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Old April 28th, 2007, 05:40 PM   #41
PrintersRowBoiler
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Does anyone else feel like this buiding is way out of place? I looked to buy a unit there, and could not convince myself that this building would be considered overly desirable in 3-5 years. I just feel that the residents will be looking out their windows and wishing they had lived south in the Printers Row / Roosevelt Collection area or look west and wish they had lived in the West Loop. There is little life after 6 pm Mon-Fri except a few bars for the suits that hang out Friday evening. I think it is good for one market: young urban people who want to rent an apartment close to work (or people who want to live downtown with a balcony that can't afford a 2 BR in any of the other new developments). I just don't see the value of the units going up very much.

FYI... I got an e-mail yesterday saying they havent been released to the public and the units are 75% sold out.
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Old April 28th, 2007, 06:12 PM   #42
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Well, you've got to start someplace. 235 will definitely be a pioneer of sorts for this part of town. Rest asured, with enough residents in the immediate area, services will evole. It won't happen overnight, however.
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Old April 28th, 2007, 06:53 PM   #43
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Well, you've got to start someplace. 235 will definitely be a pioneer of sorts for this part of town. Rest asured, with enough residents in the immediate area, services will evole. It won't happen overnight, however.
That's the term I was going to use: "pioneers." One of the things I want most for this city--in addition to better transit--is for downtown to be a true neighborhood. And so we need people who are willing to take a chance and live in heretofore non-residential areas of downtown and sew the seeds for residential transformation. 235 W. Van Buren will hopefully work in conjunction with Roosevelt Collection, Vetro, Printers Corner (blegh), and other projects to provide this.
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Old April 30th, 2007, 05:28 AM   #44
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I can't agree more with the last two posts to this thread! I say so, in part, because I believe my fiance and I just put earnest money down on a 2bed/2bath unit at 565 W. Quincy (Jackson/Jefferson). Although this area is quite a bit more residential than 235 W Van Buren, it leaves A LOT to be desired as far as services are concerned. I truly believe that things are going to change, though. With the Metra Market project underway and plans underway for developing the Old Post Office, I am thrilled to be on what I believe to be the cusp of something very new, fresh and growing.
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Old April 30th, 2007, 07:53 AM   #45
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And in the south loop, where tall is needed. Got to love that.
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 06:57 PM   #46
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235 W. Van Buren

PrintersRowBoiler,

It is out of place because there's no other residential units in the immediate vicinity. However, I don't agree with your premise that as a resident I would be looking out and wanting to live elsewhere - in fact, I like the building because the views to the south aren't immediately obstructed. The Eisenhower/river/railroad yards are permanent open space, and the old Grand Central Station land is open as well.

If any of you want to take a birds-eye look at it, go to the top of the parking structure across the street on Van Buren (the elevator entrance is on Franklin about a half block north of Van Buren.)

I am slightly biased because I currently have a unit under contract in this building (28th floor facing south.) However, I am confident that this building will become a little nucleus in this area to support further retail development, etc. For instance, the Plan Commission just approved the plan to redevelop the Old Post Office nearby (we'll see when that actually happens.) I think the Roosevelt Collection nearby will also be part of this. As I stated before, the first floor retail is expected to be a gym/workout center.

Personally, I like the building because the price is right, there is easy access to the expressway, and no one will ever be able to build anything immediately butting up against the south side of the building.
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 08:21 PM   #47
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i really like the layout of the balconies and the overall look of the building, and i think the location is solid, but that horrible base kinda kills it for me.
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 07:30 AM   #48
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hey, it's not just suits around there -- that block also has Cal's, the weekday messenger hangout with indie shows on weekends. and on Wells right behind Cal's is a little slice of Chicago that urban renewal forgot: a bail bondsman, a pawn shop, and an SRO!

