New “OUT” Hotel to Possibly Open in Boystown / Lakeview

The Out Chicago may be the newest hotel to hit Boystown in Chicago’s Lakeview community. The story, first broke by Redeye Chicago, says that Parkview Developers are in the planning stages of building a 100 room boutique hotel in the 3300 block of north halsted. The hotel will be modeled after “The Out NYC” and will be called The Out Chicago. Below is a rendering recently obtained by Crain’s Chicago Business. According to numerous on-line sources including LakeviewPatch, the hotel (if approved and current plans finalized) will stand between Sidetrack and Wood. This would mean that Minibar would become incorporated into the space. According to Crain’s the developers managing partners are currently in negotiations to acquire the land shown below and may partner with Minibar on a bar concept in the hotel.

Provided by Crain's Chicago Business

Provided by Crain’s Chicago Business

This new boutique hotel would likely include a rooftop bar, spa as well as entertaining space for weddings and large functions. Some rumors indicate that the hotel lobby will have a sidetrack entrance.

Naturally there are some against the hotel as some residents are worried about increase traffic in the area or the aesthetics of the new structure. I am sure that in the coming weeks residents, business owners and neighborhood patrons will get all the answers they’re looking for. This deal still have a long way to go before plans are finalized and ground is broken. However, I am very excited to see plans such as these discussed. I think a hotel of this nature will be great for the community, will increase tax revenue as well as revenue for all the businesses in the area. This will continue to drive new restaurant openings as well as new boutiques as Boystown becomes more of a “destination” versus just a place to go out to the bars.


New Construction Condos in Lakeview!

With inventory levels at all time lows developers are getting back in the game, at least on the smaller scale projects. Noah Properties has started a project at Ashland and Grace in a parking lot they acquired from a distress sale according to Crain’s Chicago Business. The project will comprise of 14 units all 3 Bedroom and 4 Bedroom condos priced from $430,000 to $700,000 for Penthouse units.

Currently inventory in Lakeview, especially among 3 Bedroom condos is very slim. Very little new construction  has hit the market in recent years but as buyers get back into the game they crave new construction. Completion for this project is expected in August or September of this year.

Pricing for the project:

3 Bedroom Simplexes from  $430,000

3 Bedroom Duplexes from $550,000

4 Bedroom 2600sf Penthouses from $700,000

Courtesy of Crain's Chicago Business  - Rendering of Project

Courtesy of Crain’s Chicago Business – Rendering of Project


The condo market in Lakeview and in Lincoln Park is picking up and fast! Remember the days when you could stroll around the neighborhood and see 10 condos for sale on every block? Well, those days are long gone! Inventory levels in both Lincoln Park and Lakeview are the lowest in years. Builders are getting back into the game and selling out fast as well!

Currently I’m working with a couple who want a large 2 Bedroom or 3 Bedroom condo under 500k in Lakeview or Lincoln Park. They are open to all areas of these neighborhoods and believe it or not we can’t find much. The quality inventory that they have liked have all received multiple offers within days of coming on the market or within days of a substantial price reduction.

The buyers in this market are well qualified buyers. They have cash, they have credit and they have flexibility to work around the sellers demands. Whoever thought the sellers would be back in control?

Why is Inventory Low?

In my opinion supply is low for a few reasons:

1. OVER 20% OF SELLERS ARE UNDER WATER: Many sellers are currently under water. In Lakeview / Lincoln Park this is true for your smaller 2 Beds and for your high rise buildings in comparison to many of the duplexes that have held their value a bit better. However, at the end of the day there is a chunk of the population that cannot sell unless they want to bring cash to the table or go through the short sale process.

2. SELLERS CANNOT GET WHAT THEY WANT: While prices have stabilized and inventory is flying off the shelves we are not seeing a large increase in pricing. There are sellers who may not be under water because they had a substantial down payment, but they still do not want to take a loss on their property. These sellers are not coming to market.

