<![CDATA[NBC Chicago - Chicago Real Estate, Market Trends, Chicago Housing]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcchicago.com/the-scene/real-estate http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/5-Chicago-Blue.png NBC Chicago http://www.nbcchicago.com en-us Tue, 24 Nov 2015 16:41:16 -0600 Tue, 24 Nov 2015 16:41:16 -0600 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[On the Set of "30 Rock" with Tina Fey]]> Mon, 30 Sep 2013 10:17:00 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/tina-fey-tour_P2.jpg Join "Open House" for a very special behind-the-scenes tour of the "30 Rock" set with show creator and star, Tina Fey, and set decorator Jennifer Greenberg.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Square Feet: Inside Emeril Lagasse's Uptown Townhouse]]> Mon, 30 Sep 2013 10:16:44 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/OHNAT5183ASQFTEmerilLagasse.jpg Bam! We're inside Emeril Lagasse's stunning Upper East Side townhouse. For more information on this property, please contact Samantha Kleier-Forbes and Sabrina Kleier-Morgenstern of Gumley Haft Kleier at 212-371-2525 ext. 350. View the listing.

This episode of Open House was hosted from The Mark at 25 E 77th St. New York, NY. For more information on this property, please contact Lydia Sussek of Corcoran at 212-893-1434 or 212-772-1600.

<![CDATA[Talbott Hotel Named Chicago's "Best in Stay" ]]> Tue, 16 Oct 2012 09:49:19 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/talbott-hotel.jpg

Bigger and newer isn't always necessarily better.

At least when it comes to Gold Coast's Talbott Hotel which received a "Best in Stay" award by Orbitz.

The survey was based on 200,000 hotel reviews from Orbitz customers and the company's own experts, and covers categories such as amenities, maintenance, hotel staff, room comfort, location, and value.

The 16-floor European-style hotel was originally built in 1927 but recently underwent a renovation.

A total of 75 domestic and international city hotels also received "Best in Stay" awards.

Photo Credit: Orbitz.com]]>
<![CDATA[Illinois Home Sales Up 24 Percent]]> Wed, 19 Sep 2012 17:04:55 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Real+estate+sale+pending+sign+722.jpg

Illinois' real estate market is showing signs of improvement.

Home sales rose 23.7 percent in August compared to the same month last year, according to the Illinois Association of Realtors.

A total of 13,264 homes were sold during the month,continuing a two-month trend of increased year-to-year sales.

The median price of a home was down .7 percent at $147,000 compared to the same time last year, but $24,650 higher than in January 2012.

The organization's president credits the increase to historically low interest rates.

Home sales in the Chicago metro area were higher than the state average, up 28.5 percent year-to-year.

The median price for a home in Chicago was $170,000.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Attorney General Announces Mortgage Relief Funds]]> Tue, 28 Aug 2012 17:22:35 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/lisa-madigan-foreclosure.jpg

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced $4.7 million from the national foreclosure settlement fund is going to Chicago’s Legal Assistance Foundation.

She said the funds will provide much-needed help to homeowners struggling to save their homes in Chicago and suburban Cook County.

“This grant money will translate into real help for homeowners who otherwise never would have received it, because the need far exceeds the current legal aid resources,” Madigan said. “By ensuring that more homeowners in Chicago and suburban Cook County have an advocate, we can give more people a fighting chance to save their homes and help stabilize communities throughout the region.”

In the national settlement announced last February, 49 states joined together to wrest $25 billion  from five major US mortgage services accused among other abuses of widespread “robo-signing”- when institutions sign documents without assigning employees to review them.

Details on eligibility and other programs designed to help homeowners get loan modifications, principal loan reductions and fight foreclosure are at the AG’s website.

<![CDATA[Alderman Doesn't Like Housing Plan for Former Hospital]]> Wed, 15 Aug 2012 19:44:31 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/michele+smith.JPG

A Chicago alderman wants the developer working on plans to re-purpose the former Children's Memorial Hospital to go back to the drawing board.

"I believe our community has reached a consensus that the plan is simply too dense and the plan aggravates the too-long unresolved problems of overcrowding in schools," said Alderman Michele Smith (43rd) in a statement to her constituents Wednesday.

Children's Memorial Hospital moved from its former location in Lincoln Park to a new one in Streeterville in June.

The plan initially called for 1,000 housing units on the six-acre site, including three new towers ranging from 14 to 24 floors. The proposal also included plans for 164,500 square feet of retail space.

Smith had held several meetings, as had the developers, to discuss the plans, her statement said. A working committee analyzing the plans also met, according to the statement.

"The plan does not yet realize our community's vision - which I wholeheartedly support - that this site create a new neighborhood crossroads," she said. "The plan contains promising concepts but there must be significant improvements before this community lends its support."

Smith also said potential traffic concerns could come as a result of the density of the proposal.

McCaffery Interests Inc., the company behind the proposal, could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday evening.

<![CDATA[Daley's Michigan Ave. Condo on the Market]]> Tue, 07 Aug 2012 15:50:37 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/900-n-michigan.jpg

The North Michigan Avenue condo former Mayor Richard Daley briefly shared with his wife is on the market.

The pair moved into the unit, at 900 N. Michigan Ave., shortly after Daley left office in May 2011. Chicago's former first lady, Maggie Daley, died of cancer six months later. Mr. Daley moved out in June.

The property is listed for the same price the couple paid: $2.725 million.

