Luxury Living Chicago Realty (LLCR) announces Panorama, a new BlitzLake development in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood, has hit the 100% leased milestone. The 140-unit luxury apartment building began leasing in January of this year.

"We began pre-leasing Panorama in mid-January and are excited to announce that this is one of the fastest lease-ups we have ever completed," said Aaron Galvin, CEO & Founder of Luxury Living Chicago Realty, the exclusive marketing and leasing provider for Panorama. "This property delivered at the perfect time, offering renters an upscale yet attainable option in Lakeview."

Conveniently located at the northwest corner of Clark and School streets, the development offers luxury units ranging from studios to two-bedrooms, new retail space, and parking for 22 vehicles. Created by noted architecture firm bKL Architects, Panorama features a masonry exterior with large, deep-set windows and the interior features premium finishes and amenities such as salt quartz countertops, Moen and Kohler chrome fixtures, nine-foot exposed concrete ceilings, and smart phone controlled door locks.

Panorama was designed to embody the spirit of community and convenience under one roof with additional community amenities including an on-site dog spa, Amazon hub package lockers, and lounges designed to meet work-from-home or private study needs.

The penthouse level is home to a state-of-the-art fitness center with private training, on-demand fitness, an expansive yoga room, and PELOTON and Technogym fitness equipment, a theater room, and a chef's kitchen as well as a rooftop terrace with sweeping views that inspired the building's name.

“When we set out to develop Panorama, the goal was to provide an alternative to the vintage walk-ups and aging high rises prevalent in the area,” said David Blitz, CEO of BlitzLake. “We are very proud of this asset and the market’s reaction to it.”

Panorama is well located for transit, including the Brown and Red Lines, as well as bus and bike routes to downtown. Bordering the Wrigleyville, Southport Corridor, and Boystown neighborhoods, residents are close to conveniences such as restaurants, farmer's markets, lakefront parks, and shopping. With a 96 Walk Score, this area of Lakeview has become a destination for both locals and transplants to the city.

Learn more about the apartments at www.panoramachicago.com.

Luxury Living Chicago Realty (LLCR) announces Wolf Point East, a 698-unit luxury apartment building, has hit the 80% leased milestone. 

 

“As the exclusive marketing and leasing provider for Wolf Point East, we have seen demand for this building remain incredibly strong throughout the pandemic,” said Aaron Galvin, CEO & Founder of Luxury Living Chicago Realty. “While much of the Chicago luxury apartment market experienced rent decreases and muted leasing absorption for the past year, Wolf Point East has exceeded all leasing metrics throughout the lease-up. This is a testament to the quality of construction, thoughtful amenities, world class ownership team, and unit mix offering larger average unit sizes, comfortable for the current work from home environment.”

 

Located at the intersection of River North, Fulton Market and the Loop above a four-acre riverfront park, Wolf Point East is designed by internationally renowned Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects in partnership with Pappageorge Haymes Partners. 

 

The luxury apartment building offers studio to three-bedroom penthouse floor plans. Studios start at $2,295 per month, junior one bedrooms start at $2,475, one bedrooms start at $2,795 per month, two bedrooms start at $4,295 per month and three-bedrooms penthouses start at $13,995 per month. Leasing incentives are available on select units and lease terms. 

 

Building amenities include an indoor pool with south-facing terrace and sundeck, a full-floor expansive fitness club and exercise studio, private coworking lounge with conference rooms, outdoor dog run and inviting pet amenities, elegant gathering spaces for dining and entertaining and a club area complete with social games and a golf simulator.

 

Wolf Point East is also excited to announce that Blue Bottle Coffee will open in the ground floor retail space in summer 2021. The Oakland-based specialty coffee company is known for its world class single-origin and blend pour overs and espresso drinks, as well as its attention to quality and sustainability. This will be their first location in Chicago and the largest in the company’s United States portfolio. 

 

“We are thrilled to reach this leasing milestone, and we could not be more pleased with the beautiful community we have created,” said Will Renner, Managing Director at Hines. “We are also excited to welcome Blue Bottle Coffee this summer, which adds another amenity for our residents and the neighborhood.”

 

The development team is composed of Hines, Wolf Point Owners LLC and the AFL-CIO Building Investment Trust. Wolf Point Owners LLC is a part of Park Holdings Group LLC which is the principal investment entity of the Kennedy Family. Learn more about the apartments and future updates at www.WolfPointEast.com.

Luxury Living Chicago Realty is pleased to announce exclusive leasing and marketing assignments Norweta, The Jax, Logan Apartments and Wolf Point West have reached leasing milestones and are all 95% leased.

 

In January and February 2020, we leased 284 units, and the market was very strong. In January and February 2021, we leased 550 units - a 93% increase,” said Aaron Galvin, CEO and Founder of Luxury Living Chicago Realty. “This unseasonably high leasing velocity is a great start to a new year and helped us achieve numerous milestones at properties we are exclusively marketing and leasing.”

 

Norweta, developed by Boston-based Broder Development, features 40 luxury apartments and 32 condominium residences. The apartments are 100% leased, and Luxury Living Chicago Realty is the exclusive marketing, leasing and sales brokerage for both the rental apartments and for-sale condominiums.

 

“Throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen that renters will pay for the best of the best, and condo buyers are seeking more space and extraordinary finishes, and this has held true especially at Norweta,” said Galvin. “Norweta has raised the bar for rental residences in Chicago. Each apartment and condo features the highest level of finishes, expansive layouts and private outdoor space. The apartments and condos at Norweta live like a single-family home but enjoy the benefits of best-in-class on-site property management and thoughtful amenities.”

