ML - Michigan Avenue

2014 - Issue 1 - Winter

Michigan Avenue - Niche Media - Michigan Avenue magazine is a luxury lifestyle magazine centered around Chicago’s finest people, events, fashion, health & beauty, fine dining & more!

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Page 112 of 123

"These homes would all be far more expensive if they were on the North Side." —MARGIE SMIGEL ABOVE: million]." The same thing happened to the grandest of the area's many homes designed by legendary architect Howard Van Doren Shaw—a handsome, 8,600-square-foot, 1910 Tudor revival at 4815 South Woodlawn Avenue built for Thomas Wilson of meatpacking and sporting goods fame—when it went on the market in November for $2.65 million. "There was a bidding war, and it went under contract in 10 days," explains its broker, Coldwell Banker's Rita McCarthy. Given the neighborhood's housing stock, these stories are understandable. Options range from gracious flats in elegant vintage walk-ups to gigantic, architecturally significant homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and George Maher. "They would all be far more expensive if they were on the North Side," notes Smigel. And in the depths of a particularly cold December, at a time when the real estate market is typically dead, "There are 14 million-dollar-plus homes on the market, and they're getting showings," notes Smigel. "Purchasers are serious. They want to buy before interest rates rise," says Prudential Rubloff broker and 38-year Hyde Park resident Robert Sullivan, who also notes, "I've sold more than $20 million in Hyde Park–Kenwood Architect Howard Van Doren Shaw designed this 1910 Tudor revival home at 4815 South Woodlawn. TOP: A bedroom in 4518 South Drexel Boulevard. this year, which is my record for the area." Why now? Blame it on the university. Reviving central business districts has long been a key to reviving a community, and that's precisely what happened here as the University and City of Chicago have joined forces to redevelop 53rd Street and its anchor, the decaying Harper Court shopping center, explains Vermilion Development CEO Dave Cocagne, who heads the university and community partnership. "Hyde Park is a very dense neighborhood that was under-retailed. So there was a lot of pent-up demand for quality shops and restaurants, and a lot of support at all levels for the project," he says. In fact, the university wooed many of the retailers and restaurateurs to sweeten the deal for residents. "This project is meant to be an anchor and a catalyst," points out Cocagne. So far, the strategy seems to be hitting the mark. "Million dollar-plus places sold in six months rather than eight in 2013, and cost, on average, 15 percent more this year; five-bedroom-plus homes cost about 20 percent more," says Smigel. "Those are huge numbers." Clearly the university's legendary expertise in economics is paying off close to home. MA HAUTE HYDE The most sought-after homes are in this enclave. Hyde Park may be home to some of the city's most magnificent mansions and the nation's First Family, but the neighborhood's true hot spot is the rectangle bounded by 55th and 59th Streets, and Harper and Woodlawn Avenues, notes Sullivan. "Housing sells at a premium even if it doesn't have parking here because it's near the university, Lab School (the university's private pre-, elementary, and high school), and shopping on 55th Street, so you can walk everywhere," he says. Large lots are also hard to find in this part of Hyde Park—which makes the impeccably renovated 1904 home with seven bedrooms, three bathrooms, and two half-baths on a verdant double lot at 1234 East 56th Street (aka Professor's Row) highly desirable—despite its $2.38 million ask and lack of parking. Contact Coldwell Banker broker Jennifer Ames, 312-440-7525. MICHIGANAVEMAG.COM 110-111_MA_HP_Opener_Winter_14.indd 111 111 1/9/14 5:24 PM

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