The three-bedroom, three-and-a-half bath condo on the 24th floor boasts 3,479 square feet of living space, according to an online listing.

JMB Realty Corp. is the listing agency.

<![CDATA[Common Faces Foreclosure on Chicago Apartment ]]> Mon, 23 Jul 2012 15:59:16 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/common+cropped.jpg

Celeb home foreclosures may seem uncommon, but Chicago-born rapper Common is reportedly in danger of losing his Chicago apartment after allegedly not making mortgage payments since March.

Common, or Lonnie Lynn, and his manager Derek Dudley acquired a two-bedroom condo at 100 E. 14th St. in June 2008 with a mortgage of $361,511, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Bank of America filed a lawsuit against Lynn and Dudley after the duo stopped making payments in March totaling $345,389.52 in debt, the Sun-Times reported.

Common’s rep reportedly emailed a statement that the two sides have reached an agreement stating, “The Chicago property is not being foreclosed on. They have reached an agreement to sell the property to an individual with a closing date set for early August. Bank of America is aware of this fact.”

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Oprah Winfrey Sells Streeterville Home]]> Wed, 18 Jul 2012 14:27:29 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/oprah-house1.jpg

Oprah Winfrey has one less connection to Chicago.

Winfrey sold her Streeterville co-op Tuesday for $2.75 million, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Winfrey originally bought the eight-room, 4,607-square-foot home at 199 E. Lake Shore Drive for $5.6 million, but never actually occupied it.

The property was originally listed for $6 million in 2008, but was removed from the market and offered as a rental after there were no takers, according to the Tribune.

Winfrey still owns a number of other properties in the Chicago area.

<![CDATA[Chicago Area Listed as Nation's Top Buyers' Market]]> Tue, 10 Jul 2012 14:23:55 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Real+estate+sale+pending+sign+722.jpg

If you're looking to buy a home, it's good to be in Chicago, Milwaukee or Cleveland.

Those three Midwestern cities give buyers the most negotiating power, according to data released this week by the online real estate firm Zillow.

On the flip side, sellers hold the upper hand in San Jose, San Francisco and Las Vegas.

Looking closer at the Chicago area, Zillow said Downers Grove, Northbrook, Palatine, Buffalo Grove and Orland Park were the top five buyers' markets. Crown Point, Bolingbrook, Valparaiso, Aurora and Munster were ranked as the top sellers' markets.

The company said the results came from an analysis of sale-to-list price rations, the number of days a listing stayed on Zillow and the percentage of homes on the market with a price cut.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Estates and Cribs: Rock Legend Jerry Garcia's Home for Sale]]> Thu, 08 Sep 2011 11:47:49 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/160*120/093110GarciaHome0001.jpg Even if you can't afford these celebrity digs, you can check 'em out here.

Photo Credit: www.55elmirador.com]]>
<![CDATA[New Company to Move Into 'Rosie Show' Space]]> Mon, 02 Jul 2012 13:12:58 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/rosie-show-sign.jpg

With “The Rosie Show” out of production, a Chicago media company plans to rent the vacant Harpo Studio's production space.

On Aug. 1 Harpo Studios will begin leasing out Oprah Winfrey Network's former "Rosie Show" office space to a local digital media company, marking the first time the studio complex has lent any portion of the space since it began production for Winfrey’s daily talk show in 1990, according to the Chicago Tribune.

When Winfrey’s show ceased production in 2011, the studios were repurposed to accommodate production for OWN programs. The network reportedly suffered losses of up to $330 million since its 2008 creation and O’Donnell’s show, which failed to drum up anticipated viewings, was canceled, leaving the space vacant and no other shows to take it.

Though the network continues to inhabit 90 percent of the studio, the Tribune reports, the lease marks one of three promising real estate ventures OWN's declining ratings have brought to Chicago.

O’Donnell placed her Chicago mansion on the market for $2.5 million in March, just six months after buying it, a move that made many question the future of her declining talk show.

Shortly after, Winfrey placed one of her luxurious abodes on the market for just $2.8 million, nearly half of the $5.6 million she originally paid. Though she owns multiple properties in the Chicago area, she primarily lives in her estate in Montecito, Calif. where she launched and maintains OWN.

<![CDATA[Home Prices, Sales Up in Chicago]]> Thu, 21 Jun 2012 22:15:49 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Chicago-PMSA+Total+Home+Sales.jpg

Home sales are on the increase statewide, including in Chicago.

Sales of Illinois homes in May were 22 percent higher than sales in May 2011, according to data released by the Illinois Association of Realtors Thursday.

The data also show Chicago fared better in that area in May than the state overall, with a 25 percent increase in home sales over May 2011.

"If there was any uncertainty about whether the housing market was going to hold up as we moved deeper into the year, that's been dispelled," said Illinois Association of Realtors president Loretta Alonzo. "To have such a strong statewide showing later in the spring selling season, and to see the Chicago area snap a 49-month trend of median price decreases is huge news."

Chicago area median home prices inched up 0.1% to $170,000 over last April, the data showed.

Illinois median home prices rose 3.6 percent over last May to $145,000.

Year-to-year median prices for homes are expected to increase by August, reaching around $150,000 in Illinois and about $181,000 in the Chicago area, a forecast by the University of Illinois predicts. That same forecast does, however, predict slightly lower sales volumes in June and July with an increase in August.

