This week in Chicagoland real estate: Picturing the American dream, sustainable affordability and more

by Meg White


The art of homeownership

Brazilian artist Cris Rodrigues’ mural on the side of the RE/MAX American Dream office in Round Lake Beach

On Wednesday, Luigui Corral and Ivonne Payes, co-owners of RE/MAX American Dream in the northern suburb of Round Lake Beach, unveiled a colorful mural on the facade of their brokerage office. The painting, created by Brazilian artist Cris Rodrigues, depicts the process of immigrants fulfilling their American Dream of owning their own home.

Rodrigues’ work has been featured in Brazil, Japan, Europe and Miami. The Chicago project came about when Corral met Rodrigues at an art event in Miami. The artist mentioned his desire to create a mural in Chicago depicting the American Dream and Corral offered his office as a canvas, as the RE/MAX American Dream office, at 1616 N. Cedar Lake Rd, is located in a community that is home to many immigrants. According to 2018 Census estimates, the population of Round Lake Beach is 46.7 percent Hispanic or Latino.

“This mural is a gift to our community and also a way for us to express gratitude and thanks to those we serve on a daily basis,” said Corral.

In other real estate news:

Chicago ranks high where sustainability and affordability intersect

Redfin recently looked at four measures of sustainability — walkability, bike-friendliness, and access to public transit and parks — in the 50 most populous cities in the country, and in one important way, Chicago stood out.

While usual suspects such as San Francisco and New York ranked highest in terms of sustainability, Chicago joined Minneapolis and Philadelphia as the only three cities on the brokerage company’s list of sustainable options where the median home price was well below $500,000. The so-called “city in a garden” ranked No. 6 on the list overall.

“A lot of people may not think of Chicago when it comes to environmental sustainability, but they should,” Redfin Chicago transaction coordinator Jon Fox was quoted saying in the company’s blog post. “Between public transit, ridesharing and bike sharing, having a car in Chicago is unnecessary, and in 2018, Chicago became one of only seven cities in the world to receive the highest level of LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.”

Sterling Bay turns southward

Now that the ambiguity over the 55-acre Lincoln Yards mega-project is more or less resolved, Sterling Bay is pursuing as many as seven South Side projects, according to The Real Deal. The development company is formed a joint venture with Leon Walker of DL3 Realty, and at an event at the Illinois Institute of Technology this week, revealed it has over a half-dozen deals planned in the area. 

Chicago ranked as a good place to work in real estate

Out of 179 markets, Chicago ranked 12th in terms of the attractiveness of employment in the real estate sector. Wallethub looked at 19 key indicators of a healthy housing market, ranging from sales per agent to annual median wage for real-estate agents to housing-market health index, to make the determination.

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