678 Kingsbury to become Luxury Lofts in River North

Finally, the project at 678 N. Kingsbury, also known as The Ronsley, is getting underway and what a project it will be. According to Crain’s Chicago Business, the 5 story building will include six newly built penthouses as well. The building will be altered greatly to include a glass facade and the penthouse units will be built on top of the existing structure. In addition to the new penthouse units, a new structure will be built onto the back of the building (where a parking lot currently exists. Think of it as adding an addition onto the back of a single family house).

What will the pricing be for 678 N. Kingsbury (The Ronsley)? According to the list agent, prices will range from $889,900 to $5.4 million. This will equate to roughly $650 to $900 a foot which is definitely on the high end for this area and on the high end for Chicago as a whole. The list agent described the building when he gave the following quote “It’s an ultra-luxury building and of the first Soho New York style lofts in Chicago.” The building will have a total of 41 units which is in line with other luxury buildings currently being constructed in Chicago (think of 400 W. Huron, 100 W. Huron and 4 E. Elm).

My thoughts on 678 Kingsbury

It will be interesting to see how the market responds to pricing. I do believe there is a need for luxury lofts in Chicago. Many of the loft buildings have not been constructed on a luxury level. Instead, most loft buildings and units are very middle market. I like the way the listing agent described the building as a “SoHo New York Style” loft project.

The location of the project is in River North, but it is quite far west in River North. Most buyers in this area looking to spend millions would prefer to purchase a single family home as opposed to a condo or loft so it will be interesting to see how this project is received, but as I said before I do believe there is a need for luxury lofts in Chicago right now.

The project is expected to break ground in February of this year (2015).


Paul Blackburn is an Illinois licensed Realtor and Broker with @properties. He can be reached anytime via e-mail at Paul@PKBlackburn.com



A new luxury condo project is planned for the vacant space at State & Walton, adjacent to Walton on the Park. The most recent new construction developments in the near north side have mostly been made up of 3 Bedroom and larger units. The new development at Walton and State will offer 1 Bedrooms with 1,500 square feet all the way up to the penthouse unit which will have a total of 11,000 square feet.

Information on the new development at Walton and State is now being released. One Bedroom homes are starting around $1.4 million. Two Bedrooms will start around $1.85 million and Three Bedrooms will start at $2.5 million. However, please keep in mind this pricing is for the smaller floor plans of the respective bedroom count. Pricing will range roughly from $900 to $1,200 per square foot.

Each unit will have generous outdoor space. One of the best aesthetic features of the facade of the building is the fact that the balconies, for the most part, are recessed into the building and not overhanging. There is a wide array of layouts to choose from with varying square footages.

What Amenities will No. 9 Walton have?

The 4th Floor will house an indoor pool and spa, complete with a hot tub, steam room and sauna. The 5th floor will feature an open air atrium looking down onto the pool as well as a fitness center and small lounge. The 6th floor will feature a dog run, pilates studio and yoga studio. The 7th floor will feature a private dining / party space, outdoor terrace, full bar and kitchen along with a wine room.

Completion is expected in early of 2017.  This development is one of several new developments recently approved and started such as 4 E. Elm, 400 W. Huron and 100 W. Huron.


For more information on this development please do not hesitate to contact me.


Paul Blackburn is an Illinois licensed Realtor and Broker with @properties in Chicago’s Gold Coast office. He can be reached at anytime at Paul@PKBlackburn.com



450 E. Waterside, also known as “The Chandler” is located in Chicago’s Lake Shore East neighborhood. For those of you not familiar with this area, Lake Shore East is located on the south side of the River where the river meets Lake Shore drive. The Chandler is one of the newest buildings in the Lake Shore East neighborhood.

The Chandler in Lake Shore East - 450 E. Waterside

The Chandler in Lake Shore East – 450 E. Waterside

What I like about The Chandler 450 E. Waterside

The Chandler, located at 450 E. Waterside, was one of the last buildings completed by Magellan as condos in the Lake Shore East neighborhood. It is slightly more expensive than its sister building, the Regatta built one year prior. The majority of the units in the Chandler are upgraded with Snaidero Cabinetry and most have great views, at least for the time being. The building is situated on the far North East corner of Lake Shore East. This allows it to have prime views of the River, Navy Pier and both the North and South skyline of the city.