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Photo Credit: University of Illinois Regional Economics Applications Laboratory, Illinois Association of Realtors]]>
<![CDATA[$1B Headed to Illinois to Help Foreclosure Victims]]> Wed, 13 Jun 2012 21:30:09 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/lisa-madigan-061312.jpg

Roughly $1 billion is expected to go to homeowners in Illinois who have been harmed by fraudulent foreclosure and mortgage servicing practices, Illinois Attorney Lisa Madigan said Wednesday.

The money will be used to offer principal reductions and refinancing options for borrowers who are underwater -- those who owe more on their home than what it's worth, she said.

"Please don't be ashamed. Please don't be embarrassed, scared, daunted. Don't put your head in the sand. There are programs out there and we want to do everything possible to let you know there are programs out there and get you the help you deserve," Madigan said during an appearance before the City Council's committee on housing and real estate.

The $1 billion is just a portion of the full $25 billion garnered in a settlement the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development worked out with some of the nation's largest banks.

Madigan said foreclosures that may not have been deserved are also set to be reviewed.

"People who have already lost their homes to foreclosure should know there is a very significant review process of improper foreclosures that's taking place at the federal level," she said.

The Attorney General is advising people to contact her office if they feel their homes have been inappropriately foreclosed upon. She also advised homeowners who are struggling to enlist the help of a housing counseling agency or legal aid lawyer.

"We have seen that people who work with advocates double their chances of being able to stay in their homes and get some sort of relief," she said.

<![CDATA[Hemingway's Boyhood Home Sells for $525,000]]> Wed, 13 Jun 2012 10:24:21 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Hemingway-House.jpg

The boyhood home of author and journalist Ernest Hemingway is officially



The Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park closed the $525,000 sale Tuesday to Kurt and Mary Jane Neumann, current Oak Park residents, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The couple told the publication they plan to restore the building to its original single-family home style. The building currently is divided into three apartments.

The residence at 600 N. Kenilworth Ave. was purchased from a private owner in 2001 and has been owned by the foundation until the Neumanns closed on the home Tuesday.

In 2009 the foundation and Dominican University in River Forest created a plan to turn the home into a cultural center, but the home was subsequently put back on the market for $525,000 in February.

According to the Tribune, the foundation received many offers for the home, but the Neumann’s had the best plan.
The foundation plans to retire a $420,000 loan borrowed to buy the house in 2001 with proceeds from the sale. The remaining cash will help support educational and cultural programs.
The couple told the Tribune they plan to raise their two young sons and continue to work with the foundation to make the home available to visitors in the future.

<![CDATA[City Gives $5.2M Subsidy to Hyde Park Hotel]]> Wed, 06 Jun 2012 23:29:21 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/harper+court+hotel.JPG

Chicago aldermen on Wednesday approved a proposal to provide more than $5 million to a project to build a hotel on land owned by the University of Chicago.

The project, an 84,000 square foot hotel on the corner of Harper Avenue and East 52nd Place, will include 131 guest rooms, 50 underground parking spaces, and a pool and workout room for guests.

The remaining $28.6 million of the project will be handled by the developers, Smart Hotels LLC and The Olympia Companies.

The University of Chicago has purchased several other buildings in the surrounding area and is vested in the area's growth and popularity. In 2010, an office tower project on 53rd Street received a $20 million subsidy.


<![CDATA["Planes, Trains, & Automobiles" Home For Sale]]> Wed, 06 Jun 2012 03:02:07 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/planes-trains-automobiles.jpeg

The Kenilworth home featured in the 1987 movie "Planes, Trains, & Automobiles" is on the market.

The home where Steve Martin and John Candy spent a majority of screen time during the movie was listed eight weeks ago for $1.8 million.

Realtor Barbara Mawicke told the Chicago Sun-Times the home, located at 230 Oxford Road, sold for $1.4 million in 2009.

Though the home's realty description notes its appearance in the film, Mawicke told the publication she didn't think many people would remember it.

Mawicke's son, John, is putting the home on market to relocate to Hong Kong with his family.

<![CDATA[Vince Vaughn Lists Penthouse for $18.4 M]]> Mon, 04 Jun 2012 13:00:25 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/vincev.jpg

Vince Vaughn put his 12,000-square-foot Michigan Avenue penthouse on the market last week for $18.4 million.

The 19-room triplex sits atop the Palmolive building and includes five bedrooms, four full baths and four half baths, according to the Chicago Tribune.

One floor is dedicated to formal entertaining and the other to family quarters, according to the Tribune. The top floor includes a screening room, an entertainment area, a game room, kitchen, and a large terrace.

Perhaps one of the penthouse's greatest assets is the original, restored office that once belonged to Playboy CEO Hugh Hefner. Vaughn, 42, bought the triplex for $12 million in 2006, according to the Tribune.

This is the third largest asking price of a residence in the Chicago area. Donald Trump takes the cake with a $32 million asking price for his penthouse in Trump Tower. Michael Jordan follows closely behind, asking $29 million for his 18-room mansion in Highland Park.

Vaughn also owns a town home in River North, which he bought in 2005 for $1.4 million.

<![CDATA[The Donald Lists His Condo for $32 Million]]> Fri, 01 Jun 2012 23:25:53 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/donald-trump-better-thumb.jpg

Business entrepreneur and television personality Donald Trump recently put his Chicago penthouse in Trump Tower on the market for $32 million.

