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Ask American Realty’s Dan Dantuma about his drug arrests

Dan Dantuma

American Realty’s Dan Dantuma had 135 repetitive ads on Craigslist as of mid-morning yesterday. More than 80% of them were for a single apartment, a junior 1-bedroom at Gold Coast Galleria, 111 W Maple. Reading the same ad over and over and over again prompted me to learn more about Dan, and an online search ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on April 11, 2014

State Street Properties’ amazing Craigslist apartment spam

State Street Properties

With just over 2,500 ads, State Street Properties isn’t Craigslist’s most prolific apartment ad spammer, but it ranks among the worst of them and shares some verbal tics with the typical Craigslist rental spammers. Landlords and management companies don’t typically resort to superlatives to describe their apartments. If you see an “amazing” or “awesome” or ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on April 10, 2014

Where have all the iMove agents gone, short time passing?

iMove Chicago

We’ve written repeatedly about iMove Chicago, a rental service that advertises frequently on Craigslist for new leasing agents and brokers. We had saved records of the names of 41 agents and brokers (other than Erickson Ocasio and Rusty Payton, the principals) who were employed at iMove Chicago between January 2012 and January 19, 2013: Andrew ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on April 9, 2014

Craigslist spammer of the day: Andy Trejo and iQrentals

Facebook Trejo

We haven’t written about Andy Trejo before, but he’s been on our radar for well over a year, and his company names have been on our Chicago rental service do-not-call list. The LinkedIn screen cap on the left, above, dates to January of last year. The one on the right is current. The LinkedIn profiles ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on April 7, 2014

An update on Chicagoland Property Group’s spam-family Walker

SoNo East Walker Craigslist

In the coming months we’ll be continuing our efforts to make it easier for you to identify and avoid some of Craiglist’s worst apartment ad spammers. We’ll call them out by company and individual names and build a reference list. On Monday we questioned whether the more than 4,500 ads placed by Chicagoland Property Group ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on April 4, 2014
News & trendsArchitecture & design

Jeanne Gang, on building communities through architecture

Jeanne Gang

There have been recent rumors that architect Jeanne Gang may be involved in a new tower at Lakeshore East, where Aqua has made quite a splash. Last May Gang spoke at TEDx Midwest on the topic of how architecture contributes to building community. Her compelling presentation has flashes of humor, a focus on an expanded ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on March 24, 2014

Meet the guys who wash your windows

Window washer

There are times when you see them almost nose-to-nose, but there never seems to be a way to get to know them. They’re the guys who rappel down your building to wash your windows, and you can meet them and learn a bit about their lives in this award-winning documentary video. Are they always guys? ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on March 14, 2014

Planned Property takes the Polar Plunge with #swimmyfallon

Jimmy Fallon at Polar Plunge

Chicago’s Polar Plunge benefitting the Special Olympics drew a record crowd this year, due in part to the participation of Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Tonight Show’s Jimmy Fallon. Planned Property raised funds for the benefit from its employees and apartment residents, and Planned’s Dan McDonough donned a penguin suit and plunged into the icy ...

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Posted by sponsored post on March 3, 2014

Know your condo manager, Prairie Shores Management edition

Sedgwick St

While reading a string of negative reviews on Yelp for Prairie Shores Management I locked in on the name of Richard Holtzman. Back in the 80s Holtzman was associated with a firm called Preservation Chicago Inc that had a number of failed investments in Uptown and, if memory serves (it may not), was very poorly ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on February 4, 2014

A day for honoring Martin Luther King Jr

Martin Luther King Jr video

As we celebrate the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr, we might pause to consider how much has changed since he came to Chicago in 1966 to advance the cause of fair housing. Dr King described his time in Chicago, where he rented an apartment at 1550 S Hamlin Ave, as “a first step on ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on January 20, 2014

John Baird’s role in saving the DePaul neighborhood

John Baird

The death of Baird & Warner‘s John Baird at the age of 98 is rightfully receiving a great deal of attention in both local and national real estate circles. You can learn some of Mr Baird’s accomplishments, and a bit about his impact on Chicago, in the Tribune, Sun-Times and Chicago Real Estate Daily obituaries. ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on December 31, 2013
ChicagoDowntown / Loop

A Grant Park makeover near General Logan’s statue

General Logan statue

The stretch of Grant Park south of the Art Institute doesn’t attract the crowds that flock to Millennium Park and the other attractions at its north end. Unless you’ve taken your kids sledding on the hill adjacent to it, you may never have noticed the statue of General John “Black Jack” Logan just east of ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on November 21, 2013

Chicago images painted with light and love

Kardas Photography

We began this business in 1987 by publishing a real estate newspaper. A regular feature of the weekly paper in its early days was Kardas’ Chicago, a striking image from photographer Michael Kardas. Whether the subject was a homeless person, a half-built building, mounted police or a streetscape, it was always painted with the elements ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on November 7, 2013

A visit to YoChicago’s photo archives

Joeff Davis photo

We’ve been fortunate to have worked with several talented photographers over the years. Joeff Davis was the lead photographer for our New Homes Magazine for most of its life span, and we have many 1,000s of his images among the more than 300,000 photos in our archives. Many of them did not have real estate ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on November 4, 2013

Downtown Chicago’s boomer bust

Aerial downtown Chicago

Joel Kotkin, writing at newgeography, argues that the oft-reported back-to-the-city trend among empty nesters is a myth: Perhaps no urban legend has played as long and loudly as the notion that “empty nesters” are abandoning their dull lives in the suburbs for the excitement of inner city living. … Only one city, Miami, recorded a ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on October 21, 2013

YoChicago challenges a Realtor to create a hokey tag line

Jeff Herbert

After a morning of shooting sponsored video tours of Lincoln Park townhome developments Jeff Herbert and I found ourselves near the statue of the Cowardly Lion in Oz Park. As we headed toward the statue, Jeff was given two minutes to honor every Realtor’s sacred obligation to his profession: create a hokey tag line. Watch ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on October 11, 2013
ChicagoDowntown / Loop

Recalling the Hancock Center’s troubled early days

Aerial view of Hancock Center

The Hancock Center, an iconic presence on Chicago’s skyline, had a troubled and mostly-forgotten early history. I was reminded of that history when tripping across recent obituaries for Jerry Wolman, the Hancock’s original developer. Wolman, a high-school dropout, had become one of the country’s most successful and wealthy developers, and the owner of the Philadelphia ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on October 1, 2013

A 9/11 aerial tour of Chicago

Thumbnail image for A 9/11 aerial tour of Chicago

A year ago today I spent nearly two hours in a chartered helicopter, with the doors off, circling downtown Chicago and snapping photos. I was accompanied by Mike Scotty, our parent company‘s CEO, and Michael Kardas, a professional photographer we’ve worked with for more than 25 years. We collectively shot nearly 2,000 photos and you ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on September 11, 2013

Chicago is leading net exporter of people to New York

High Line sign

According to a recent piece by Aaron Renn at City Journal, the New York area lost nearly 2 million net domestic migrants in the 2000s. Chicago didn’t rank among the top 10 destination metros for net migration by New Yorkers. Atlanta, Allentown and Charlotte did. Although New York attracts far fewer domestic migrants than it ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on September 10, 2013
News & trendsArchitecture & design

Wrecking the Purple Hotel and Macsai’s Shit List

Purple Hotel demolition

The demolition of the Purple Hotel in Lincolnwood has elicited a great deal of attention and commentary, as the building itself did throughout the years. The wrecking of the hotel will continue for months and you can expect ongoing coverage from the media. In his Art Institute oral history John Macsai, the hotel’s architect, simply ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on August 30, 2013