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From the newest cutting-edge developments to grand mansions, our annual real estate report takes the temperature on Chicago’s market now. (Hint: It’s hot!)

Residents of Vista Tower will have their own large rooftop deck and outdoor pool on the 47th floor. 

Vista Tower residences and the Wanda Vista Hotel will undeniably change the face of Lakeshore East when they open in 2020. The Jeanne Gang-designed Vista will give the upper end of Wacker Drive a new pedestrian and car route that passes directly through the middle of the tower—meaning supreme convenience for residents and a public access point to the Chicago Riverwalk. Sure to be another icon in Chicago’s skyline, the tower’s undulating facade was inspired by the geometric shapes found in crystals and gemstones. Inside, the 406 luxury residences start at $1 million for 2,300-square-foot floor plans, up to $17.1 million for the almost 7,000-square-foot two-level units on floors 92 and 93. Interiors by acclaimed firm Hirsch Bedner Associates are comprised of four finish choices that continue the gem theme and offer a range of soothing neutrals. Details such as Snaidero cabinetry, Gaggenau and Thermador appliances, Kallista and Kohler bath fixtures and gas fireplaces provide the ultimate in comfort, but it’s the multidirectional views and amenities that make the Vista stand out. Residents have complete access to the five-star hotel services, but there is no need when your own Club Vista includes wine storage and a wine-tasting room, a theater, a car wash, dry-cleaning delivery, bicycle storage and valet, an outdoor hot tub and pool, and more. This much-buzzed-about project will only further Chicago’s reputation for architectural brilliance. Vista sales gallery, 345 E. Upper Wacker Drive, Ste. 100, 312.620.8000 –AM

The percentage of condos being developed in Chicago that are for sale in buildings with an average unit price of over $1 million. Our numbers come from Gail Lissner, vice president of Appraisal Research Counselors, who broke it down for us (and checked our math!). Out of 663 condos that are on the market and not under contract, 503 are in luxury buildings. For buyers, this means a lot of choice in the market’s higher end—especially if you don’t mind waiting a year or two for your building to be complete. Below the $1 million mark, buyers will find fewer new-construction options but still lots of choices in existing buildings. –LH

A stately manor in Kenilworth is just one of the many such properties that are enticing new parents to take a second look at life in the burbs.

It’s a common stereotype: Sooner or later, many new parents say goodbye to their cramped city pads in favor of roomier suburban digs. Indeed, there are very few urban properties that compare to this renovated six-bedroom Georgian-style home on a handsomely landscaped corner lot in Kenilworth. “This charming old home has the latest in modern finishes, which is very hard to find,” listing agent Hunter Andre explains. “Not many houses have been renovated to this exquisite level, which makes it very unique.” The $4.5 million manse features more than 9,000 square feet of living space, including a gleaming new Downsview kitchen with a La Cornue range and other top-of-the-line appliances, en suite bathrooms with marble tile, a wine cellar and four wood-burning fireplaces. “If a person is looking for the charm of an older home but desires modern finishes, this is it,” Andre explains. “It’s incredibly grand, but at the same time, it’s warm, cozy and family-friendly.” Hunter Andre, Coldwell Banker, 773.474.2753 –TG

“People love experiences! The more you can make a building a place where they can work, live and play, the more they’ll love their home. [Lovable Newfoundlander] Daisy is going to be the resident dog at Next—available for cuddles or to take for a walk—and that’s along with a golf simulator, fitness classes, a pool, cabanas, demo kitchen and building events with neighborhood bars and restaurants.” 
–Randy Fifield, vice chair, Fifield Companies

The approximate number of luxury housing units popping up on a once-sleepy stretch of Milwaukee Avenue in Logan Square. The northwest neighborhood’s boom includes two 11- and 12-story buildings dubbed Dual Towers, a large-scale transit-oriented development called Logan Square L, and—most notably—Logan’s Crossing, which will take over the entire city block where the long-shuttered Mega Mall currently stands. –JS

The competition for most luxurious new condominium building continues in downtown Chicago. The latest entrant—planned for completion in summer 2017—is Gold Coast’s No. 9 Walton from JDL Development. A bevy of gorgeous details and high-end finishes raises the ante, like the elegant Old World marble-tiled lobby, a private wine cellar and fully equipped fitness center complete with indoor lap pool and spa. Inside the units, kitchens will be customized by O’Brien Harris or Bulthaup and feature appliances from Sub-Zero, Wolf and La Cornue—a definite signal this building is all in for the win. We love the attention to detail, like the heated master bathroom floors and custom master closets. And, of course, no building can compete in the ultrahigh-end market without full-time lobby and maintenance staff, but No. 9 Walton’s house car and driver give it an extra winning touch. Condos from $2 million, penthouse priced at $24 million –LH