This is the highest-recording asking price in Chicagoland. It even beats Michael Jordan's 56,000 square foot estate in Highland Park, which was listed as $29 million.

While it may be surprising to some, no one has ever occupied Trump's condo and it is unclear whether he ever planned to live in the 14,260 square foot penthouse suite.

Trump's listing agent is Chezi Rafaeli of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. He told Forbes the condo is one of the tallest residences in the world.

Other top names that have listed their real estate for sale for large prices in Chicago include Oprah and Vince Vaughn.

<![CDATA[Oprah Puts Chicago Condo On Market For $2.8 M]]> Wed, 23 May 2012 16:53:54 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/180*120/oprah-house1.jpg

Those with enough cash can live in the lap of media-mogul luxury.

Oprah Winfrey on Tuesday placed her eight-room, 4,607 square-foot Streeterville condo on the market for $2.8 million.

Oprah never made the condo her home after paying $5.6 million for it in 2006. Instead she opted to continue living in a different building a few blocks away. 

The unit up for sale is one of 13 1913 Beaux-Arts style co-ops by famous architect Benjamin Marshall. The condo features 10-foot ceilings, an inner foyer, library, butler’s pantry, wine room and an en-suite guest bedroom.

Attempts to sell the condo for $6 million in June 2008 for were unsuccessful. Subsequently the condo was put up for rent at $15,000 per month until January 2009, according to reports.

Suzie Pearson, a representative from Prudential Rubloff Properties, confirmed reports that this unit is indeed Winfrey’s and it was put on the market Tuesday. The real estate consultant for Winfrey's co-op was not available for comment.

Winfrey ended her stay in Chicago last May after 25 years of her internationally known talk show. Oprah can't seem to leave Chicago behind, though. She owns multiple properties in the Chicago area but primarily lives in her estate in Montecito, Calif. where she launched her network OWN in 2011.

<![CDATA[Travel Writer Wins Stay in Chicago Bridgehouse]]> Fri, 04 May 2012 20:34:27 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/2012-05-04_10-26-51_813.jpg

Every day, thousands of people walk by it, even take pictures of it. But few know there’s a museum inside one of the bridge houses at Michigan and Wacker, let alone plan to spend the night here.

But that’s exactly what Lisa Lubin will be doing.

The travel writer and former TV producer will be spending 24 hours in the McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum. She is the winner of a contest sponsored by the Friends of the Chicago River as part of its 20th Anniversary celebration.

"I love Chicago," Lubin said. "I thought this would be a great opportunity to write more about the city I love," she said while looking around the cozy, five story structure with views of the river and Michigan Avenue.

Lubin will be staying with three friends while a security guard will keep watch over the bridge house.

According to museum director Ozana Balan King, Friends of the Chicago River has an itinerary planned for the winner and her friends including kayaking, a trip on the Wendella Boats and a room service meal walked over from the nearby Hotel 71.

The museum, which will open to the public later this month is designed to be a tour of the River and its history dating back from pre-settlement days to modern times.

"It’s a really great place to discover a hidden part of Chicago," Balan King said.

Lubin will be blogging about her stay at her website www.llworldtour.com

<![CDATA[Rosie Takes a Loss on Lakeview Home]]> Mon, 23 Apr 2012 10:13:20 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Rosie+O%27Donnell+Oprah+Network.jpg

Rosie the realtor she ain't.

Former OWN talk show host Rosie O'Donnell took a loss in selling her Lakeview house, the Chicago Tribune reports.

According to the newspaper, the Grace Street home sold for $2.103 million at closing earlier this month, $147,000 less than she paid for it last fall.

O'Donnell high-tailed it out of town after her Oprah Winfrey Network show was canceled.

The 6,000-square-foot home features 5 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms and a 2,000-square-foot roof deck.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Former John Cusack Condo Listed For $1.15 M]]> Thu, 12 Apr 2012 14:45:51 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/211*120/john-cusack1.jpg

Want to live in John Cusack's old digs? Have a fat pocketbook?

Cusack's former Chicago pad was listed this month at $1.15 million. It's located on the 56th story of Elysees Condominiums in the Gold Coast area.

The 2,600-square-foot condo features 31 floor-to-ceiling windows, three bedrooms, three bathrooms and a garage space. The view reaches Indiana, and residents get access to an outdoor pool, sundeck, party room, sauna and an exercise room.

Along with the $1.15 million asking price, monthly homeowners association fees cost $1,744.

<![CDATA[Chicago Hotel Unveils Ron Santo Tribute Suite]]> Wed, 04 Apr 2012 14:32:06 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Santo-Suite-1.jpg

The Westin Michigan Avenue Hotel unveiled a new suite honoring a famous Cub.

The Ron Santo Tribute Suite was created in memory of legendary Chicago Cubs’ third-baseman and radio broadcaster.

The room was unveiled Wednesday morning with a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony. Santo’s son, Ron Jr., participated in the ceremony, along with representatives from the JDRF, a diabetes organization that Santo supported.

The suite will be filled with memorabilia, including photographs of Santo donated by his family.

Santo had a life-long struggle with diabetes and helped raise $60 million for the non-profit organization “Ron Santo Walk to Cute Diabetes.” A portion of the revenue from the suite will be donated to JDRF.

<![CDATA[Catholic Mission Buys Church, Ousts Artists from Space]]> Tue, 03 Apr 2012 13:37:14 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/st.-paul-church-wicker-park.jpg

The recent purchase of a Wicker Park church by a Catholic Mission with roots in the Midwest has ignited a bit of controversy for the artists currently renting space in the church basement and among those who say the Mission is a cult.

