Loop elevated trains.

Directly south, most condo owners at 235 Van Buren will take in a dramatic view of the South Branch of the Chicago River and adjoining green space along the east bank of the river front.

“The north view engages Loop high-rises and Willis Tower,” says Kihnke. “I call it a Manhattan view with space to breathe.”

The ultimate in urban-cool architecture and design, Ralph Johnson planned with sleek gray-tinted glass windows and cantilevered balconies, making the tower a new icon in the Chicago skyline.

With construction winding down, the modern design theme is being carried to the interior of the building. A collection of contemporary model condominiums are on display.

“More than 325 closings have been completed at 235 Van Buren,” says Scott Hoskins, president and managing broker for CMK Realty, the exclusive sales and marketing agent. “Sales have surpassed the 460-unit mark at the building.”

Buyers may choose from among more than 130 unique floor plans with one to two bedrooms and one to two baths. Luxury is standard in every residence at 235 Van Buren, Kihnke says. “There are stainless-steel appliance packages, oak wood flooring, granite kitchen countertops and 10-foot ceilings.”

Base prices begin at $146,900 for the most affordable one-bedroom unit, and two-bedroom, two-bath layouts start at $269,900. There is also a selection of penthouses available, base priced from $339,900. FHA-insured financing is available with down payments as low as 3.5 percent.

“Nearly all of the floor plans at 235 Van Buren offer balconies and terraces with spectacular views of the city skyline, parks, the Chicago River and Lake Michigan,” Hoskins says.

Buyers also will enjoy building luxuries such as: a dog run, a 24-hour doorman, six high-speed elevators, and an optimum location with access to the West Loop’s Restaurant Row and Greek Town’s restaurant district.

235 W. Van Buren also features a dramatic lobby with 25-foot-tall ceiling and accented with modern stone, stainless steel and an imported German glass wall.

The sales center and models are now open at 235 Van Buren. The sales office in Unit 3302 is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. For more information, call 312-376-0600, or visit www.235VanBuren.com.

200 North Dearborn Private Residences

Condominium buyers at 200 N. Dearborn in the Loop can take a private architectural tour just by looking out their windows, says veteran condo converter Nicholas S. Gouletas, chairman and CEO of American Invsco.

The 47-story high-rise condominium conversion has bird’s-eye views of the Loop and skyline and its abundance of architecturally unique and significant buildings.

“With its prime location and perfect views, all you have to do is look out the window and you can see premiere Chicago architecture such as the AON Center, Daley Plaza, the Leo Burnett Building and the twin-towers of Marina City,” Gouletas says.

Other high-rise vistas to be seen from 200 N. Dearborn include: The AON Center, 200 E. Randolph, Willis Tower, 233 S. Wacker, and John Hancock Center, 875 N. Michigan. Along with architectural views, 200 N. Dearborn also is just steps or a short stroll from eight major Loop theatres.

“More than half of the 309 units are already closed, and sales have surpassed 60-percent,” says Gouletas. “We have a great selection of residences for quick occupancy.”

Current prices start at $192,900 for the most affordable convertible/junior one-bedroom. One-bedroom units begin at $249,900, and two-bedroom layouts start at $298,900. FHA-financing is available.

The condos are fully renovated and upgraded. Each residence features an upgrade package valued at $25,000 to $40,000, including new hardwood flooring and renovated kitchens with stainless-steel appliances, new cabinets and granite counter tops. Bathrooms also are fully upgraded.

Furnished models and the sales center at 200 North Dearborn in Suite 3507 is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and off-hours by appointment. Call 312-558-1200 or visit: www.200NDearborn.com.

Michigan Avenue Tower II

Dramatic Lake Michigan and skyline views, a great location near Grant Park and the Museum Campus, high-quality construction and state-of-the-art amenities are the attractions of this 257-unit high-rise at 1400 S. Michigan Ave. in the South Loop.

Only nine condos remain to be sold at Michigan Avenue Tower II. Closeout prices on one-bedroom and one-bedroom-plus-den units range in price from $199,990 to $259,990. The building is FHA-approved.

Two swank penthouses also are for sale in the final closeout at Michigan Avenue Tower II. “These penthouses are spectacular one-of-a-kind units—truly the best residences in this upscale 28-story building,” said Britta Rivera, director of sales for Weichert, Realtors—Frankel & Giles.

Unit 2801 showcases four bedrooms, a study, three baths and 3,471 square feet of living area. “This unique penthouse features two expansive terraces that open via double doors off each side of the huge 16-by-25.5-foot living room,” Rivera said. Unit 2801 is priced at $1.699 million.

Unit 2701 showcases four bedrooms, three baths and 4,500 square feet of living area. “This residence features a highly upgraded kitchen and seven balconies or terraces, including two that extend the length of the condominium,” Rivera says. Unit 2701 is priced at $1.699 million.

Michigan Avenue Tower II features an impressive lobby with 24-hour door staff, seventh-floor fitness center and outdoor swimming pool with sun deck and urban garden—all overlooking Lake Michigan, notes Russland Capital Group, the developers.

The on-site sales center and model condominiums for Michigan Avenue Tower II are located at 1250 S. Michigan Ave. The sales center and decorated models are open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., or by appointment only. Call 312-583-0600 or visit www.FrankeGiles.com.

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