Monthly Archives: August 2016

New Towers and Higher Prices Boost Chicago’s Real Estate Market

Chicago downtownThe average size of homes in the U.S. has nearly tripled over the last 50 years, and the prices are no exception to inflation, either. Chicago’s current real estate market is simply further proof of that.

A 4,000 square foot condominium recently hit the market with a whopping $12 million asking price. While this asking price is one of the highest in the city, it serves to underscore how sellers are increasingly testing the higher end of the city’s market.

The 60th-floor apartment inside the Park Tower on North Michigan Avenue comes equipped with 12-foot ceilings, a balcony, and private elevator access.

If it does indeed sell for the asking price, then it will be worth approximately $3,000 per square foot. The value would be one of the highest in the city.

Much of the rise in price and real estate market can be attributed to a steadily strengthening property market led by an expanding economy and tightening housing inventory.

Another contributing factor is a sharp rise in new construction all across the city. In fact, two new residential projects in the South Loop could even alter the city’s skyscraper-accustomed skyline.

The South Loop is simply booming with new projects. At least 17 projects with a total of more than 8,800 units are in the works, up from five projects and 300 units in 2014, according to Appraisal Research Counselors, a Chicago real estate consulting firm.

For those looking to move to Chicago, it’s a great time to get planning. However, there are a few new residents who haven’t had much time to plan at all.

Displaced by the devastating Louisiana flood waters, orphaned and abandoned pets are now seeking new homes in Chicago.

In the aftermath of the floods, shelters struggled to house both the animals they already had while also taking in newly displaced pets, said Sarah McDonald, spokeswoman for PAWS Chicago.

Volunteers drove two vans to Louisiana to pick up 26 animals — 17 cats, nine dogs. They arrived back in Chicago around 4 A.M. on Friday.

“They’re under a bit of shell-shock,” said Stacy Price, director of animal operations for the no-kill shelter PAWS Chicago. “But I’m probably more stressed than they are.”

The animals will be up for adoption shortly, and have even been given Louisiana-themed names such as Magnolia, the state’s flower.

However, they may not be moving into $12 million condos right away.

Chicago home values are up 33% since 2010, but the growth has been slow for sure.

“The building recovery has been slow, that’s for sure,” says Chris Feurer, of Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty. “But we’re seeing steady growth and that’s accelerating as prices rise.”

Chicago O’Hare International Adding a New Runway to Decrease Delays and Limit Jet Noise

There are more than 19,000 airports and aerial landing facilities in the U.S., but only a few are as recognizable as the Chicago O’Hare International Airport. Starting in Mid August, construction will begin on a brand new O’Hare runway.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the new runway will run East to West and will help reduce delays and limit jet noise. The new 9C/27C runway will be the sixth parallel runway at O’Hare. It’ll also be the second largest runway in Chicago, at 11,245 feet long and 200 feet wide.

“This project significantly increases safety and efficiency,” said Ginger Evans, Chicago’s aviation commissioner, “and dresses the impact of airport noise by balancing O’Hare’s airfield operations.”

The $1.3 billion infrastructure plan covers the runway’s cost and is expected to be open by 2020.

Chicago Sun Times reports that the runway project is costing approximately $648 million. The city plans on addressing other airport concerns once the runway project is completed, as 200 acres of land is set aside for new airport gates, terminals, and two hotels.

“When you’re done with this runway, Chicago will be the only city in the United States that added the equivalent of the capacity of a third airport,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “The efficiency that was added [will be] the equivalent of Midway Airport being lifted up and moved to O’Hare.”

Noise levels around O’Hare increased after flight paths shifted in 2013.

“This is the final piece in making O’Hare one of the most efficient airfields in the nation,” said Evans. “This provides increased flexibility for east and west flow operations as well as balancing noise exposure among communities east and west of O’Hare. These are the folks who, today, are experiencing some of the most challenging noise conditions. Our airfield will be more efficient when the project is complete, and our neighbors will truly experience noise relief.”