The Love Holy Trinity Blessed Mission recently bought St. Paul Community Church and has sent eviction notices to the Near Northwest Arts Council, which represents 38 different groups. But there's a snag: Ald. Joe Moreno (1st), who is opposed to the group, said he won't give the LHTBM the special permit it needs to hold meetings for more than 12 people.

NBC Chicago has covered the Mission for more than seven years, first reporting on its recruitment of teenagers who were told they would become nuns, to Francis Cardinal George recalling one of his own Archdiocesan priests to return from the Mission.  That priest, Father Len Kruzel, refused and has remained with LHTBM.

There have been zoning issues as well. The city in 2005 denied a far northwest side special use permit to the organization.

Now with this recent purchase of St. Paul's the arts groups that have used the building have agreed to leave by April 18th.

Laura Weathered with the NNWAC said the church location has been a special niche for arts, education and social organizations. The local audience for the various programs is estimated at 30, 000 people each year.

Additionally, NNWAC has advocated for affordable housing for the artists in the Wicker Park neighborhood.    

"We’ve got all these groups kind of out in the street," said Weathered, expressing concern that it's "tough to find affordable incubator space for that many small businesses."

At a recent community meeting with residents, frustration between business owners and LHTBM members boiled over. Many people remain suspicious of the secretive nature of the mission.

"Why are we asking them about their beliefs?" one neighbor asked.

"Because it’s a cult. Because it’s a cult," another resident answered.

Several members of the mission attended the meeting but did not answer questions about the work they do and why they cut off all communication with those who do not belong to LHTBM.

Donna Backstrom, who has three family members who are mission members, also attended the meeting and said "so many family members have been torn apart" by the group's work.

Moreno said he's been warned to distance himself from the organization.

"You have the right to practice and believe whatever you want to believe," he said at the recent meeting. "What I have the right to do is to not give you a special use permit, and I’m not going to give you one." 

Wicker Park neighbors have vowed to keep an eye on activity at the church. 

Meanwhile, there will be one last film festival -- the Chicago International Movies and Music Festival at St. Paul’s from April 12 to the 15th -- before the artists are ousted.

<![CDATA[10 Homeowner Tips to Prevent Foreclosure]]> Fri, 30 Mar 2012 16:01:13 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/bank-foreclosure-generic-722.jpg

IFPN Homeowner Foreclosure Prevention Tip Sheet

1. Don’t ignore the problem. The further behind you become, the harder it will be to reinstate your loan because you’ll have fewer options and the more likely that you will lose your house.

2. Act fast, even if you are not in foreclosure yet. If you are struggling to pay your mortgage, or had a reduction in income or expect an income reduction soon, find free relief now so you are not stretching, don’t wait until you’ve exhausted all of your savings.

3. Visit the Illinois Foreclosure Prevention Network (IFPN) website to find free housing counselor—www.keepyourhomeillinois.org or call the IFPN hotline at 1-855-KEEP-411 (1-855-533-7411).  Foreclosure counseling more than doubles a homeowner’s chance of receiving a loan modification and reduces the likelihood of re-default by 67%.

4. Attend a free, foreclosure prevention workshop like the IFPN Keep Your Home Illinois event in Berwyn March 31.  On-site resources can help you whether you are in foreclosure or just struggling to pay your mortgage.

5. Open and respond to all mail from your lender. The first notices you receive will offer good information about foreclosure prevention options that can help you. Your failure to open the mail will not delay or stop the foreclosure process.

6. Know your mortgage rights. Find your loan documents and read them so you know what your lender may do if you can’t make your payments.

7. Understand foreclosure prevention options. Valuable information can be found online. Visit the Illinois Foreclosure Prevention Network website at www.keepyourhomeillinois.org.

8. Avoid so-called foreclosure prevention companies. Never pay a fee for foreclosure prevention help—use that money to pay the mortgage instead and find a FREE qualified housing counselor by calling 1-855-KEEP-411.

9. Never sign a legal document without reading and understanding all the terms and getting professional advice from a housing counselor. If you sign a document appointing someone else to act on your behalf, you may be signing over the title to your property and becoming a renter in your own home!

10. Maintain a household budget. A budget helps you recognize problems before they arise, and you can then change your commitments and behavior to prevent them. A housing counselor can help with this.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Google's Doodle Honors Mies van der Rohe]]> Tue, 27 Mar 2012 12:31:33 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/236*120/Mies+p1.jpg

Architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's left an indelible mark on Chicago with his minimalist, modern skyscrapers. 

On Tuesday, he left an indelible mark on Google.

The search site used its Google Doodle -- the Google name that sits above the search bar on its crisp white page that often turns to artwork -- to honor Mies on the architect's birthday.

Designers selected Crown Hall at the Illinois Institute of Technology for their inspiration, and injected the building, which is reminicient of a '50s drive-in, with color.

Van der Rohe was the head of architecture at IIT and designed many of its buildings and drafted the master plan for its campus.

His work in Chicago earned him an honorary street name in the Streeterville neighborhood, and a lasting legacy as a forward thinking architect.

<![CDATA[Blago Home Off the Market]]> Tue, 27 Mar 2012 12:38:28 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/216*120/blago-house1.jpg

With her husband recently reporting to prison, Patti Blagojevich has taken the family home off the market.

