Buying into a walk-up conversion was often a bad deal

In the 40 years that I’ve followed Chicago condo conversions I’ve rarely seen the renovation and condo conversion of a 12+ unit walkup buildings with studio to 2-bedroom apartments result in economic gains for the initial buyers. That’s been the case regardless of the attractiveness of the neighborhood, but the results have often been disastrous at buildings in less desirable neighborhoods.

Consider the results at La Douzaine, a building at 4246-4252 N Spaulding in Irving Park that we mentioned seven years ago. The building also had an address on Cullom Ave.

The majority of the building’s units have been in foreclosure proceedings. A number have resold at substantial discounts from their original selling prices.

A Cullom Ave unit in the building that was purchased for $265,000 in December of 2006 resold for $110,000 in April, following a foreclosure. Unit A1 at 4252 N Spaulding sold for $234,000 in December of 2006 and for $111,000 in November of last year, also following a foreclosure. Unit B1 at 4252 was purchased for $243,000 in September of 2006 and resold for $143,000 in April of 2010.

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