now, how much longer these'll be there, I don't know. maybe the tall parking podium will keep the condo owners blissfully unaware of the scuzziness and grit at their feet, but then again possession of title to a condo has been known to exacerbate nascent tendencies towards busybodyness and NIMBYism in many subjects. double-blind clinical research is forthcoming.
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 09:25 AM   #49
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The low price and the "guaranteed views" (if that exists - just wait for the year 2036 when you are about to pay off your mortgage and they build a tower over the ramps!) are great selling points / advantages for the building. I strongly considered buying there cuz I figured you can't go wrong with the prices they are looking for. My arguement simply is that it does not have a neighborhood feel... the streets will be quiet at night and on weekends. You lose the excitement of having people walking around you and the safety cushion that comes with it. There will be a lack of retail outside of the business hours. You can call people buying the units pioneers... but for what? Being the first to buy a unit in that area North of Congress between the river and Wells? Are they going to convert the White Castle Building (311) to condos? This area is NOT residential, nor do I think it ever will be. I agree that there will be substantial development someday with Franklin Point/Grand Central Station and other buildings along Wells Street SOUTH of Congress and maybe a few (office?) north of there (I dont consider the post office the same area nor do I consider the 3/4 mile distance to the Roosevelt Collection), but Congress (basically the Eisenhower there) will really isolate this building. I just don't see the advantage to buying in this building vs. Vetro (the views maybe), whatever they build at Grand Central Station / Franklin Point, Printers Square, or the Roosevelt Collection. You might be a couple blocks closer to downtown, but you are a couple blocks further away from the action.
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 03:22 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrintersRowBoiler View Post
The low price and the "guaranteed views" (if that exists - just wait for the year 2036 when you are about to pay off your mortgage and they build a tower over the ramps!) are great selling points / advantages for the building. I strongly considered buying there cuz I figured you can't go wrong with the prices they are looking for. My arguement simply is that it does not have a neighborhood feel... the streets will be quiet at night and on weekends. You lose the excitement of having people walking around you and the safety cushion that comes with it. There will be a lack of retail outside of the business hours. You can call people buying the units pioneers... but for what? Being the first to buy a unit in that area North of Congress between the river and Wells? Are they going to convert the White Castle Building (311) to condos? This area is NOT residential, nor do I think it ever will be. I agree that there will be substantial development someday with Franklin Point/Grand Central Station and other buildings along Wells Street SOUTH of Congress and maybe a few (office?) north of there (I dont consider the post office the same area nor do I consider the 3/4 mile distance to the Roosevelt Collection), but Congress (basically the Eisenhower there) will really isolate this building. I just don't see the advantage to buying in this building vs. Vetro (the views maybe), whatever they build at Grand Central Station / Franklin Point, Printers Square, or the Roosevelt Collection. You might be a couple blocks closer to downtown, but you are a couple blocks further away from the action.
Away from the action...what action. You are away from the lake, or the Rush street, or the Greektown...what? There is not much retail in south loop or west loop, and when it gets there, I am sure it will spread closer to 235 van buren as well. The main advantage of this building is that it is close to downtown, financial district in particular, so people would be able to spend less time commuting to work. People spend 5 out of 7 days working, and I would rather walk 10 minutes to work and take a cab/brown line/bus, etc. to go out anywhere in the downtown area than having walk 2+ miles to work from the south/west loop.

P.S. Vetro is 1.5 if not more as expensive as 235 west van buren.
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Old May 4th, 2007, 03:32 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrintersRowBoiler
My arguement simply is that it does not have a neighborhood feel... the streets will be quiet at night and on weekends. You lose the excitement of having people walking around you and the safety cushion that comes with it.
You're entitled to buy a unit based on the characteristics you are looking for. Personally, I LIKE the fact that it will be sort of a quiet haven on a corner of downtown, despite the fact it basically has direct access to the expressway. You, on the other hand, can have all the neighborhood bustle/congestion/traffic you like.

Regarding the guaranteed views - I think you're living in la-la land if you think someone's going to build towers either over Congress parkway, the river, or the railroad yards south of the old post office (but north of Roosevelt.) Yes, someone might eventually build on the Grand Central Station property - but if you actually go to the site and get a birds-eye view, you'll see how far away that is. My point was that there is at least a little free space south of this building (even in 2036) whereas in some of the other areas you mention there are buildings butted right up against each other. No thanks.

