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.



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

415 and 445 East North Water Condos – River View Condominiums

River View Condominiums

415 E. North Water and 445 E. North Water are also known as the River View Condominiums located behind the River East Art Center at the Chicago River and Lake Shore Drive. The “complex” features two separate towers which share the same common amenities along with luxury town homes at the base of the building. Personally, it is one of my favorite buildings in the city given the location, amenities and of course the views of the river. Even though it is located in Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood which is can be very touristy, East North Water is slightly tucked away. I am always amazed at how quiet it is on East North Water.

415 and 445 East North Water Amenities:

The building can expect all the amenities a luxury high rise needs to have in Chicago such as a large fitness center, sundeck, indoor pool, 24hr door staff, and party room. Even though the buildings were built in 2001 and 2005 the amenities appear only a couple years old. The building is impeccably maintained.

Floor Plans

One of my favorite things about the floor plans in this building are their width. The developer and architect wanted to take advantage of the views whether it is the boat slip and city to the north or the river and the city to the south. Therefore the floor plans are elongated to run parallel with the Chicago River. Therefore your view and light abundance is really maximized.

What are condo prices in 415 E. North Water and 445 E. North Water?

Views will influence prices throughout the building. The prime view is the South View in this building as you get a view of the River. It is also important to note that there are several different floor plans and unit square footages within 1, 2, 3 and 4 bedroom tiers.

One Bedrooms typically sell in the upper $400’s to low $500’s depending on view. Two Bedrooms will sell in the very high $500’s on the very very low end, but you should plan on paying at least in the $600’s for a 2 Bedroom and upwards to over $800,000 depending on size and of course view. Three Bedrooms in the building will sell for over $1,100,000 up to $3,000,000 +. Again obviously view and of course square footage plays a role here. Smaller three beds start around 2200sf and larger ones upwards to 5200sf.

Town Homes at the base of the building

If you have ever walked along the river walk near Navy Pier or been on a boat down the river you have seen these beautiful red brick town homes that line the base of 415 and 445 East North Water. These town homes are large, 4000sf and larger and the sales price reflects this. Currently there is only one large corner unit on the market for 2.9mil. When the town homes were first sold here, however, sales prices started around 1.3/1.4 for the smaller town homes. These town homes get to enjoy all the amenities of the River View Condominium Building and have direct access from their garage. Each town home has a wonderful private roof deck as well which I think is one of the most appealing aspects of these units.


With one of the towers built in 2001 some of the finishes can be dated. Think light oak trim, floors and cabinets. However, the real wood floors can easily be sanded down and the cabinets or appliances replaced if needed. The newer building built in 05 has some newer modern style finishes in the units but each unit will vary. Many unit owners have kept their units updated and have done upgrades since the building was built.


Paul Blackburn is an Illinios Licensed Realtor and Broker with @ Properties in Chicago. For further information regarding condos for sale at 415 or 445 East North Water please e-mail Paul at Paul@PKBlackburn.com  For general information about buying a condo in the Chicago marketplace please visit his informational website at www.BuyingInChicago.com



505 N. McClurg – The Park View Condos in Streeterville

The Parkview 505 N. McClurg

The Parkview located at 505 N. McClurg is in Streeterville. It is easy to spot as it is the only new building in Streeterville with yellow balconies. For those of you who still cannot place it, the Parkview is located across the street from Fox & Obel and just east of River East AMC Theaters. The building was built in 2008 so it is relatively new. 505 N. McClurg features One Bedrooms, Two Bedrooms, Three Bedrooms as well as a couple Penthouse units. It also features duplex “townhome style” units at the base of the building which over look the park that runs between Illinois and Grand streets.

What do condos sell for at The Parkview 505 N. McClurg?

One Bedrooms have recently been selling from the high $300’s (some of these short sales and foreclosures) on up. There are two different style One Bedrooms. The higher floor One Beds definitely achieve higher selling prices into the low to mid $400’s. One Bedroom units are great size, 921sf and larger.

Two Bedrooms have recently been selling from the very high $500’s to low/mid $600’s on up depending on the specific tier, floor height, etc. Two Bedroom condos at the Parkview are 1370sf or larger.

Three Bedroom condos have been selling from the low $700’s for very low floor units on up to the high $800’s. Three Bedrooms are 1803sf.

I’d like to add that while the square footages are not “huge” the architect made great use of the space. Therefore 921sf for a 1 Bedroom does feel much larger. There is very little wasted space in this building.

The Parkview 505 N. McClurg Amenities

The Parkview features 24hr door staff along with an on-site building manger, fitness center, outdoor pool, party room and theater room.

Other Building Details

The building has weathered the real estate crash of 08/09 fairly well in comparison to other buildings. Currently there are only a couple units available for sale in the building. Assessments are average for a new construction building and include all amenities plus heat/ac, water and basic cable. There is a total of 268units in the building.

Paul Blackburn is an Illinois licensed Realtor and Broker with @ Properties in Chicago. For more information about the Parkview (505 N. McClurg) or other buildings in the area please do not hesitate to contact Paul at Paul@PKBlackburn.com  For basic information about buying condos in Chicago you can visit Paul’s educational website www.BuyingInChicago.com