Chicago Relocation

See Saw Post Office Sale Closes in Chicago

October 21, 2009

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As reported today in Crain’s Chicago Business, the Old Post Office (see story last month) has finally been SOLD to the original buyer!

Two month’s after British developer Bill Davies agreed to fork over $40MM for the property, the deal has been closed. Sources say the 3 million SF property that leapfrogs over I-290, one of Chicago real estate’s most recognizable buildings, was actually sold for much less than the agreed-upon price, but the exact amount was not revealed.

Crain’s reported that “We are excited that this historic landmark now enters the redevelopment phase, and we look forward to seeing it contribute to the growth and vitality of downtown Chicago after many years of vacancy,” according to Tom Samra, USPS’s vp of facilities, “We wish the new owners of this property the best of luck in their efforts.”  



It’s still about price

October 17, 2009

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HomeGain recently reported a that a whopping 7 out of 10 FLA homeowners overestimate the market value of their homes.  That’s pretty scary.  One would hope Midwest sensibilities would have our number a bit lower.  Then again, it seems like ½ of Florida is filled with retired Chicagoans, so I can’t say for sure.


But this failure to connect with reality (35% overvalued their homes up to 20% higher than agents opinion of list price) is one of the things that will keep the Chicago Luxury Real Estate  market, and the market in general, in the valley for awhile.


17% even thought their home should be priced up to 30% higher than agents recommendations!  Conversely, only 8% thought their home was overvalued (realist Chicagoans to be sure).


Market value is what people are willing to pay today, not yesterday or tomorrow.  And until all of these factors align themselves, we will continue to have inventory issues….



A blog for a slow news day

October 13, 2009

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One thing that bloggers do very well – When there is nothing new to report, bloggers give it to you with the same passion as if there were.


Old Post Office – A deal at $40mm

October 12, 2009

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Imagine a nice Chicago luxury condo but with a little traffic noise – One of the countries busiest highways runs not “near” it, not “by” it, but THROUGH it!  It may or may not happen.


The old Chicago Post office   site (built in 1932 and once the largest post office in the world) was recently sold to an anonymous buyer for a cool $40 million. The USPS was paying over $2.5 million annually in maintenance, so the old place needs a little bit of work.  The spokesperson did paraphrase the great Daniel Burnham in saying “Let me assure you that we shall make no small plans.”


Over 100 people attended the recent auction, where bidding started at a measly $300K.  By $17 million, there were only two bidders left.  Three quarters of an hour later, only one remained.


So what will land on (above?) Congress Expressway?  Chicago luxury condos, offices, a high end hotel?  Just don’t end up on the floor above Interstate 290



Today’s Quote: By J. Wang

October 2, 2009

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“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” 

True today more than ever.


Big Event upcoming in Chicago

October 1, 2009

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The windy city is host to some great real estate and relocation events next week, beginning with the RELOCATION DIRECTORS COUNCIL all day on Wednesday October 7th, and the EMPLOYEE RELOCATION COUNCIL the 7th through the 9th.  I will have the pleasure of moderating a panel on the dos and donts of social netoworking – Look here next week for a full report.  I am eager to represent Baird and Warner real estate at these events.