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Protest Monday Feb. 24 46th Ward TIF proposal - Press release from Uptown Uprising - UPTOWN—While the City of Chicago makes massive cuts to public services due to a supposed "budget crisis," the mayor and his aldermen continue to find ways to offer handouts to private corporations. In the neighborhood of Uptown, fully half of the public elementary schools were shuttered last year and over 1,800 units of affordable housing have been eliminated in the ...


REAL ESTATE: A site to behold - —Address: 340 W. Superior St., PH2, in the River North neighborhood —Market price: $1.4 million —Details: This 2,698-square-foot unit (with two bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms) has everything a penthouse condo in this neighborhood should have: highly upgraded finishes, floor-to-ceiling windows, Brazilian cherry hardwood floors, electronic closets, two-sided gas fireplace with black granite surround and mosaic tile, and a refrigerated built-in ...


Selling real estate without real estate help: unknown territory - Part of a series - With the depressed real estate market we are now facing, some sellers are questioning the need for the services of a real estate agent. Dropping sales' prices and high mortgage payoffs leave home sellers wondering where they can cut expenses to make the sale happen. Discount internet brokers and for sale by owner companies are promoting their services to an ...


REAL ESTATE A site to behold - —Address: 130 N. Garland St. (The Heritage at Millenium Park), penthouse residence 5702—it's a half-block off Michigan Ave., next to the Chicago Cultural Center —Market price: $5.25 million (mostly furnished) —Details: This stunning 5,200-square-foot unit offers unobstructed views of Grant Park, the lake and basically the city. (Realtor Kim Jones called it "our own New York City right here in ...


Robo-signing and buying a house - Despite the woes of the housing market, Steve DiMarco—president of Baird & Warner Financial Services and a member of the firm's executive committee—said that the it's actually a good time to purchase a home. "There's a recovery underfoot," he told Windy City Times. He then talked about what he called the "robo-signing deal." ( Earlier this year, the Obama Administration ...


Real estate news: Ellen, Oprah - —Ellen downsizes: Ellen DeGeneres and wife Portia de Rossi have followed the sale of their $49-million property with the purchase with a more modest $18-million home in Beverly Hills, the Daily Mail reported. The 8,500-square-foot home, in the exclusive Trousdale Estates area, features plants inside and outside of it; there are also private gardens and a swimming pool with marble ...


WTTW architect doc wins Hugo Award - WTTW has announced that Architect Michael Graves: A Grand Tour, 30-minute documentary that premiered on the station March 22, has been recognized with a Silver Plaque from the 2012 Hugo Television Awards in the category of Documentary: History/Biography. The film told the story of Graves, an acclaimed architect who is this year's winner of the Richard H. Driehaus Prize for ...


Real estate news - —Pritzker purchase: A venture of James Pritzker paid $1.2 million last month for an Evanston house he will rent to another family, according to a Crain's item. Pritzker, president and CEO of Tawani Enterprises Inc., lives in the neighborhood and paid $2.25 million in January for a nearby house he plans to convert into a bed-and-breakfast. —Theft case: Prominent local ...


LGBT housing protections focus on forum - About 15 people attended a forum called "The LGBT Community and Emerging Fair Housing Rights" to discuss new housing protections for the LGBT community at the Maze Branch of the Oak Park Public Library April 26. Speakers included Rob Breymaier of the Oak Park Regional Housing Center; Susan Greenberg of the Berwyn Community Relations Commission; and Donna Karpavicius of Oak ...


Owning real estate: Tenants by the entirety - Part of a series - Q. My lover and I bought our house together and hold title in joint tenancy. Our lawyer said that in case one of us should die the house would go to the survivor with or without a will. I put up all the money for the down payment for the house and am concerned that I will be protected. My ...


NYC hotel serves LGBTA tourists - New York City has its first hotel that's strictly for the LGBTA community. THE OUT NYC is New York City's first "straight-friendly" urban resort, according to a release. The complex is located at 510 W. 42nd St. in Hell's Kitchen. Steps away from Times Square and Chelsea, the complex comprises a 105-room boutique hotel; the 14,000-square-foot XL Nightclub; Cabaret & ...


LGBT seniors and reverse mortgages - An increasing number of elder LGBT individuals are investing in reverse mortgages. Steve DiMarco—president of Baird & Warner Financial Services and a member of the firm's executive committee—said that the mortgages are "federally insured offerings through HUD [ Department of Housing and Urban Development ] . "With reverse mortgages, you can't be denied for one of these loans, provided that ...


