Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Kimball Station Condo Building and more on gentrification

I am sure you noticed this 5 floor condo building go up a couple months ago, located right across the street from the Kimball brown line station. The space used to be a warehouse, and still has that "warehouse-y" look with its stainless steel accents. An estimated 14 million went into that building, and it has 59 units (full) of 1, 2 or 3 bedroom apartments and includes an elevator (really needed?) and a heated parking garage (again, really needed? It's freaking across the street from the train station). The building is still looking for a commercial tenant on the ground floor. Before you start booing, read this: the building is not all condos any more. Liz Griffiths, of the Albany Park Chamber of Commerce, informed me of the growing "luxury rental trend" where condo buildings now rent out their units. Such is the case with the Kimball Station building.

(random fact: the H&R Block guys off Kedzie are the realtors for the Kimball Station building)

According to Griffiths, the majority of new residents moving to Albany Park are people displaced by the high cost of living in Lincoln Park, Lakeview and Andersonville. Albany Park is a cheaper alternative. The APCC works with over 60 landlords and owners to keep rent affordable, but unfortunately, some buildings can't maintain their low rental prices in this economy. Griffiths related this story about the building on Spaulding and Lawrence: the owner tried to do everything in her power to prevent the apartment from being flipped to condos. This included laying off her cleaning lady and cleaning the apartment building herself. This went on for a while until the owner eventually and reluctantly (?) sold the apartment units to her residents for a "deal" before flipping the property. She sold 8 units to her former tenants.

My super explained to me the other day that my building is completely full, something that hasn't happened in years. "It's a little sad to see", as all the new people that moved in are victims of foreclosures or the economy. "Great time to be in the rental business", he adds.

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