Crain's: Flats on LaSalle in foreclosure

Flats on LaSalle, 1140 N LaSalle St, Chicago

The Flats on LaSalle condo conversion at 1140 N LaSalle St — a project best known for its tiny, inexpensive studios and one-bedrooms — faces a $7.2 million foreclosure suit, according to Crain’s Chicago Real Estate Daily.

We didn’t cover this development all that often, but when we did, our commenters would have a field day. Here’s some of what Yo writers and readers had to say about the Flats on LaSalle in 2007 and 2008.

Commenter REIC, in March ’07:

This building is a prime example of where the gold coast is headed. It’s a goldmine. Units these size cost upwards of $500K in NYC; they’re a third of the price here and their value is increasing nearly everyday.

Sure, things are a little slow right now but they’ll pick up in April and there is a good chance the building will sell out. Then it will be too late to get in on the ground floor of a great investment opportunity.

Joe Zekas, in response:

No kitchen counter space (repeat, none) and almost no cabinet space. Little closet space. Window air-conditioning units. Radiator heat. Serious noise transmission between units. No parking. Undersized bathrooms (not full-size tubs, no useful vanities).

If investors do buy in, you can add the instability that almost always accompanies the lack of owner-occupancy and you have anything but a goldmine….

Did I mention that this isn’t the Gold Coast? It’s LaSalle Street, folks. Close to the Gold Coast, but not Gold Coast.

It’s perhaps worth considering for an owner-occupant because it is a good location and it’s at a price point with few offerings in that location.

Commenter Barney, in June ’07:

I just spent a week in a “penthouse condo” which I rented as a vacation unit. The condo was clean and the location was great. Bathroom was built for little people. Bathtub is about 42 inches long and lavatory is a mini, too. Water pressure was so low that shower would not work. I don’t know what the developers did when converting to a condo but everything you would expect from a 1920’s building is still there, except for possibly newer appliances. Our gas was turned off, the window A/C sounded like a lawn mower. Woodwork and buildins (drawers, cabinets & shelves) were original, sagging and what you might expect in an 80+ year old building. Building exterior shows considerable deterioration.

Commenter Local Realtor, in March ’08:

I can imagine an “investor” buying up a bunch of these units and renting them out to students or young workers in hopes of making a small profit. In fact I would guess that the primary demographic in this building now is about the same as it was pre-conversion, only the residents are now renting from individual condo owners rather than the apartment management.

Agreed…one of the dumber conversion projects of the new millennium so far.

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