Have the clouds lifted from Metropolis Lofts?

Metropolis Lofts, 1934 N Washtenaw Ave, Chicago - photo from VHT.com

“There’s a lot of first-time homebuyers here. We’ve got a lot of new parents who are afraid to sell because they don’t know if they’ll get their money. There’s a cloud over this building now.”

– Paul Kolenda, an owner at Metropolis Lofts, 1934 N Washtenaw Ave in Logan Square, speaking to Chicago Magazine in January 2009 about the troubles that would befall his building following the loss of $375,000 in reserves. It was one of 48 buildings that were allegedly defrauded out of more than $2 million in total by Regent Realty co-owners Jay Strauss and Donald Doering.

Did Kolenda’s worries bear out? Redfin’s records show five sales in the building in the two years since his interview, at prices ranging from the $240s to $270s, and a median price just over $260,000. Of those five units, four closed at prices equal to or higher than their previous sale prices. (Most prior transactions date back to the first half of the last decade.) The fifth sold for $20,000 less than before.

The two lofts available right now are priced just slighlty above their prior sales prices.

The units are, from low price to high:

  • Unit #302 at 1934 N Washtenaw Ave: 2/1, $264,900. 2009 taxes: $3,374; assessments: $257. On the market 96 days. Sold in 2004 for $250,000.
  • Unit #314 at 1934 N Washtenaw Ave: 2/2, $299,900. 2009 taxes: $3,579; assessments: $334. On the market 114 days. Sold in 2002 for $295,000.

No sales are pending in the building. One loft has gone into foreclosure in the past two years, according to Blockshopper’s records.

Note: This post originally included data from 1935 N Fairfield Ave, a building that continues to be identified as a part of Metropolis Lofts by Blockshopper, real estate listings, and an interior designer involved in its original marketing. The Fairfield building has a separate condo association, however, and was not affected by the Washtenaw building’s losses.

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