You also say you don't consider the Post Office the same area - sorry, but if I can spit from my unit on the 28th floor and hit the building, it's the same area, period. Good luck trying to predict what's going to happen in the next 30 years - but I think your vision that the building's going to live in isolation is way off base.

Bottom line - think what you want, but if 75% of the units are sold out as CMK claims, they really don't need you to give the place your blessing. And I would have a hard time believing that myself and the other 700+ buyers have suddenly been stricken with collective insanity.

Last edited by PilotEricB; May 4th, 2007 at 03:39 PM.
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Old May 4th, 2007, 08:42 PM   #52
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I apologize If I came off as thinking this building will not be successful or a wise investment. I was trying to spark a discussion on the general area around this building. I have considered buying a unit myself, so I was curious to see what others on the board had to say. I was being fececious when I was talking about building a tower over the ramp... you always hear people talk about how they thought the area next to them was unbuildable when they bought their unit with a good view (i.e. Burnham Pointe with the tunnels). This morning's trib had a good article about all the office conversions, so it is very unpredictable in that this area could become more and more residential.
The building has sold well. The developer seems to be marketing it to investors who would rent out their units. With the prices they are asking for, it is almost hard not to make money should you buy a unit and rent it out based on rents in the area. Much of my arguement was that I was speculating that this building will never get the prices that units south of Congress would in more established neighborhoods and where a large chunk of residents aren't renters.
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Old May 5th, 2007, 09:22 PM   #53
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You make some good points, and I agree that the retail in the area is pretty dismal, especially just east on Van Buren under the tracks. Hopefully, this is something that will improve over the long term as a nucleus of residents begins to build in the area. Personally, I am buying a unit to live there and not rent it out. The prices are very good compared to what else is available nearby, so (as you point out) how could you lose?

My whole point about the view is that there is a lot of space to the south and southwest of this building that will be very difficult or impossible to build on. Now, compare this to what we're seeing especially in the Central Station area where it is buildings just sprouting up and butted right against each other with no spacing at all.
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Old May 5th, 2007, 11:38 PM   #54
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A recent pic of the site


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Old May 9th, 2007, 08:51 AM   #55
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Status of the project

Anyboby knows where this project stands? when is the ground breaking? how many units sold? When is the unsold units going to be release to the public?
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Old May 9th, 2007, 02:41 PM   #56
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Anyboby knows where this project stands? when is the ground breaking? how many units sold? When is the unsold units going to be release to the public?
Goto Emporis; several images of the construction underway.
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Old May 9th, 2007, 07:19 PM   #57
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Goto Emporis; several images of the construction underway.
They haven't done any work on the site for at least a few weeks....I think that they may have just driven test piles, about a month ago. Regardless, the sales office said that construction should begin this summer. Also, I think I read somewhere that they have 75% of the units under contract....this project is selling fast! (as CMK seems to offer cheap prices)
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Old May 10th, 2007, 06:59 AM   #58
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Well, this is going to be a hot buy, if you ask me. It's got a lock on the Wacker Drive market (at least for those that don't want to cross the river and head to the West Loop).
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Old May 10th, 2007, 04:37 PM   #59
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Quote:
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They haven't done any work on the site for at least a few weeks....I think that they may have just driven test piles, about a month ago. Regardless, the sales office said that construction should begin this summer. Also, I think I read somewhere that they have 75% of the units under contract....this project is selling fast! (as CMK seems to offer cheap prices)
I think their was a lot of confusion regarding that number because it was based on the MLS search and I guess for some reason units that are not sold but being held by the devoloper were being counted as sold? Something along those lines but any units sold before a devolopment goes public is a good thing, this should have absolutely no problem going up.
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Old May 10th, 2007, 06:37 PM   #60
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I think their was a lot of confusion regarding that number because it was based on the MLS search and I guess for some reason units that are not sold but being held by the devoloper were being counted as sold? Something along those lines but any units sold before a devolopment goes public is a good thing, this should have absolutely no problem going up.
It's possible that the 75% figure could be inflated, but I'm pretty certain that they have sold a large percentage of their units. I bought a unit 2 or 3 months ago and even at that point, when they had only been selling units for a few weeks, it seemed like a ton of units had already been sold.
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