The building boasts a phenomenal indoor rooftop pool and sundecks on either side of the pool complete with an outdoor whirlpool. The sundeck makes for amazing Air & Water Show watching. The building has a fitness center and media room on the second floor as well as a party room off the lobby which opens out onto an outdoor deck with River and Navy Pier views.

Most of the floor plans in the building are very functional and make a good use of the space. There is very little wasted space in condos at the Chandler so 1000 square feet is a true 1000 square feet versus some buildings that have obnoxiously long hallways and “nooks” which eat up space. All units will have Hardwood Floors, Granite and SS Appliances. Most will have updated cabinetry and all units with the exception of a few will have a balcony.

What I don’t like about The Chandler

I love the building and the build quality. Some of the South Facing  units, specifically the 04 tier will eventually have their view blocked when new buildings are built on the vacant lot directly to the South of The Chandler. There is some talk about a building going just East of the Chandler but I’m not sure if any of those claims can be substantiated at this time.

The building has a new rental cap. The specifics are a bit vague but it appears that new owners will not be allowed to rent their units until the rental percentage drops to around 30%?? Currently the building has roughly 44% tenant occupied units.

What do condos sell for in The Chandler?

One Bedrooms start around $310,000 in The Chandler and move up from there depending on floor height and view. Units facing North sell for a premium since these units have the protected and much preferred River view. These units tend to be larger. However, be warned that a couple tiers on lower floors facing North do not have balconies.

Two Bedrooms in The Chandler start in the $500’s but they are the smaller square footage Two Beds around 1100 to 1250square feet. Larger Two Bedrooms will start in the high $600’s and can exceed well over $750,000. The Chandler does have three bedroom units but expect to pay over a million for any 3 Bedroom with some going well over 2 million and others competing with some of the most expensive condos in the area.


160 E. Illinois is located in Streeterville just east of Michigan Avenue off upper Illinois. 160 E. Illinois is a boutique building that was completed in 2007. 160 E. Illinois is comprised of Junior 1 Bedrooms, One Bedrooms, Two Bedrooms, Three Bedrooms and Penthouse units. 160 E. Illinois, also known as “Avenue East” has 24hr door staff, fitness center, rooftop sundeck, and party room. Most units have parking in the building but note that some of the smaller One Bedrooms do not have parking.

Avenue East, 160 E. Illinois in Streeterville

Avenue East, 160 E. Illinois in Streeterville

What I like most about 160 E. Illinois

160 E. Illinois has two great assets: It’s location and it’s boutique feel. The building has only 130 units but feels like a more intimate 90 unit building or less. The location of 160 E. Illinois is quite ideal. It is right off Michigan avenue on upper Illinois so you have the convenience of everything along Michigan Avenue but the few hundred feet you are off Michigan allows you to be on a quite street with practically no traffic.

The door staff in 160 E. Illinois is excellent. As Realtor’s we get to know the door staff in different buildings and we all have our favorites as well as the ones we dread dealing with. 160 E. Illinois has some of the friendliest door people in the city and they’ve been there since the building was built. Keep in mind that when buying a condo you are not just buying the unit but buying into a building; buying into a way of life. Therefore everything from the staff to the cleanliness of the hallways and common areas should be a factor in your decision.

What I don’t like about 160 E. Illinois

Unlike most Realtor’s I’m not going to say every building in Chicago is wonderful. Each building has their own set of flaws and so does 160 E. Illinois. My first complaint about the building is not so much of a complaint but more of a statement. The build quality is average. It is not bad by any means but it is one step under the higher end Class A condo buildings in Chicago.

My last complaint are the views. This is not a view building. Some of the higher floors enjoy some decent city views but most of the views in the building are obstructed which can cause some units in the building to have low light. Specifically the “07” tier has recently lost its gorgeous lake and east city views as a new rental building has been built directly to the east of 160 Illinois.

