WIN: High Interest Rates Saves Trio of 1880s Rowhouses from Demolition

“A trio of 19th century row houses on the Gold Coast got a reprieve from demolition because rising interest rates made replacing them with a condo building seem like a weak idea.

“‘When interest rates went from 3% to 7%, I thought that’s going to make it harder for people to buy,’ said Milan Rubenstein, managing partner of Windy City RE. ‘So I lost the appetite to build there.’

“A legal entity that Rubenstein controls bought the three buildings on Elm Street near LaSalle in separate transactions from May 2019 to September 2021 for a combined total of $3.065 million, according to the Cook County clerk. He planned to replace the houses, which date to the early 1880s, with a new building whose dozen units would be priced at an average of about $1.25 million for roughly 1,670 square feet.

“Instead, on Aug. 28, all three buildings went back went up for sale. All are represented by Emily Sachs Wong of @properties Christie’s International Real Estate, and they all are being offered separately. The asking prices add up to a little under $3.95 million.

“Sachs Wong said she does not expect a single buyer to take them all and pursue demolition. ‘We haven’t had anybody ask about that,’ she said. I think they’re going to sell separately again.”

“In a neighborhood of mostly mid-rise and high-rise buildings, the row houses are an isolated example of a housing type common in other parts of the city, the Italianate row house. Among many other locations, there are rows of them on Fremont Avenue in Lincoln Park and in the Calumet-Giles-Prairie Historic District in Bronzeville.” (Rodkin, Crain’s Chicago Business, 9/11/23)

Read the full story at Crain’s Chicago Business

Trio of 19th-century Gold Coast row houses get reprieve from demolition, Dennis Rodkin, Crain’s Chicago Business, 9/11/23

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