New condo and loft rentals springing up in River North and Near South Side

If you can’t sell ’em, rent ’em. That’s the thinking at several new developments right now. The latest examples I’ve come across are the condos available for lease at 757 Orleans @ Chicago, Gammonley Group‘s 22-story, 198-unit tower in River North, and Opera Lofts, LOACQ‘s 93-unit adapted warehouse on the Near South Side. Both developers are still marketing homes for sale at their buildings, but their sales teams have started listing rentals in them as well.

Of the 27 units listed at 757 N Orleans St, seven are rentals with rates ranging from $1,550 a month for a 792 square-foot studio to $2,550 per month for a two-bedroom / two-bath with 1,248 square feet. For-sale studios at 757 Orleans are listed from the $240s to $330s, one-bedrooms from the $360s to $450s, and two-bedrooms from the $450s to $540s.

In the case of Opera Lofts, sales manager Kathleen Ryan says the hope is that renters will enjoy the development enough to consider buying a home there later on. About half of its one- to three-bedroom lofts are currently occupied (Cook County records show 33 closings at 2545 S Dearborn St between December 2007 and March 2009), and its first phase has already received FHA approval. One- to three-bedrooms at Opera Lofts sell from the $230s to $890s or rent from $1,300 to $3,000 a month, Ryan says.

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