Condos for Sale in 160 E. Illinois

Pricing has shifted greatly in 160 E. Illinois over the past two years. We’ve seen some foreclosures and short sales in the building a year ago, however, those units sold within days. While they left the building with bad comps it has been long enough since a “low closed price” so appraisers will not longer consider these when appraising a unit. Inventory levels in the building are currently low. There are a couple “07” tier 2 Bedrooms cheaply priced in the mid $400’s but keep in mind these units have their view completely blocked by the new rental apartment building next door.

Prices throughout the building can range from the $300’s on up to over $1 Million for the penthouse units.



Fairbanks at City Front

Fairbanks at City Front

240 E. Illinois is a newer condo building in Streeterville and was completed in 2007. It is located at the corner of Illinois and Fairbanks but is accessible from “upper Illinois.” 240 E. Illinois is made up of lofts and of condos. Floors 3 through 8 are lofts and face south. They are pictured toward the bottom of the photograph. The remainder of the building is made up of condos which is in the “tower” portion of the building.

Condos and Lofts for Sale in 240 E. Illinois

Lofts typically sell for lower prices in 240 E. Illinois than their condo counterpart. This is mainly due to the layout, lower floors, use of space, etc. Lofts have recently been listed and sold in the mid $300’s for 1 Bedrooms with 2 Bedrooms fetching higher prices.

One Bedroom Condos for Sale at 240 E. Illinois

While One Bed / One and a Half bath condos have sold in the very low 400’s or even slightly below, prices have rebounded in the building and currently the cheapest One Bedroom condos will be priced in the mid $400s. Square footage will runaround 1000sf. Overall these condos use the space well and most consist of a small office den or nook.

Two Bedroom Condos for Sale at 240 E. Illinois

Two Bedrooms will typically start around $650,000 and can be as high as $900,000 or more depending on square footage and floor height. The higher floor penthouse units not only have higher ceilings but higher grade finishes as well which will increase the price. In addition 9th floor units enjoy soaring ceilings as it is a transition floor between the lofts and the condos. Select 9th floor units have massive outdoor terraces. Two Bedroom square footage starts around 1300sf and moves up from there.

Three Bedroom Condos for Sale at 240 E. Illinois

Three Bedrooms at 240 E. Illinois will start in the mid $900’s. They are higher floor units and will have the best views in the building. From the top floors you do get some lake views but the city views and some river view is what is most beautiful. Square footage for Three Bedroom condos is over 1600sf.

Building Amenities for 240 E. Illinois

Located on the 9th Floor the building boasts a large gym, office space, club room, small outside pool and grass/garden area. The building also has 24hr door staff and a well appointed modern lobby.

What do the assessments include?

Your assessments at 240 E. Illinois include all the basics such as insurance, maintenance, amenities, etc. However it also includes Basic Cable TV, Heat, A/C and Cooking Gas.

Items to note about 240 E. Illinois

There are two condo associations in the building. One which oversees the tower and one which oversees the lofts. There is a 20% rental cap for the tower and at the current time I do not believe there is such a rental cap for the lofts but there has been “talk” about instituting one. While the building is dog friendly there is a 2 dog limit with only one being allowed over 40lbs.



The Regatta 420 E. Waterside Condo – LAKE SHORE EAST

420 E. Waterside also known as The Regatta is located in the Lake Shore East neighborhood. Lake Shore East is on the south side of the river where the river meets Lake Shore Drive. 420 E. Waterside was built in 2007 and has a total of 322 units. The Regatta has a combination of units from Studios to large penthouses and north facing units enjoy sweeping views of the River and the north city skyline.

The Regatta 420 E. Waterside

What Amenities Does The Regatta, 420 E. Waterside, Have?

The Regatta is a full amenity building as it has a full fitness center, party room, lounge/library, indoor pool, media room and outdoor sundeck equipped with grills. There are proposed plans in place for the expansion of the fitness center but unfortunately this would only happen with a special assessment which would require a 2/3 vote by the condo association. Therefore it would be safe to say that the current fitness center is going to stay as-is. In all reality the size of the current fitness center and the equipment inside is perfectly fine for the building.

What do condos sell for in The Regatta, 420 E. Waterside?

Condos in the Regatta start low and can quickly get expensive. First, thing to note is that the most expensive view is the North View. This is because facing North you see the River, Navy Pier as well as the skyline to the north and west (think Trump Tower, Wrigley Building, Tribune, etc). The South views in the building, while not bad, are partially obstructed by The Lancaster (201 N. Westshore) and The Shoreham (rental building).