Covering your assets - When it comes to same-sex couples and mortgages, Steve DiMarco—president of Baird & Warner Financial Services and a member of the firm's executive committee—told Windy City Times there are two areas of concern. "The first issue is federal taxation, specifically, how tax returns are filed," he said. "That's relevant because when you have mortgage-related interest, that's deductible, and something needs ...


Tickets available for Wright Trust's Housewalk - And other real estate news - Tickets are now available for the internationally acclaimed Wright Plus 2012 housewalk, showcasing rare interior tours of private homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and his contemporaries in historic Oak Park, Ill. Wright Plus 2012, which will take place 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, June 2, features magnificent private residences from Oak Park—the community with the most Wright-designed structures. Guests will ...


Wright Preservation Trust needs volunteers - The Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust is seeking volunteers to assist at the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio in Oak Park; Wright's Robie House, in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood; and The Rookery Building in Chicago's Loop. Volunteer orientation sessions occur monthly at all three national historic landmarks. Volunteers enjoy benefits such as invitations to exclusive excursions to art and ...


Lesbian-owned B&B puts a modern twist on the business - Tucked onto a quiet street in Chicago's Andersonville neighborhood, Nina's Bed and Breakfast brings a distinctly modern yet homey feel to the city's accommodation options. "Most B&Bs have that old feeling," said co-owner Sheilia Henley. She and her business partner ( who wished to remain anonymous in this article ) wanted to make theirs more contemporary for the sophisticated traveler ...


Kent Bartram on Frank Lloyd Wright and old Hollywood - REAL ESTATE - Kent Bartram on Frank Lloyd Wright and old Hollywood It is four o'clock on a Sunday afternoon in Oak Park as clusters of tourists gather in the shade of an overpowering ginkgo tree central to the courtyard of Frank Lloyd Wright's home and studio. "Wright believed that a house should reflect the sight, not the other way around," said Kent ...


Cindy Gaffney on buying and selling, economy and family - Cindy Gaffney only joined @properties last year but has plenty of experience as an agent, having been one for several years—although she previously managed school and senior living food programs. Gaffney, who is originally from the Rockford area, talked with Windy City Times about, among other things, changing times for the real-estate market and her son—who works for the same ...


Gold Coast B&B: A nugget in the heart of the city - If you think that bed-and-breakfasts are tucked away in rustic areas in the scenic countryside, think again. There's one in the heart of one of Chicago's toniest neighborhoods. The four-room Gold Coast Guest House Bed & Breakfast, 113 W. Elm, has been around for almost two decades. However, the spot is very easy to miss if you are not looking ...


Kelly Fondow talks suburbs, selling—and BP - Real Estate - Kelly Fondow is a real-estate agent who knows about dichotomy—after all, she shows properties to clients in the city of Chicago as well as suburbs such as Berwyn and River Forest. Fondow—who lives in the Chicagoland area with her longtime partner, RoiAnn—talked with Windy City Times about differences between the areas as well as buyers/sellers, her own background ( which ...


Cook County clerk's mortgage surplus fund - Real Estate - The office of the Clerk of Circuit Court of Cook County, Dorothy Brown, has more than $17 million in mortgage surplus money ready to be claimed by Cook County citizens, according to a media release. Last year, the Clerk's Office disbursed more than $1 million to 37 individuals who were owed mortgage surplus funds. In 2009, $2 million was disbursed ...


Aqua: Making a splash in Chicago - Real Estate - When looking at Chicago's Aqua, located at 225 N. Columbus, the aspect of the building that catches the eye has to be the waves designed by award-winning architect Jeanne Gang. However, there is much more to this unique building than meets the eye. Aqua at Lakeshore East is an 82-story tower designed to comply with LEED certification. ( It opened ...


Real estate news: - —In the Loop: A Miami developer has purchased more than 200 unsold units in a South Loop tower, according to Chicago Real Estate Daily. Crescent Heights Inc. paid approximately $45 million for 205 units, or about 83 percent of the 248-unit Astoria Tower, which was taken back in June by lender Geneva Capital Group Inc. Chicago developer William Warman completed ...


Obama's winter home - President Barack Obama and his family once again chose Paradise Point Estates in Kailua, Hawaii, to serve as the Obama Winter White House during the 2010 holidays, according to PR Newswire. For the third consecutive year, the family vacationed in Plantation Estate, the centerpiece of Paradise Point Estates. The Obama Winter White House overlooks views of Kailua Bay and the ...


Brian Gorman 'Lords' it over South Beach with new hotel - Lords South Beach, which has recently opened softly in Miami, Fla., is the first gay hotel brand in the country. ( The grand opening is Dec. 29. ) Lords is situated in the heart of South Beach on Collins Avenue near trendy restaurants, clubs, bars, shopping and beaches, such as Miami's famed gay beach at 12th Street. The hotel has ...


