Incentives are luring condominium shoppers to the city

Downtown Chicago home shoppers searching for a deal now have an enticing selection from which to choose. A wide range of incentives is included in the purchase price at various new-construction condominium developments.

“The bottom line is developers are willing to do whatever it takes to entice a serious buyer to sign a contract,” said condominium appraiser Gail Lissner, vice president of Appraisal Research Counselors, publishers of the Downtown Chicago Residential Benchmark Report.

“Free parking continues to be the most sought after concession by buyers who realize that free upgrades typically never amount to $25,000 or $35,000,” Lissner said.

The oversupply of new condominiums, townhomes and lofts in the downtown market is feeding the trend as builders offer deals on units that have been completed and are ready for delivery, Lissner said. But as demand catches up with supply, developers likely will begin to roll back the special offers.

“Although downtown condominium inventory has been greatly reduced, the market continues to offer good deals,” agreed Charles Huzenis, a partner in Jameson Development, LLC, developers of Jefferson Tower.

The 24-story new-construction condominium highrise planned for 200 N. Jefferson is offering a free parking space valued at $29,800 with the purchase of a unit. Base condo prices at the development range from $216,800 to $375,800.

At St. Lawrence on the Park, a 19-unit luxury new-construction condominium development at 5050 S. St. Lawrence, in the South Side’s Washington Park neighborhood, buyers not only receive a free heated parking space, they also get $3,000 in free upgrades for a gourmet kitchen or designer bathroom, or 10 hours of free professional interior design consulting, according to Morhyne Development Company, LLC, the developer.

Pre-construction base prices at St. Lawrence on the Park range from $231,000 for one-bedroom residences with 1.5 baths and 1,084 square feet to $426,700 for a four-bedroom home with four baths and 2,114 square feet.

Hefty perks also are being offered by the Thrush Companies at 740 Fulton. Early buyers at this boutique 14-story condo highrise planned in the West Loop will receive a price discount ranging from $15,000 off the pre-construction price of a one-bedroom unit up to $30,000 off the price of a two-bedroom residence with den. Penthouse buyers will receive $25,000 in free upgrades.

Parking is included in base prices, which begin at $254,990 for a one-bedroom with one bath and 715 square feet and range upwards to $849,900 for a three-bedroom 2.5-bath penthouse with 2,242 square feet. Penthouses come with two indoor parking spaces.

Here are some other Chicago area developments offering free parking with the purchase of a unit:

No. Ten Lofts. Free indoor parking is the incentive at No. Ten Lofts, the 266-unit loft conversion of a timber-beam courtyard building at 1040 W. Adams, in the West Loop. The incentive helped sell more than 155 of the building’s 259 units in only two months, reported Centrum Properties, the co-developer. Units with one to two-plus bedrooms and 640 to 1,500 square feet range from $234,900 to the mid-$500s.

State Place. The developers of State Place, a 253-unit mixed-use retail and residential development at 11th and State, in the South Loop, are offering free garage parking for a limited time. Tower and mid-rise condos have one to three bedrooms, one or two baths and 791 to 1,735 square feet. Base prices range from $281,800 to $570,800. Penthouses with two or three bedrooms, two to 3.5 baths and 1,874 to 2,511 square feet are priced from $845,800 to $1.145 million.

Westhaven Park. Condominium buyers are offered parking for $16,000 – half the original price – and free granite countertops valued at $3,000 on select homes at this Near West Side development, at Washington and Hermitage.

More than 65 condominiums have been sold at Westhaven Park. One-bedroom units start at $168,000, and two-bedroom two-bath homes start at $223,000.

The Residences at 950 W. Monroe. Buyers at this 99-unit new-construction luxury mid-rise in the West Loop have a limited time to take advantage of a parking space incentive valued at $29,950 on two select “Homes of the Month.” Residence 807 is a two-bedroom two-bath condominium with a south view and 1,337 square feet of living area. It is priced at $369,950. Residence 610 is a corner two-bedroom two-bath condominium with an optional den. The residence has a southwest view and 1,337 square feet of living area, priced at $416,950.

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., www.dondebat.net.

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