STUDIOS: There are not many studios in the Regatta and therefore not many change hands. One recently sold for $193,000. Going forward you can expect to see any studio coming on the market priced similarly.

ONE BEDROOMS: There are different sized One Bedrooms in the Regatta starting at around 647sf and moving up to over 1,000sf. The 647sf One Beds will actually sell in the high $200’s because they are facing North. The much larger 778sf and 825sf One Bedrooms will sell for roughly the same (high $200’s) because they face north. If we move up the scale to the South Facing 994 and 1000sf units you will notice that the sales prices are in the low to mid $300’s depending on floor height. Lastly there are a couple tiers (the 10 tier and 13 tier on certain floors) which face North. These North facing units which will be just under 900sf will sell in the high $300’s and low $400s (with Parking) because of the view.

TWO BEDROOMS: There are several different Two Bedroom options in the Regatta and again just like the One Beds, view makes a big difference. The smallest 2 Bedroom in the Regatta is the 03 tier which is 1182sf. These typically sell in the low $400’s and yes they face South. The next cheapest is the 01 tier which is significantly larger at 1530sf however it is important to note that much of this square footage is in the hallway and master bath. These will sell in the very high $400’s to the low $500’s. Though a couple owners currently have them listed in the low $600’s (06 pricing), they will not achieve such a price.

The North and East facing 2 Bedrooms in the building will sell from the mid $600’s to the low/mid $700’s. They range from 1350 to just over 1500sf.

THREE BEDROOMS: Three Bedrooms in the Regatta sell for anywhere from the mid $800s upward to well over $1 million


My Thoughts on The Regatta 420 E. waterside

I like the building. The lobby has the most intimate feeling of any building in Lake Shore East. The North Facing units are of course my favorite. There is a high percentage of rentals in the building but some rental restrictions have recently been passed which will lesson investors buying into the building. The overall build quality of the building is solid. The builder was Magellan which does build great quality and had the master plan for Lake Shore East. The best value in the building are the assessments. The assessments include EVERYTHING with the exception of electric. They include Cable (decent package too), High Speed Internet, Heat, A/C, Water, Cooking Gas and then of course all the amenities. You only have an electric bill which is very minimal.

Lake Shore East Tax

There is a special property tax associated with condos in Lake Shore East. Long story short the developer (really the city/county) sold bonds to pay for all the land improvement work (think parks, sewer system, etc). Therefore you’re looking at an additional tax paid twice a year. The price will vary depending on the unit but a basic 1 Bed can run you around $800 PER YEAR and a basic Two Bed may run you around $1200/1300 per Year. Again it is minimal but just something you should know!!


Paul Blackburn is an Illinois Licensed Realtor and Broker with @ Properties in Chicago. For further information about the Regatta, other buildings in Lake Shore East or other areas of the city please e-mail Paul at Paul@PKBlackburn.com  For general information about buying condos in Chicago visit www.BuyingInChicago.com


474 N. Lake Shore Drive Condos in Chicago

474 N. Lake Shore Drive is a condo building located at Illinois and Lake Shore Drive by Navy Pier and Lake Point Tower. The Condos for sale at 474 N. Lake Shore Drive vary from Studios to large Three Bedroom units. 474 N. Lake Shore was originally built as apartments but converted to condos in the early 2000’s. 474 Lake Shore is located in the Streeterville neighborhood and specifically in the area of “River East” within Streeterville.

474 N. Lake Shore Drive

Condos For Sale in 474 N. Lake Shore Drive

474 N. Lake Shore Drive has a handful of different floor plans and therefore different pricing. It is important to note that due to the relatively high amount of investors and poor timing of the building’s delivery there have been a handful of short sales and foreclosures in 474 N. Lake Shore Drive.

Studios: One of my favorite floor plans in the building is actually the studio floor plan. The reason is because it is just a big wide open space that feels bigger than it actually is. Some studios have sold in foreclosure and short sale for around $140,000 to $165,000. Right now there are a couple on the market in the $189,000 range.

