Loft living: Looking for downtown two-bedrooms in the high $300s

Concord at City Centre, 208 W Washington St, ChicagoDaytime is playtime at the Yo office, so let’s play pretend! Let’s say I’m in the market for a two-bedroom / two-bath loft in a downtown neighborhood, and I can pay as much as $400,000 for it. What are my options going to be in the Loop, River North, South Loop, and West Loop? How big will my home be? How will it be finished? Will it come with parking?

To answer this purely hypothetical question, I scoured the listings for homes in and around the Loop, trying my best not to stray too far to the north, west, or south. I pulled out these four homes as ones that fit my criteria — read on to see their similarities and differences.


  • For $354,500, you can get a 1,380 square foot loft on the eighth floor of the Concord at City Centre (pictured), 208 W Washington St, a 23-story, 214-unit building designed by Graham, Anderson, Probst & White and renovated by Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture. The home features hardwood floors, maple cabinets, black kitchen appliances, and a fireplace. Parking is available for an additional $30,000, and monthly assessments are estimated at $772. The building is located just around the corner from the Loop’s Washington / Wells station. Metra’s Ogilvie Transportation Center is an eight-minute walk away.

River North:

  • A 1,300 square-foot home at the 30-unit Timber Gallery Lofts, 420 W Ontario St, is selling for $369,900. The south-facing home has hardwood floors, granite countertops, in-unit laundry, and a private balcony. Association fees are estimated at $449 a month. The Chicago Avenue Brown Line station is about seven minutes away by foot, and the Blue Line stop is a reasonable 10-minute walk away. The Kennedy Expressway’s Ohio Street on-ramp is just around the corner, too.

South Loop:

  • Penthouse #8A at the 11th Street Lofts, 1020 S Wabash Ave, is a 2,000 square-foot duplex with a 600 square-foot private terrace. The northwest corner home feature 11-foot ceiling heights, hardwood floors, stainless-steel appliances, granite countertops, maple cabinets, in-unit laundry, a balcony, and one parking space. It’s currently priced at $390,000, subject to bank approval. Assessments come out to around $662 a month. The building is located just a block north of the elevated Green and Orange Line station and the Red Line subway stop at Roosevelt Road, and about three-tenths of a mile west of Metra’s Museum Campus / 11th Street Station.

West Loop:

  • Last but not least, you can find a 2,000 square-foot home with 18- to 33-foot ceiling heights and an 800 square-foot private deck at the Morgan Street Lofts, 22 N Morgan St, for $380,000. The timber loft has hardwood floors, stainless-steel appliances, granite countertops, and a wood-burning fireplace. If you’re not up for spending an extra $40,000 for two parking spaces, you’ll probably spend a lot of time in cabs or using the neighborhood’s various bus routes, at least until the new Green / Pink Line station opens up at Lake and Morgan streets in 2011.
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