"Patti believes it's best for [daughters] Amy and Annie to avoid the stress of showing a house during a time which has already been filled with so much upheaval," said Glenn Selig, the family's spokesman and publicist. "Showing the home is just too much for the girls to go through right now."

The 13-room, 3,817-square-foot Mediterranean-style estate in Chicago's Ravenswood Manor neighborhood hit the market last October, with an list price of $1.07 million. The family was ordered to use the home as collateral for a $450,000 bond against Illinois' former governor.

Selig said the home was "temporarily" off the market.

The couple had said the home was for sale last July, one month after Blagojevich was found guilty of corruption on charges that included government shakedowns and attempts to sell Barack Obama's Senate seat.

"It's not just a house that we're selling. It's our home. We've lived here since 1999. It's the only home that out children have ever known. It's kind of sad, and you know, I'm more sad for our children who definitely don't want to leave," Patti Blagojevich told NBC Chicago at the time.

Her husband reported to Federal Correctional Institution Englewood in Littleton, Colo. on March 15. The Bureau of Prisons has his release date listed as May, 23, 2024, a little more than 12 years from now, and in line with federal guidelines which mandate he serve at least 85 percent -- or 11 years, nine months -- of his 14 year sentence.

<![CDATA[County Wants to Return $16M to Homeowners]]> Thu, 22 Mar 2012 20:23:40 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/foreclosure+new.jpg

A pot of money held in limbo at the Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court could help ease the pain of some homeowners affected by the housing bust.

The money in question -- about $16 million -- are surplus funds, created after a homeowner was foreclosed upon and their home re-sold. If the foreclosed homeowner owed less on the mortgage than the final sale price of the subsequent sale, those funds go back to the first owner.

"We have an individual that’s due 13 cents. We have someone that’s due $400,000 dollars," said Dorothy Brown, the clerk of the court.

Illinois law requires these surpluses to be deposited to the clerk of the court, where it then continues to sit, collecting interest until the original homeowner claims it.

The problem? Finding those people. Many don’t realize the funds are due them, and many who’ve been through foreclosure don’t often leave a forwarding address.

"It’s hard to find them because many times when people lose their properties to mortgage foreclosure they have also have a lot of credit card debt and a lot other kinds of debts, and they’re probably actually running from those creditors," said Brown. "As a result when they leave their property, they don’t leave a forwarding address."

In an attempt to shorten a lengthy list of names and a piggy bank of surplus money, Brown's office has created a searchable section on its website to help locate the funds' owners.

Those who think they may have money in the fund can visit www.CookCountyClerkofCourt.org and enter their last name, first initial, and phone number

"I just felt it was something we should do for the people," said Brown.

For those experiencing the foreclosure process right now, the clerk advised homeowners to stay in contact with her office. The clerk's office can help monitor the sale of the homes and alert the homeowner if they're owed a surplus.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Juanita Jordan Lists Penthouse for $5M]]> Fri, 04 May 2012 18:18:00 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/michael+jordan+Juanita+Jordan.JPG

Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan’s ex-wife has put her Lake Shore Drive penthouse condo on the market.

Juanita Jordan, 52, listed the home for $5 million, according to listing agent Melinda Jakovich, The Chicago Sun Times reports.

The 8,000-square-foot condo, located at 1100 Lake Shore Drive, includes four bedrooms and five-and-a-half baths. It also includes a media room, a smoking room, a solarium and a deck on the sunroof.

Jakovich said the buyer will get the 40th and 41st floors – with the solarium and deck on the upper floor.

The former couple bought the condo for $3 million in the late 1990's and divorced in 2006.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Navy Pier Recommends Makeover Designers]]> Thu, 15 Mar 2012 19:03:56 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/James-Corner-Navy-Pier-1.jpg

When Navy Pier's public spaces get their long-awaited makeover, a team led by a New York landscape architect will be calling the shots.

James Corner, who helped design New York's High Line -- a public park that sits on top of old railroad tracks on the West Side of Manhattan -- has been recommended by a Navy Pier committee to lead the project.

The ideas brought by Corner and his team, the board said, combined imagination and function without going overboard.

"They weren't so far out there that -- I mean, we asked them to dream big, but they dreamed big but were able to do it in a way that we thought we could pay for," said board member Sarah Garvey.

The team would also include New York-based architects, lighting artists and lighting designers. A graphic design firm from Toronto and a water design and engineering firm from Los Angeles would also be a part of the team.

Chicago designers did not miss out completely. The recommendation also calls for Chicago-based landscaped architects, art curator, civil engineers and construction management.

The competition to redesign the pier actually began months ago, with 52 initial entries. Five finalists were unveiled in late January.

Critics agree that Navy Pier is long overdue for a makeover. And any redesign project, which would be paid for with grant money and donations, could be completed by 2016, the pier's 100th anniversary.

<![CDATA[Derrick Rose Buys Trump Tower Condo]]> Tue, 13 Mar 2012 14:34:54 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/bulls-rose-basketball.jpg

Derrick Rose is moving into Trump Tower.

The Bulls star bought a $2.8 million condo in the Trump International Hotel & Tower, 401 N. Wabash Ave., according to Crain's Chicago Business. The three-bedroom, 3,102-square-foot space is located on the upper floors of the 92-story building.

