Massive housing projects planned in emerging Chicago neighborhoods

City Homes

New-home buyers will have a potpourri of housing choices both in hot downtown enclaves and in emerging neighborhoods in 2006, real estate experts say. Three mixed-use developments planned for more than 8,000 housing units are scheduled to get rolling in the South Loop alone this year.

“The South Loop housing market topped all other neighborhoods in 2005, capturing 46 percent of all new-construction condominium and townhome sales through the third quarter, and it looks like the volume may be even stronger in 2006,” said Gail Lissner, vice president of Appraisal Research Counselors.

The lure of vacant land farther south, as well as to the west and far north, is sparking new residential development in emerging neighborhoods too, developers say. Here is an outline some of the biggest new projects:

The Roosevelt Collection. Centrum Properties is planning a $1 billion mixed-use residential development and lifestyle retail center on 14 acres bounded by Roosevelt Road, 9th Street, Wells Street and the Metra tracks, just west of the new Target store. Initial condominium sales are expected to begin in mid-2006. The plan calls for 1,000 housing units, including loft-style condos and high-rise condos in two new towers. A retail component will include more than 420,000 square feet of space, including a 20-screen theater, shops, entertainment, restaurants and a major health club.
Prairie Station District. This new $500 million mixed-use residential and retail development is underway at 21st Street and Prairie Avenue, on the southern edge of the South Loop. “Plans by a consortium of developers for the Prairie Station District call for more than 2,000 affordable and luxury condominiums and townhomes, new retail development, health clubs, movie theaters, restaurants and entertainment,” noted developer William E. Warman, a partner in Prairie Station, LLC. Sales are underway for the first two phases, Chess Lofts and Aristocrat Tower, at 2028 S. Prairie Ave.
Riverside District. The initial phase of the proposed Riverside District, in the South Loop, is expected to launch in mid-2006 by a newly formed development team called Heritage Development Partners, LLC. Plans call for a mix of new retail space, restaurants and other commercial uses as well as 4,600 residential units of various styles and price points – from studio apartments and highrise condominiums to townhomes and mansion rowhomes. The $2.5 billion venture will occupy the 62-acre tract of undeveloped land along the south branch of the Chicago River, from Roosevelt Road to 16th Street, west of Clark Street, according to Alexandra Korompilas, director of sales and marketing for Heritage Development Partners, LLC.
Eastgate Village. Around 350 housing units are planned in this multi-phase development just south of McCormick Place, on the west side of Martin Luther King Drive, from 25th to 26th streets. The developer is Mercy Developer, LLC, a joint venture of Fogelson Properties, Cleveland-based Forest City Enterprises and New West Realty. Plans call for a mix of townhomes and condominiums priced from the mid-$200s to the upper-$500s, and a 12-story seniors rental building on 10 acres of land formerly owned by Mercy Hospital.
Heritage Homes of West Village. This condominium and townhome development is planned for up to 100 units on 1.6 acres of vacant former city land on the 700 block of South Kedzie Avenue, in North Lawndale. Groundbreaking for the $21 million development is scheduled for early spring 2006, according to New West Realty, the developer. Plans call for two-story and three-story townhomes and two-flat buildings. Units will have one to three bedrooms, one or two baths and 760 to 1,800 square feet of living area, priced from the $140s to the $380s, according to Cindy Molitor, sales manager for New West Realty. Affordable residences will range from approximately $115,900 to about $150,000, she said.
Park Place Homes. This $70 million residential development of 211 single-family homes, townhomes and six-flat condominiums is planned around a one-acre park at 51st Street and Lawndale Avenue, near Midway Airport, in West Elsdon. Plans call for a mix of single-family homes with 2,000 to 2,700 square feet, townhomes with 1,800 to 2,400 square feet, and condos with 1,150 to 1,600 square feet on a site that measures nearly 12 acres.
Regent Park and Park Plaza. This three-phase residential development is planned for 116 homes, townhomes and condominiums at 6700 N. Kedzie Ave., east of a wooded sculpture park, a jogging trail and the Chicago River, in West Rogers Park. Sales for Phase I are scheduled to start in April from a sales center in a model home at 3134 W. Wallen Ave., according to developer Brownstone Properties. Houses and condos in the first phase are expected to be priced at more than $1 million, and phase III townhouses will be priced from $200,000 to $400,000.

Real estate columnist and media consultant Don DeBat has written about Chicago-area housing and mortgage markets since 1968. He is chief executive officer of DeBat Media, Inc., http://www.dondebat.com.

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