By Dana Dubriwny
The Chicago Loop is home to many of the city’s business icons, including the Chicago Board of Trade and the Sears Tower. What’s missing, however, is new residential development for today’s would-be Loop residents.
“This is one of those locations that attracts people who work a couple blocks away in the Loop,” says Scott Hoskins, president and managing broker of CMK Companies. “We’re seeing a lot of people who live in the suburbs and want a second home, whether it’s for the seasoned professional who works in the Loop and wants to crash here a few times a week, or a couple who wants to stay here over the weekend.”
235 Van Buren, at the corner of Van Buren and Wells, is a 714-unit high-rise with an enviable address. The tower’s location is as close to the Loop as downtown buyers can hope to get. Nearly 400 units have been sold since construction began in November.
Hoskins says the development’s visibility from the Eisenhower Expressway and the Sears Tower made the building’s façade a critical element. His firm enlisted Ralph Johnson, of the award-winning architecture firm Perkins & Will, to craft an appropriately modern complement to the existing Loop skyline.
One hundred and thirty different floor plans are available in the project. Base prices range from the low $200s for a 522 square-foot studio to the $430s for a 1,292 square-foot two-bedroom, two-bath condo. Buyers can also opt for mid-$500s 1,446 square-foot two-bedroom, 2.5-bath penthouse with a computer alcove and a pair of balconies.
According to Appraisal Research Counselors, a Chicago-based real estate consulting firm, the bulk of new downtown condo sales were in the $300 to $399 per square foot range last year, but sales at higher price points were on the rise. Homes at 235 Van Buren have been holding steady around $325 per square foot. The price points proved attractive. Last year; 235 Van Buren sold half its unit in a single quarter.
“We’ve been doing extremely well,” Hoskins admits. “The value proposition has given us the ability to be successful.
Interiors feature 10-foot ceiling heights, stainless-steel appliances, European-styled cabinetry, Grohe fixtures, oak flooring, and exposed concrete walls.. Building amenities include a lobby adorned with slate, stainless steel and imported woods, 12,000 square feet of commercial space, a dog run, a 24-hour door attendant, six high-speed elevators, a telephone entry intercom system with video monitor and thermal-pane, aluminum-framed windows. Indoor parking spaces are priced from $32,000, and tandem spaces start at $52,000.
The sales center and a model are adjacent to the construction site at 405 S Wells St. Hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and noon to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.