Rose told reporters Saturday he doesn't take the home purchase for granted and calls it an "unbelievable feeling." He plans to move from suburban Northbrook before the end of the season, Crain's reports.

County records obtained by the paper indicate he financed the deal with a mortgage from Northern Trust Co.

Rose will have some sports-centric friends in the tower. Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane and former Chicago Bears quarterback Rex Grossman also purchased units in the building.

Rose signed a five-year, $95 million contract extension with the Bulls in December.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[New Hotel Lincoln Now Open]]> Fri, 09 Mar 2012 14:09:03 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Hotel_Lincoln_guestroom.jpg

One more option for swanky accommodations hits the city this week.

Hotel Lincoln (1816 N. Clark St.) officially opened its doors on Thursday.

The new boutique hotel offers 184 guest rooms and in-room dining crafted by Paul Virant, executive chef and partner at the adjoining Perennial Virant.

Elaine's Coffee Call is a European-style coffee bar located off the east side of the lobby,

A rooftop lounge is scheduled to open in June, large enough to accommodate 175 patrons outdoors and up to 75 indoors.

Room rates start at $129-$319 a night, depending on the time of year.

The hotel is owned by San Francisco hospitality company Joie de Vivre Hotels.

<![CDATA[ "Home Alone" House Sells for $1.585M]]> Thu, 08 Mar 2012 13:58:21 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/home+alone+house+2.jpg

A piece of Chicago-area movie history is off the market.

The "Home Alone" house in Winnetka was sold for $1.585 million, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. The sale closed Thursday.

The 4,250-square-foot, 14-room home was placed on the market last May for $2.4 million. The owners said they hoped the on-screen fame from the 1990 hit movie would make it sell faster even in a down housing market.

After a month on the market, the price was reduced to $2.175 million, $225,000 less than the original asking price.

The current owners of the house bought it for $875,000 in 1988 and have lived there since.

Photo Credit: Coldwell Banker]]>
<![CDATA[Rosie Show Leaving Chicago?]]> Wed, 07 Mar 2012 07:30:01 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/203*120/rosie-722.jpg

Are Rosie O'Donnell's Chicago days numbered?

According to a report from the Huffington Post, the daytime talk show host is moving "The Rosie Show" to New York after five months in Chicago.

An "insider" told the Huffington Post that O'Donnell is getting tired of flying to Chicago to film the show, and guests also are less likely to travel to the Windy City.

Last week, several published reports indicated O'Donnell considered putting her recently-purchased Lakeview home up for sale. On Tuesday, a day after she put the house on the market, Crain's reported she found a buyer.

That's not the only recent change O'Donnell underwent.

Last month she took a new focus and moved to a smaller, more intimate studio. She also switched out a live studio for one-on-one interviews.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Rosie O'Donnell Listing Chicago Home: Reports]]> Fri, 02 Mar 2012 07:37:11 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/179*120/Rosie_ODonnellHouse2.jpg

There appear to be a lot of changes occuring in Rosie O'Donnell's life.

The TV talk show host last month took a new focus and moved to a smaller, more intimate studio. Now several published reports indicate she's about to put her recently-purchased Lakeview home on the market.

News of the potential listing was first reported by the Chicago Sun-Times' Bill Zwecker:

... there’s word the talk show host is very quietly telling a handful of people that the house is for sale — and she’s planning on moving back to New York full time.

But that's not exactly true, according to O'Donnell's publicist.

"She's reevaluating her real estate holdings," Cindi Berger told the Chicago Tribune.

Berger explained that O'Donnell bought the home on Grace Street because its big yard would provide a playspace for her four children. It apparently hasn't been used as much as expected and the Chicago apartment provided by OWN has been adequate for the family.

O'Donnell picked up the Lakeview home in September. It had a list price of $2.25 million.

<![CDATA[Tenants Living With Mold, Roaches]]> Wed, 29 Feb 2012 21:19:10 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/devonaveaptmold_722x406_2203926436.jpg

From the outside, an apartment building on a north side commercial corridor looks unlike any other. But a look inside reveals shocking conditions.

Shakeen Aslam, a tenant of the building at 2727 W. Devon Ave., said he stopping paying rent to the landlord because things were so deplorable; rotting ceilings, jerry-rigged and exposed wiring, and electric meters rusting from the water that had been leaking on them from above.

"All these pipes and high-voltage electrical cables, they are all crammed into enclosures," he said Wednesday.

Upstairs, Aslam showed apartments with water leaking from broken pipes, rodent droppings everywhere, and black mold growing in and on the walls covered by wallpaper. He said it was management's attempt to simply hide the problem.

Another resident, Sekhar Maturi, showed how his apartment is infested by roaches and bedbugs.

"My goodness, [it's] unbelievable. After midnight, 2 o'clock, we cannot sleep," said Maturi.

Residents said they've complained repeatedly to the landlord, but those complaints have evidently fallen on deaf ears.

City inspectors visited the building in December and cited the landlord with more than 30 violations, although it appears inspectors never saw the mold or the conditions in the basement.

Still, despite having photos documenting the mold and the shocking state of the building, a judge ordered Aslam evicted when he went to housing court earlier this month.

"These people are criminals. They need to be prosecuted," he cried. "There are small kids, families, senior citizens. In case of fire they will not be able to even jump to their death. This is completely horrible."

The Department of Buildings has called the landlord in for a hearing in mid-March.

