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Going up in Uptown

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Maureen Wilkey

Writer on real estate from any angle

Crain's and GlobeStreet reported  today that developer Marty Paris of Sedgewick Properties has proposed a plan for a new $350 million, three-building development in the Uptown neighborhood.  The buildings would include 850 condo units, a grocery store, fitness center and hotel and would go up in phases over the next five years. Each building would be 20-45 stories tall.

Uptown has had its fair share of issues lately, but in my opinion, the neighborhood has some potential. It has some decent nightlife spots, and could capitalize on its proximity to Wrigley the way Lakeview and to some degree, Lincoln Park and Roscoe Village have. But many Uptown residents and other blog posters see the potential problems that might arise with putting so many units into a soft housing market. See reactions on Uptown Update here.

My hope would be that five years from now, housing won't be in the slump it is today. I would also hope lenders wouldn't be willing to issue a construction loan if they didn't feel like this is a project that could sell (or if it didn't have significant pre-sales). On the other hand, I do share some of the concerns: if there are still vacant units in already trendy neighborhoods, why would buyers choose pre-sale units? I think most buyers are more comfortable in a home they can actually see and walk around in.

I also think that holding an open hearing with some of the neighborhood associations might be positive for the developer. I've generally found that neighborhoods like openness about a plan, whether they support it or not.  

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1 Comment

Lauren Strec said:

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I'm glad to hear about any improvements/developments in Chicago! Thank you! This blog is featured on today's "Hot on ChicagoNow:"
http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/hot-on-chicagonow/2010/01/hot-on-chicagonow-january-26-2010.html

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