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West Town Real Estate on Upswing with Three Big Developments in Pipeline

By Alisa Hauser | April 25, 2013 9:01am | Updated on April 25, 2013 12:12pm

WEST TOWN —  West Town is booming.

From Ukrainian Village to East Village and even an industrial stretch of Grand Avenue, West Town is seeing attention from developers, who are bringing apartments, retail spaces, condos and single-family homes to the area.

Crain's Chicago Business reported that Fifield Companies plans to build three four-story buildings with mixed-used apartment and retail units at 1822-50 W. Chicago Ave.

The large plot of empty land spans several lots just south of East Village's Commercial Park at 1845 W. Rice St.

According to Neal McKnight, president of the East Village Association, the development is composed of 39 residential units and nine retail units.

While 9,000 square feet of retail will occupy the first floors, there will be 12 two- and three-bedroom apartments on the second, third and fourth floors of each building.

Additionally, each building will have a one-bedroom live/work space, for a total of three live/work units.

According to a site plan, the development will have 17 parking spaces and storage for 128 bicycles.

McKnight said the project was downscaled from an originally proposed 63 units due to concerns about "too much density" and a belief that there is more of a market for two- and three-bedroom apartments than studios and one-bedroom apartments.

McKnight said that developers Christopher and Steven Fifield worked with the East Village Association for a few months and "went through a bunch of different plans," before coming up with a final one.

McKnight said, "We were pleased with the way it worked out," and construction "might begin as soon as the summer."

Elsewhere in West Town, a land parcel at 1651-59 W. Grand Ave., on the southeast corner of Grand Avenue and Paulina Street, will be redeveloped into a mixed-use condominium and retail development.

Realtor Andrea Miller said the four-story development will feature 15 condos, 3,000 feet of first-floor retail space and 23 parking spaces.

Miller said that a developer purchased the 12,500-square-foot parcel of four lots last week, and the project will likely begin construction in spring 2014.

"It will be good because there's not a lot of new construction in that area," Miller said.

Miller added: "Chicago Avenue is picking up, but Grand not as much."

Dan Laskowski, a member of the Chicago Grand Neighbors Association's planning and development committee, said that his group met with the developer, William Gold, last Tuesday to discuss the project and getting a zoning change from a commercial designation to a community shopping district.

Laskowski said he believed the project was "good for the neighborhood."

A development called Remy Estates built by Noah Properties at 2001-2013 W. Erie St. and 2004 -2012 W. Erie St. in Ukrainian Village, contains 24 residences, six of them single-family homes and 18 condos.

Just south of Chicago Avenue and west of Damen Avenue, Remy Estates was built on the site of the Gonnella Bread Co., which closed in June 2012.

According to listing agents Izabela Sloma and Beata Gaska from Sergio and Banks Real Estate, all six single-family homes in the development at 2001-2013 W. Erie St. found new owners before construction was complete. 

The four-bedroom, three-bath luxury homes feature designer natural wood and stone finishes, high-end appliances and "nothing average," according to Gaska.

Gaska said that the six single-family homes were priced at $799,900, and all sold at asking price or above list price within a few weeks of going on the market.

The 18 condos at 2004-2012 W. Erie St. were priced between $359,900 and $479,900 and found contract buyers within two months of going on the market, Gaska said.

While the owners of the single-family homes moved into their new homes within the last month, Gaska said that construction on the interior of the condos was incomplete, and she expected to close on the condos in mid-June.