3. DEMAND HAS INCREASED: Overall demand has increased. As the economy has improved, or at the very least become “stable” we have seen more buyers come to market. Rent prices have increased causing many renters to become buyers after finding the rental search process frustrating and exorbitantly expensive. Interest rates remain at record lows as well posing the question in many potential buyers’ heads “Why am I not buying right now?”


So at the end of the day what does all this mean? Does this mean that we will see prices rising again? Not necessarily.

When we look at the reasons why supply is look we have to understand that there is still a want for these people to sell. Just as there has been built up demand due to uncertainty in the market there is also built up supply from those who want to sell if prices ticked just a bit higher. I believe what we will see for the coming years are prices slowly increasing but then some sellers taking advantage and putting their units on the market in hopes of achieving what they wanted. Supply will continue to come on line, but just at a slower pace. Buyers will remain ready, willing and able to move forward once they find the right place.

The one thing to keep in mind in all this is while inventory levels have decreased, buyers are still picky. They want quality! At the end of the day if you don’t have a quality unit to sell you will not sell it and you will need to deeply discount the price. Buyers now are pickier than ever. They want to buy, they’re eager to jump into the market, but they’re conservative!


What is currently available for rent at Park Place Tower, 655 W. Irving Park? What has recently sold at Park Place Tower? Below is a list of current available rentals as well as some information on recent sales at 655 W. Irving Park.

One Bedrooms at Park Place Tower for Rent:

#4215  –  $1,550

#2412  –   $1,550

#5414  –   $1,700

#5511  –   $1,725

Two Bedrooms at Park Place Tower for Rent:

#2401  –   $2,150



Cheapest unit to recently sell at Park Place tower was unit #4509 (studio) which closed for $87,000. The buyer however was also responsible for the special assessment which continued for roughly 10 years at just over $100/mo

The cheapest Two Bedroom to sell was unit 1902 which sold for $199,900 with 1 garage parking spot. Not bad! In this deal the seller was a private owner (not a bank and not a short sale) who advertised that they were willing to pay for the special assessment. The details for this aren’t available on the MLS.

Currently all the reasonable priced 2 Bedrooms are under contract. There are a few well over 300k still on the market. The 2 Bedrooms under contract are priced between 200 and 270. The cheapest unit is a studio priced at $135,000, #405. #611 is currently under contract. It is a studio and the asking price when it went under contract is $69,000.

How many units are for sale in Park Place Tower, 655 W. Irving Park?

Currently there are only 14 units on the market in Park Place Tower that are available to be shown and NOT under contract. Priced from $135,000 to $399,000.


Park Place Tower located at 655 W. Irving Park Rd continues to be one of the most popular condo buildings in Lakeview that tenants want to rent in. Here is an updated list (Today is July 17th, 2012) of units on the market for rent.


#307 priced at $1,350/mo

One Bedrooms

1007 priced at $1,500/mo

1608 priced at $1,575/mo

2416 priced at $1,600/mo

1813 priced at $1,800/mo

Two Bedrooms

2401 priced at $2,400/mo

For those not familiar with the building, Park Place Tower (655 W. Irving Park) features an outdoor pool, sun deck, outdoor basketball court, lounge area, grill area, fitness center, party room, 24hr door staff, on-site dry cleaners, convenience store and much more!


Paul Blackburn is an Illinois licensed Realtor & Broker with @ Properties. For more information about Park Place Tower or any other building in the area, whether for lease or for sale please e-mail


First Time Home (Condo) Buyers in Chicago!

It is great to see so many renters turn into buyers in this market. Right now many tenants are deciding to become home owners in Chicago for the first time due to the increase in rent prices. Buying in Chicago is very different than buying in any other market as not only the product is different but the laws and even the weather is different than many other cities. With all this being said I have put together a website to help everyone from first time buyers to those buying their second and third homes understand some of the very basics in today’s market.