<![CDATA[Inside Michael Jordan's $29M Mansion For Sale]]> Fri, 27 Apr 2012 14:44:20 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/michael+jordan+real+estate.JPG Michael Jordan's 56,000-square-foot Highland Park mansion is on the market. The former Chicago Bulls star's longtime home was listed Wednesday for $29 million. ]]> <![CDATA[MJ's Highland Park Mansion Listed for $29M]]> Wed, 29 Feb 2012 13:02:45 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/MJ+home+1a.JPG

Michael Jordan's 56,000-square-foot Highland Park mansion is on the market.

The former Chicago Bulls star's longtime home was listed Wednesday for $29 million, Baird & Warner announced in a news release.

The secluded mansion is advertised as a three-floor home designed to Jordan's "exacting specifications" with nine bedrooms, 15-plus baths and five fireplaces.

Built between 1993 and 1995 and renovated in 2009, the compound includes a three-bedroom guesthouse, an indoor/outdoor pool area, an outdoor tennis court, putting green and three climate-controlled multi-car garages. 

Jordan's estate also features an attached indoor basketball complex with a full-size regulation court, "specially cushioned hardwood flooring" and acoustics-friendly sound system.

Jordan, who led the Bulls to six NBA Championship titles, hasn't lost his Chicago connection. He opened a steakhouse on Michigan Avenue last year and recently announced a reboot of his West Loop eatery.

Photo Credit: Baird & Warner]]>
<![CDATA[Hemingway's Oak Park Childhood Home for Sale]]> Mon, 27 Feb 2012 15:32:25 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/Hemingway-House.jpg

The house where one of the world's most famous authors grew up is on the market.

The Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park put the author's boyhood home up for sale this month for $525,000. 

The home, located at 600 N. Kenilworth in Oak Park, currently is being used as a three-unit apartment house. The foundation hopes a new owner can restore the home to its original, single-family style.

Hemingway's family moved into the house in 1906. The foundation said the Oak Park home was the one referenced in "A Farewell to Arms" and where Hemingway recovered from war wounds. 

"The Foundation seeks a buyer who will appreciate the home's historic and literary value and treat the property accordingly," a statement reads on the foundation's website.

The foundation purchased the home in 2002 from a private owner.

<![CDATA[George to the Rescue]]> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 08:45:23 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/GTTR_SHOW_LINEUP_GFX.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[Elysian Rebranded as Waldorf Astoria Chicago ]]> Tue, 07 Feb 2012 17:51:26 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/160*120/Elysian_lobby_lounge_2.jpg

What's in a name?

Apparently plenty when it comes to one of Chicago's swankiest hotels.

The hotel formerly known as Elysian was officially renamed Waldorf Astoria Chicago on Tuesday.

The change comes after the hotel was bought in part last year by Hilton Worldwide, the parent company of Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts.

But although the name has changed, it doesn't look like much else will. The new Waldorf Astoria Chicago comprises the hotel, 51 private residences, award-winning restaurants, a spa, and event and meeting rooms.

Photo Credit: Patricia Parinejad]]>
<![CDATA[Wrigley Building Closer to Landmark Status]]> Fri, 03 Feb 2012 07:37:18 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/213*120/wrigley-building.jpg

The Wrigley Building likely will get its landmark status after all.

The familiar 400 N. Michigan building built in 1921 previously hadn't been given landmark protection because its future was secured under the long-term ownership of the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co., according to the Sun-Times.

But the building was sold in September for $33 million to a group of investors that includes Zeller Realty Group and Groupon Inc. co-founders Eric Lefkofsky and Brad Keywell.

Zeller Group Realty plans to lead a renovation of the office buildings, which includes making improvements to the plaza between the two buildings and taking full advantage of ground-floor retail in both buildings.

So the Commission on Chicago Landmarks Thursday recommended to the full council that the Wrigley Building get protection under landmark status. The City Council is expected to approve the measure, according to the Sun-Times.

The Wrigley company is set to leave around the end of the year and move to a newer building on Goose Island. When the company moves, about 250,000 square feet will be left to lease.

<![CDATA[Designers Unveil Dramatic Plans for Navy Pier]]> Thu, 15 Mar 2012 18:59:53 -0600 http://media.nbcchicago.com/images/160*127/01_teamMelk_aerial+view_summer.jpg

UPDATE: Navy Pier Recommends Makeover Designers

Navy Pier in several years could look very different than it does today.

Five design firms on Tuesday unveiled their plans for sweeping changes to one of the state's biggest landmarks.

"Navy Pier is the state's top tourist attraction. It's a huge economic generator, so keeping it fresh, keeping it vibrant, keeping it as exciting as something like Millennium Park is critical to Chicago's economy," said Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin, who first reported on the plans late Monday.

The competition to redesign the pier actually began months ago, with 52 initial entries.

The five final entries feature undulating staircases and boardwalks, a giant ice-like sculpture emerging from Lake Michigan, a swimming pool and a gondola.

"Initially when the plans first started, we said about $85 million would be how much it would cost, and we're still looking into that. It really will depend on how much these design teams feel the plan will cost," said Navy Pier spokesman Nick Shields.

The project will be paid for by grant money and donations.

Three teams will present their designs Tuesday night and two will present Wednesday. A winner should be chosen by the beginning of March. All of the designs will be on public display at the Chicago Architecture Foundation, at 224 S. Michigan Ave., beginning Thursday.

The redesign project, if it happens, could be completed by 2016, the pier's 100th anniversary.