Convertibles:  474 Lake Shore has convertible units which are my least favorite. They feature a separate sleeping area but the living area is not very large and feels cramped even though the overall square footage is larger than the studio. The convertibles sell for around $180,000 to $200,000.

One Bedrooms: The One Bedroom units at 474 N. Lake Shore are 741 square feet. The floor plans are basic and typical of a smaller 1 Bedroom in Chicago. These sell for between $220,000 on the low end for something that is basic and not updated to just over $300,000 on the high end for an upgraded unit, best view and with parking included.

Two Bedrooms: The Two Bedroom floor plan is my second favorite plan in the building. The 2 Bedrooms are all corner units which will give you the best view. The square footage is 1250sf and the use of the space is well thought out. It is how 1250sf should be used. Plain and simple Pricing on the Two Beds will run in the $400s though a couple have sold in the high 300’s in foreclosure / short sale.

Three Bedrooms: Three Bedrooms are available on the higher floors and from my experience have been highly upgraded. Some have been a combination of units but you’re typically looking around 1600sf with a price tag in the $500s at a minimum to over $600,000 for the larger 3 Bedrooms which can run around 1900+ square feet.


Building Amenities for 474 N. Lake Shore Drive

474 N. Lake Shore Drive does have an expansive fitness center that actually used to be a health club that you could join. It is a large lap pool and a nice sundeck as well. 24hr Doorstaff, well appointed lobby and a few vending machines round things out at 474 Lake Shore.

My Thoughts on 474 Lake Shore Drive

From the outside, I’ll be honest, the building is an eye sore. I’m surprised that the building actually got approval to be built int he 90s. But hey, this is Chicago. The amenities of the building are great, particularly the fitness center. It is a “real fitness center” in the respect that you can give up your gym membership and be fully satisfied no matter how much you work out.

The views from the units are great. My favorite views are the West views as you get the entire city skyline and of course the Chicago River. It is a not high end building by any means but it is well updated, fairly priced and in a high profile location near Navy Pier and most importantly on Lake Shore Drive.


Paul Blackburn is an Illinois Licensed Realtor and Broker with @ Properties in Streeterville Chicago. For more information about 474 N. Lake Shore Drive or other buildings in the area please contact Paul at anytime via e-mail at Paul@PKBlackburn.com  For general information about buying a condo in Chicago visit www.BuyingInChicago.com


600 N. Lake Shore Drive, built by Belgravia Group in 2008, is the newest building built on Lake Shore Drive (at least until the rental building at 500 North is finished). 600 N. Lake Shore is split into two towers featuring 401 condos. 600 Lake Shore Drive is located just south of the W Hotel in Streeterville and is at the corner of Ohio and Lake Shore Drive.

The Condos at 600 N. Lake Shore Drive

Hardwood Floors, Open Floor Plans, Granite, Stainless Steel appliances are all standard at 600 N. Lake Shore Drive. The largest upgrade differences you’ll notice between some units are the appliance packages. Some of the higher end units have the “Professional” appliances installed. Outside of that most of the units have very similar finishes throughout which are tasteful and current.

Some of the 1 Bedrooms in the South Tower have rather unfortunate views as they are staring directly at the North tower. If you are in the market for a 1 Bedroom, your best bet is the larger 1 Bedroom plan in the South Tower that faces South.

What do Condos Sell for in 600 N. Lake Shore Drive?

One Bedrooms: One Bedrooms will typically sell for the low to mid $400’s; some a bit higher depending on size and view. The smallest is the 10′ tier at 1000sf. Still it is a great size for a 1 Bedroom!

Two Bedrooms: Two Bedrooms will typically start in the low $600’s and move up from there depending on view. I have seen some sell in the $500’s. Most Two Bedrooms are around 1300 to 1400sf. The higher priced two bedrooms are over 1600sf. These will sell for around 775 to 825 but can sell higher depending on the view.

Three Bedrooms: Three Bedrooms will sell for around 1.2mil and will move up from there to almost $2 million depending on floor plan and view. The 12 and the 05 tiers are the most impressive of the 3 Bedrooms. Currently two are on the market in the $1,750,000 range.

