Avondale, one of YoChicago’s hottest neighborhoods of 2006

Shoemaker Lofts, 3963 W Belmont Ave

We’re taking a brief look at the state of each of the eight neighborhoods we spotlighted as Chicago’s hottest back in June of 2006. We’ve already taken a fresh look at Woodlawn and Washington Park. It’s Avondale‘s turn.

Remember West Roscoe Village? That’s the label that real estate agents were trying to attach to an amorphous stretch of the neighborhood the rest of us knew as Avondale. They were hoping that some of Roscoe Village‘s luster would leap the banks of the Chicago River and draw in affluent buyers.

Back in 2006 our reporter had this to say:

Buyers in search of affordable housing have set their sights on Avondale as home prices escalate in nearby neighborhoods such as Lake View, Bucktown and Logan Square.

The median price of a single-family home jumped to $350,000 during 2005, up 119 percent from 2000, according to the Chicago Association of Realtors. That’s a big jump, but detached home prices remain significantly lower than those in neighborhoods to the east and south.

The median price of townhouses and condos rose to $262,450 during 2005, up 17 percent over the previous year. Compare that price to the citywide median of $285,000 and consider Avondale’s convenience to both the Loop and O’Hare (the Kennedy Expressway cuts diagonally through the neighborhood), and it looks ripe for higher-than-average appreciation.

New developments, including Belmont Lofts, 4131 W. Belmont Ave., and Shoemaker Lofts, 3926 W. Belmont Ave., and several condo projects on Elston (yes, even on industrial Elston) have been cropping up. They’ll bring new residents and some new shops to Avondale’s sparse retail scene and over time, boost values.

The new residents showed up, but not in sufficient numbers to attract new shops. And real estate values? There’s many a sad tale to be told.

Take Belmont Lofts, for example. A 1-bedroom that sold for $194,000 early in 2007 resold last December for $58,000. Another 1-bedroom has been on the market for several months and is currently asking $66,000. A unit that sold for $212,000 in December of 2006 is currently under contract after the price was reduced to $74,900. And so on.

Earlier this year we reported that Shoemaker Lofts buyers were losing their shirts.

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