Just as young families move out of the city to the suburbs, empty nesters are selling their suburban homes and moving into the downtown core. “There was a lack of inventory on the market for authentic residences that were turnkey, move-in ready, so we developed The Collection by Centaur,” says Centaur Interiors principal Michael Miller. Based on its knowledge of custom home building, Centaur Interiors purchases unique units that they transform into a high-end residential experience. Known for its attention to detail, cutting-edge finishes and smart incorporation of technology, Centuar provides a start-to-finish package of this vision via The Collection. Seeking out properties with the best location, building qualities and long-term amenities, they eliminate the need for clients to hire and manage an architect, builder, contractor and designer. This suite in Water Tower Place, recently listed for $2.95 million by Debra Dobbs, is a perfect example. Fully furnished units, including custom artwork, are available, and each piece is available for purchase. You can’t get much more turnkey than that. 180 E. Pearson St., Unit 5505, $2.95 million –AM

Opportunities abound to inhabit some of the country’s most significant buildings. –TG

1. 880 Lake Shore Drive: Mies Van der Rohe
Located just steps from the lake in one of Mies Van der Rohe’s twin midcentury-modern masterpieces, this updated 1600-square-foot two-bedroom unit features an open layout drenched in natural light. Unit 23CD, $875,000,;

2. 225 N. Columbus Drive: Jeanne Gang
The Aqua building’s undulating terraces are no mirage but instead a striking addition to the skyline. This penthouse suite has an open plan with 180-degree views and other luxury amenities. Unit 8004, $5,950,000,

A new build in the Gold Coast, No. 9 Walton features an Old World-style lobby complete with marble, moldings, chandeliers and white-glove concierge service.

3. 159 E. Walton Place: Palmolive Building
Once the home of Playboy, the classic art deco building by Holabird & Root is now home to upscale residences like this Soucie Horner-designed three-bedroom abode with exquisite finishings that Hef would surely dig. Unit 12A, $2,500,000,

4. 175 E. Delaware Place: Hancock Center
X marks the spot in this classically designed 83rd-floor three-bedroom condo with expansive lake and skyline views in the prominent John Hancock Center. Unit 8301-2, $1,750,000,

5. 4 E. Elm St., #21S: Solomon Cordwell Buenz + Gary Lee Partners
Located in a modern glass-and-steel masterpiece, this three-bedroom half-floor unit has a private elevator entry and access to a huge rooftop deck—just a couple of its many perks. $4,000,000,

Recently garnering the title “hottest neighborhood in the country” from online real estate brokerage firm Redfin (, this area is defined by the boundary from Damen to Western and Grand to Division. Its history as an Eastern European enclave has resulted in several delis and Orthodox churches alongside the quickly diminishing remnants of a rougher past, making for an interesting dynamic. Some of the city’s top restaurants and bars have moved in, and “now that The 606 has opened, it’s another reason why Ukrainian Village is becoming the new ‘it’ neighborhood,” says broker Joseph Kotoch. New developments from Fifield Companies, Panoptic and more are in the works, with recent new construction closing at over $400 per square foot. One project we are excited about is the gut rehab of St. John Church at the corner of Hoyne and Walton into luxury development, The Belfry, by real estate developer Alex Troyanovsky. Featuring interiors with modern touches like oak floors and Bosch appliances with original brickwork and stained glass windows, the suites will be a unique mix of old and new, while the exterior will remain intact as a church (it is a designated city landmark). Joseph Kotoch,, 773.270.2495 –AM

That’s the walkability score for the South Loop, according to, which grades neighborhoods based on, well, how easy it is to walk to great things. A 90-plus score means most residents can walk to 15 bars, restaurants or coffee shops in five minutes—a doable stroll even in heels. New buildings, like 1000 South Clark, are adding to the neighborhood’s appeal with options from studios to townhomes, and 43,000 square feet of amenities including a bar lounge with BYOB keg taps, a billiards room and a dog park. The neighborhood’s cred also rises every time restaurants like Acadia make a critic’s hot list (hello, second Michelin star!), and summer-friendly amenities like the bustling Printer’s Row farmers market at Polk and Dearborn (Saturdays, 7am-1pm) mean we can’t wait to hit the South Loop’s sidewalks! –LH

Occupying a unique niche in the real estate industry, Urban Real Estate is a concierge brokerage firm that distinguishes itself with top-notch service and plenty of perks. We asked Managing Partner Matt Farrell and partner Matt Silver about the state of the Chicago market.

House hunting, and all the work it implies, doesn’t seem like the best way to describe the experience that high-end firm Urban Real Estate strives to create for its roster of clients—chiefly executives, athletes and local celebs. It has pushed the taste of the consumer to new heights regarding standards. “The luxury market has evolved over the last couple of years. There are more buyers in the marketplace, which in turn has fueled the ‘next level up’ mentality,” explains Farrell. “When people are thinking about moving to Chicago, we’ll fly them out for the weekend and take them on tours through different neighborhoods,” he says—noting that transport between appointments is provided via a fleet of five slick black Mercedes sedans. “We’ll get you theater tickets and set you up with a nice dinner so you get the whole experience. It makes relocating exciting and fun.” The service-based approach of Urban Real Estate has been so successful that the firm is currently finalizing plans to expand into additional markets. “Because we’re involved in the entire project, we provide an elevated level of service,” Silver explains. As for Chicago? “All trends are pointing up!” 400 E. Randolph St., 312.528.9200 –TG

For more on Chicago's real estate scene, check out the digital edition here.