600 N. Lake Shore Drive Building Information

Belgravia Group was the developer of the building and they still own some units in 600 LSD. Belgravia always wants to keep assessments low and their buildings stable. They survived the real estate crash by doing this and 600 LSD actually weathered the storm (financial crisis) better than any building in the city, at least in my opinion. With this being said they are strict on renters and strict on the amenities they put into their building.

Lets start with renting. If you want to rent out your condo in 600 Lake Shore you can, don’t worry, but you have to live there for a year first. Secondly there is a $1,000 move in fee and a $1,000 move out fee as well as a complete background check required. What this does is keep people from moving in for a year and then moving out. It also keeps people out who can barely afford the rent.

Amenities in 600 N. Lake Shore Drive

Since Belgravia wanted to keep the assessments low there is no pool. There is however, a stunning lobby and great doorstaff (always two on duty it seems). In addition there is a building engineer that lives in the building. The building features a nice business center, fitness center and a great sundeck perfect for viewing fireworks or the air and water show.

My thoughts on 600 N. Lake Shore Drive

Nice, clean and modern! The lobby has a wow factor and the floor plans are functional. It doesn’t have the wow factor in the units that a building like Trump might have but the price points are definitely lower and some of the views definitely compete as well. The biggest complaint I’ve heard about the building, from my clients, is the location. While you are on Lake Shore Drive you are slightly removed from the heart of Streeterville. It is only a block and to most people it won’t make a difference but to those who want very short walks to the train for instance or to visit clubs and restaurants in River North it is a bit of a walk and you’ll probably end up taking a cab on a cold winter day.

Paul Blackburn is an Illinois Licsened Realtor and Broker with @ Properties in Chicago’s Streeterville Neighborhood. For further information about 600 N. Lake Shore Drive or other buildings in the area please do not hesitate to contact Paul Blackburn via e-mail at Paul@PKBlackburn.com  For basic information about buying condos in Chicago (such as what is standard practice in the city) visit Paul’s informational website at www.BuyingInChicago.com


530 N. Lake Shore Drive is located in the heart of the Streeterville neighborhood at Grand and Lake Shore Drive. When the building was first built there was actually some contention about the address and it was almost changed to an “East Ohio” address which had many resident furious. Clearly 530 N. Lake Shore Drive is a much more prestigious address than one on “east Ohio.” 530 N. Lake Shore Drive features luxury condos built by Belgravia Group in 2003.

530 N. Lake Shore Drive

What do Condos sell for in 530 N. Lake Shore Drive?

First lets discuss the finishes of the condos. 530 N. Lake Shore Drive is a high end building in Chicago. The finishes are of excellent quality but the “upgrades” may not be found in all units. For instance some units will have white appliances and carpet throughout. Clearly this is a very easy change as you can always install new appliances and hardwood floors but as you’re browsing photos online it is something to keep in the back of your mind.

One Bedroom Condos for Sale at 530 N. Lake Shore Drive
One Bedroom Condos in 530 N. Lake Shore Drive typically sell in the mid $400’s give or take, depending on height and view. There are a couple different 1 Bedroom floor plans in the building.

Two Bedroom Condos for Sale at 530 N. Lake Shore Drive
The smaller Two Bedrooms can sell in the low $500’s but as the market has been rebounding we are seeing prices slowly start to climb. Currently the cheapest two bedroom in the building is listed at $598,000 and is 1500sf. Larger two beds can sell in the high $600’s.

Three Bedroom Condos for Sale at 530 N. Lake Shore Drive
While a couple Three bedrooms have sold cheap in the building (in the $800’s and a large floor plan for just over $1,000,000) if you are currently in the market to purchase a 3 Bedroom you will be spending around $1,500,000 in 530 N. Lake Shore.

Penthouse Condos at 530 N. Lake Shore Drive
The building does have some penthouse condos which will sell just under $2 Million and will have around 3400sf.


530 N. Lake Shore Drive Basic Building Info

530 N. Lake Shore Drive is considered a boutique high rise since it only has 195 condos and is only 30 floors. The lobby and hallways have a nice intimate feeling. The developer, Belgravia Group, wanted to keep assessments low for the owners so while it does have a nice business center and fitness center it lacks an indoor or outdoor swimming pool. The building does however, have a couple unique amenities such as concierge service and even a dog run.

