“The ‘Clybourn Corridor’ of the 1990s will be Grand Avenue.”
– Developer Jack Berger, speaking to Charles Hayes of the Chicago Tribune in a Sept. 10, 1989, profile of River West development.
The article singled out nine loft developments on or near Grand Avenue, including a couple that Jack developed himself, but in Hayes’ opinion, the “crown jewel” of River West in 1989 was the $8 million, 100,000 square-foot Noble Street Lofts at 515 N Noble St. The Enterprise Companies and FitzGerald Associates Architects were still in the process of adapting four Parenti & Raffaelli factory buildings into 67 lofts with exposed brick walls and wood-beamed ceilings, 10-foot ceiling heights, “European-style” kitchens with laminate countertops, walk-in closets with vinyl-coated rod shelving, and baths with laminate cabinets and ceramic tile tub surrounds.
The homes were noteworthy at the time for not featuring bedrooms, regardless of size, something that Joe Zekas says Enterprise and FitzGerald pioneered. (Joe also says the homes were noisy as hell.)
Jameson Real Estate‘s original price sheet, dated July 4, 1989, showed prices ranging from $66,000 for a 969 square-foot loft to $149,000 for a 1,440 square-foot loft (all priced included parking), and monthly assessments of $50 to $113. According to the Tribune, Enterprise President Ron Shipka was targeting young buyers “employed in service professions or with advertising / graphic arts / communications firms located in nearby River North and Near North Side.”
Today, four lofts are listed for sale:
- Unit 109, a 1,440 square-foot loft, priced at $275,000, with monthly assessments of $252. In 1989, the unit was priced at $101,000, with monthly assessments of $76.
- Unit 210, a 1,298 square-foot loft, priced at $289,900, with monthly assessments of $288. In 1989, the unit was priced at $117,000, with monthly assessments of $88.
- Unit 304, a 1,224 square-foot loft, priced at $274,900, with monthly assessments of $263. In 1989, the unit was priced at $119,000, with monthly assessments of $90.
- Unit 407, a 1,152 square-foot loft, priced as a short sale at $249,000, with monthly assessments of $288. In 1989, the unit was priced at $124,000, with monthly assessments of $93.
Blockshopper’s building profile shows a median sale price of $270,000. Due to its density, it’s the eighth most-taxed building in West Town, but the median tax is $2,873, just the 256th highest in the community area.
EDIT: As Mark Boyer kindly points out, there was a fire here in late September. Yikes!