Park Place Tower located at 655 W. Irving Park is full of short sales and foreclosures. However over recent months buyers have been flocking to the building and supply has finally started to drop to healthier levels! This does not mean that prices are going back up, but it does mean that if priced right those who need to sell in the building can do so quickly.

Currently there are 19 units on the market priced between $105,000 and $399,000.

There are also 27 units UNDER CONTRACT! Many of these are short sales which may take a while to close, but we will soon start to see these units close out in the MLS.

10 Units have sold in the past 3 months in the building. Two 1 Bedroom units sold for $180,000 and $191,450. In addition to these sales a 1 Bedroom converted to a 2 Bed (only 849sf) sold for $214,000.  While these prices are down from the highs of 2007, they are “healthier” prices than we saw in 2010 and 2011 in the building.


Paul Blackburn is a licensed Illinois Realtor and Broker with @ Properties Chicago. He can be reached anytime via e-mail at


Here is an update for mid April 2012 of 655 W. Irving Park, Park Place Tower of what is available for rent and some of the better “for sale” deals currently on the market.



#5209 – $1,225


#706 – $1,450

#3012 – $1,450

#5315 – $1,600

#2614 – $1,600

#3413 – $1,600


#3210 – $2,500


#5117 – $3,600


Two of the best units currently available are units #1417 and #904.

#1417 is a Large One Bedroom priced at $135,000 and #904 is a small 2 Bedroom (One bed converted to a 2 Bed) priced at $137,900. Both include parking.

As far as TRUE Two Bedrooms in the building are concerned the best deal is still currently #4710 priced at $225,000 Including Parking.


Paul Blackburn is a licensed Illinois Realtor and Associate Broker with @ Properties. He can be reached anytime via e-mail at

3750 N. Halsted – JDL Development One Step CLOSER to Approval

It amazes me that amid a sluggish economy a developer who wants to build a quality product and provide hundreds of jobs to a community has this much trouble getting approval. Well, thankfully JDL is one step closer to obtaining final approval for their planned residential rental and retail development at 3750 N. Halsted in Chicago’s Lakeview (Boystown more specifically) neighborhood.

Below is the newest front elevation for the proposed plan which has been changed numerous time after considering nearby resident and business input.

JDL Development Planned for 3750 N. Halsted

This elevation is probably the best representation of the development as it shows its true size and the fact that it does not dwarf the neighboring buildings nor compromise the view of 828 W. Grace. According to the meeting minutes from the recent 46th Ward Zoning and Development committee, the committee approved a planned development over the current zoning. Furthermore, the committee approved a group of 5 members to work with the developer over the next 3 weeks to come to a finalized plan which will then be presented to the entire committee. Hopefully after this JDL can start to apply for permits and start moving forward.

Rumor has it that JDL made the comment that if they cannot build a planned development such as this they would then build a big box retail store. Such a store WOULD conform to current zoning and would mean they would NOT need approval from the 46th Ward Zoning Committee. Again it amazes me the resistance that a few in the community have to this planned project.


Park Place Tower – 655 W. Irving Park. Contrary to popular belief people actually do own in the building! It was converted to condos not too long ago, however, many unit owners rent out their units. Typically there are a plethora of units available, though they do move quickly. At this current time there are 6 units active on the market in 655 W. Irving Park, also known as Park Place Tower in Lakeview. Here is the complete list!


Unit 5211: $1,350

Unit 3514: $1,500



Unit 3302:  $2,300

Unit 3001:  $2,600

Unit 4801:  $2,600



Unit 5117:  $3,750


All renters of course have full access to all building amenities such as: Outdoor Pool, Outdoor Grill Area, Sundeck, Party Room, Fitness Center, Garage Parking (Additional Fee) and 24hr Door Staff + Cleaners & Grocery Store in the building!

For additional information about any units at 655 Irving Park, Park Place Tower, or to schedule a showing please feel free to contact me

Paul Blackburn is an Illinois licensed Realtor and broker with @ Properties Chicago.