My Thoughts on 530 N. Lake Shore Drive

The building is well run and very stable. Right now inventory levels are extremely low in the building. 530 N. Lake Shore is strict on rentals. All leases must be a 2 minimum which keeps out transient style renters who move every year and may give unneeded wear and tear to a building. Condos that had a south facing view in the building had the unfortunate luck of 500 N. Lake Shore drive breaking ground this past year. Views will be blocked in some units, but they will still have angle views of the lake and of the city. It is mostly the 1 Bedrooms have been effected by this. Belgravia, the developer of the building, has an excellent reputation in Chicago for quality. This building matches that reputation.


Paul Blackburn is an Illinois licensed Realtor and Broker with @ Properties in Chicago. For further information regarding 530 N. Lake Shore Drive or other buildings in the area please do not hesitate to contact Paul. He can be reached via e-mail at Paul@PKBlackburn.com  For general information about buying a condo in Chicago’s market place including local customs, understanding condo associations in Chicago, etc. visit www.BuyingInChicago.com



Lake Point Tower in Chicago – 505 N. Lake Shore Drive

Lake Point Tower, at 505 N. Lake Shore Drive is also known as “The building east of Lake Shore Drive,” “The black building  by Navy Pier,” and “Oprah’s Building” despite the fact Oprah never lived in the building!! Lake Point Tower is an icon in Chicago’s skyline. But lets learn some more about it. What do condos sell for in Lake Point Tower? How much are assessments in Lake Point Tower? Are any of the units updated in Lake Point Tower?

505 N. Lake Shore Drive

Lake Point Tower Private Residences was built as apartments in 1968 and was converted to condos some years later. There is an old law on the books that no private property can be built on the Lake front property. The developer of Lake Point Tower actually found a loophole in the law and drove the pilings of the building down into the lake waters underneath the land. This would mean that the building was technically “not built on lake front property” but instead built into the lake itself. Obviously the law has since been modified.

What Condos are Available in Lake Point Tower?

The building is made up of Studios (many converted to Jr. 1 Beds) around 700sf to large combined units well in excess of 3000sf. Over the years many units have been combined and cut up to take advantage of different views. The standard units are, however, Studios/Jr. 1 Bedrooms at 720sf, 1 Bedrooms at 1100sf, 2 Bedrooms at 1450sf and 3 Bedrooms at 1800sf.

Pricing of Condos in Lake Point Tower

Studios and Junior 1 Bedrooms typically sell for the mid to high $200’s. One Bedrooms will start around the mid $300s and two bedrooms will start around $500,000. Three Bedrooms will start around $720,000 on up.

What are the assessments in Lake Point Tower?

The assessments are not cheap. A standard 1 Bedroom will run you around $450 to 600/mo depending on view and this does not include your heat or a/c as it is electric. Two Bedrooms will see assessments just over $700/mo to $980/mo and Three Bedrooms will see assessments over $1,200/mo. I know some of you may be scratching your head as to why assessments are more for the same square footage on a higher floor with a better view. The reason is that Chicago Condo Law requires assessments to be divided based upon the initial value of the condo and not the size. Since a higher floor unit with a preferred tier view will sell for more it will also have a higher assessment.

What amenities are in Lake Point Tower?

Lake Point Tower is a small little city. It has a private park, a pond, an outdoor pool, an indoor pool,  racquetball court, expansive new fitness center, business center, 24hr door staff, dry cleaners, grocery store, building engineer….the list goes on.

Are units updated in Lake Point Tower?

Well, the building is old so there are many units that are not updated. However, there are some that have been completed rehabbed. The one thing to note about Lake Point Tower is that the floor plans are all about the view. The floor plans are wide to take advantage of window space to maximize your view. All the floor plans are fairly workable in order to upgrade. Bathrooms are typically small, however, so if you do upgrade you may end up taking some space away from your living area if you want a large master bath.


Paul Blackburn is an Illinois licensed Realtor and Broker with @ Properties in Chicago. For further information regarding Lake Point Tower or other buildings in the area please e-mail Paul@PKBlackburn.com  For basic information about buying a condo in the Chicago market place visit www.BuyingInChicago.com