Frank Lloyd Wright Trust now downtown - The Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust ( FLWPT ) will establish a new location with the lease of space in the lobby of The Rookery, a national historic landmark located at 209 S. LaSalle. Slated to open in early December, FLWPT's newest location will feature a public information center as well as administrative offices for the not-for-profit organization's development, ...


Chicago's Aqua gets high-rise award nod - The mixed-use Aqua tower that anchors Chicago's rising Lakeshore East neighborhood has been selected one of five finalists for a new International Highrise Award, according to a press release. It is the only U.S. representative. The other 2010 finalists: —Burj Khalifa, Dubai by SOM Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; —Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower, Tokyo, by Tange Associates; —The Met, Bangkok, ...


Sam Powell talks buying, selling and 'steering' - Sam Powell has not always been involved in real estate. However, once she did become involved, she found her calling. Powell talked with Windy City Times about her start in the business, the real-estate market and other matters. Windy City Times: How did you become involved in the business? Sam Powell: My story is kind of unique in that I ...


Best and worst markets for conservative investors - An updated Local Market Monitor, Inc. report has revealed the best and worst markets for conservative residential real-estate investors, according to a Wall Street Journal item. The report omits towns with fewer than 200,000 residents and looks at price appreciation instead of rental income. The 10 best metro locales are: 1. Tulsa, Okla. 2. Oklahoma City, Okla. 3. San ...


Foreclosure freezes happening across U.S. - In Connecticut, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal ordered Oct. 2 that a freeze on all foreclosures by all banks for 60 days, according to the Washington Post. However, Connecticut is far from the only one taking action on foreclosures, as California has expanded the moratorium on foreclosures it announced regarding Ally Financial foreclosures; it now includes those by J.P. Morgan ...


Real estate news - —Foreign aid: The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill July 30 ( by a vote of 402-11 ) that encourages foreign investment in U.S. real estate by doubling the amount of foreign dollars that can be invested in publicly traded real estate investment trusts ( REITs ) . A REIT is a form of corporate investing in real ...


Agent David Shallow talks the market and LGBTs - "The gay real estate market in the Chicagoland area is very diverse culturally, ethnically and geographically," said David Shallow on his realtor profile at Navigating the real estate market can be a daunting task and with all the realtors out there, it can be tough to choose one. Windy City Times: Why did you decide to get into realty ...


Chicago spot among best lesser-known beach buys - During the sweltering days of summer, everyone who can do so seems to make tracks for the nearest beach. But when the rush is on to hit the sand and surf, world-renowned coastal hotspots tend to attract huge throngs and quickly become overcrowded. So for those interested in bucking the trend and taking the path less traveled, here are four ...


Albert Gaskin: A groundbreaking real estate agent - At the heart of Albert Gaskin's life was a love story, one that began more than 41 years ago on the corner of Clark and Division. There, in a bar called Sam's, on Feb. 1, 1969, two young Chicagoans forged a lasting bond, a bond that would go unbroken for more than four decades, until Gaskin's passing in July. "We ...


The 10 worst real estate markets - has listed the 10 worst real estate markets in the United States. Among other things, unemployment and foreclosure rates are considered. Real estate research/consulting firm First American CoreLogic has stated that more than 11 million mortgages are "underwater"—in which the amount owed to the bank is higher than the home's value. In the meantime, more than 300,000 foreclosures ...


Real estate news - —We are the CHUMP-ions: Lucid Realty, Inc. has introduced CHUMP, a real estate service targeted to Chicagoland home buyers and sellers, according to CHUMP ( Catering to Highly Unsophisticated and Misguided People ) lets clients receive the same service provided to Lucid Realty's regular home buyers and sellers, but forgo the savings that are normally offered in the ...


Exclusive Buyer's Agents/Brokers:Who They Are & Why You Might Use One - by Jeff Hammerberg Real estate agents often wear many hats, and their roles and responsibilities can sometimes shift back and forth between the buyer and the seller in a so-called 'dual agency' capacity. The 'dual' agent is legally responsible for fairly representing both the buyer and the seller. But some people who are shopping for real estate feel more ...


Home & Design: 2004 Real Estate in Chicago - The Chicago Association of REALTORS® ( CAR ) , in conjunction with the Real Estate Center at DePaul University, held its 2004 Economic Forecast Summit answering one of the most important questions of the industry, 'What will be hot in 2004.' Three panelists tackled issues such as building conversions, new developments, neighborhood statistics and residential and commercial properties. The ...

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