 

The Jax is a 166-unit apartment development in the West Loop, developed by LG Development. This luxury apartment building offers studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom floor plans.

 

“The Jax fills a unique space in the West Loop and caters to the luxury renter that does not require every amenity, but wants quality finishes and well laid out floor plans paired with a prime location,” said Galvin. “Buildings like The Jax performed well during the pandemic for many reasons including already lower pricing in a competitive market and less emphasis on amenities. The property’s close proximity to the Illinois Medical District also helped as that area continues to thrive, even in the pandemic.”

 

Logan Apartments, located in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood, features 220 luxury apartment units ranging from studio to two-bedroom floor plans. The property also includes 62,000 sq. ft. of retail including the neighborhood's first Target, a welcome addition to the neighborhood. This mixed-use multifamily property was jointly developed by Fifield Companies and Terraco Real Estate.

 

“The leasing success at Logan Apartments is a great example of how Chicago’s luxury renter socio-economic composition has not changed from 2019 to 2020,” said Galvin. “For the most part, these are neighborhood renters who maintained employment through the pandemic, were able to work remotely, and are most likely to have increased compensation and disposable income as the economy recovers materially in 2022 onwards.”

 

Wolf Point West, located at 343 W. Wolf Point Plaza along the Chicago River, features 509-luxury apartment units and offers studio to two-bedroom penthouse floor plans. Wolf Point West delivered in 2016 and is owned and operated by Hines,  Magellan Development, Wolf Point Owners LLC and the AFL-CIO Building Investment Trust. Wolf Point Owners LLC is a part of Park Holdings Group LLC which is the principal investment entity of the Kennedy Family.

 

“While our company is best known for luxury lease-ups, the pandemic brought on new opportunities to oversee marketing and leasing at previously stabilized properties,” said Galvin. “In addition to reaching 95% leased at Wolf Point West, we have also optimized the lease expiration schedule and positioned the property for ongoing success and future price increases.”

 

LLCR’s exclusive leasing portfolio consists of various types of Class A properties from the newest most upscale lease-ups to stabilized properties. LLCR oversees marketing and leasing for fifteen multifamily properties comprising nearly 3,800 apartments in downtown Chicago. The brokerage firm is also currently consulting for a number of developers for future skyline-changing ultra-luxury multifamily developments set to deliver in 2023-2025. 

 

With a diversified portfolio of Class A multifamily across 10 downtown Chicago neighborhoods, Luxury Living Chicago Realty (LLCR) is uniquely positioned to provide valuable data on how leasing has been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. In comparing year-over-year leasing data from the same 11-week period from mid-March to the end of May, the results yield a surprisingly positive outcome, resulting in 88% of year-over-year leasing velocity. Further analysis examines showings, pricing, and demographics in addition to how the pandemic is impacting leasing and the long term health of Chicago Class A multifamily.  

 

Showings

During the equivalent 11-week period in 2019, LLCR conducted 1,546 apartment showings. In the same period in 2020, LLCR conducted 1,353 showings (87.5%). Of the 1,353 showings, 1,236 were conducted virtually, where a renter never physically saw the apartment they were considering renting. Leasing agents often conducted video chats and screen sharing which included pre-recorded virtual walkthrough videos of model apartments, amenities and floor plans.

“Once talks of a citywide stay at home order began, we knew we had to prepare our business to continue leasing virtually,” said Aaron Galvin, CEO of Luxury Living Chicago Realty. “Last year, we leased about 5% of our 3,000 apartments “sight unseen” so we had a headstart in knowing what renters needed to feel comfortable leasing through a virtual experience. That meant gathering all of the right assets, extensive training for our team and updated messaging for customers to know we were ready for them virtually. We could not be happier with the results based on current market conditions.”

One data point that has shifted from the prior year is the amount of time it takes for a renter to submit an application from the date they first toured an apartment. In the 2019 period, the average time from showing to the application was 3.9 days. In the same period in 2020 that timeframe increased to 8.8 days. 

“The hesitancy in submitting an application was expected given the current environment. The most impactful factors were job security, clarity on rules for moving during the stay at home order and fewer barriers to touring more apartments,” said Galvin. “Since renters were working from home, they had much more time to explore more properties virtually. We have always seen renters considering multiple neighborhoods but the sheer number of virtual tours most renters had before deciding on an apartment increased substantially.”

Ultimately, with over 300 new leases secured during this 11-week period, application to showing ratios remained consistent at just over 24% of showings resulting in secured leases. 


Pricing

When analyzing the spring market in Chicago, mid-March through May is often the busiest time for lease expirations and new apartment leasing. In turn, this is also the period where rents increase the most. During a normal spring leasing cycle, LLCR will often see available apartment pricing increase by as much as 15-20% during this period of time. This has not been the case in 2020. 

Renewal pricing on apartments with lease expirations from April through July has remained flat. New unit market rate pricing in the LLCR portfolio has dropped from an average of $3.40 PSF in 2019 to $3.25 in 2020 (a 4.6% decrease). Another data point to consider is the average rent. The 2019 average rent was $2,943 per month as compared to $2,572 in 2020. This decrease is attributed to both the market rent decreases combined with significantly less two-bedroom rentals in the portfolio. 

“The overall reduction in rents is not only about lowered rents and increased concessions, but also about the types of units that are being rented,” said Mark Ziemke, Director of Leasing Strategy. “Our portfolio saw a dramatic decrease in premium two-bedroom rentals this year over last and far less couples and roommates securing new rentals. Even with people working from home, most are opting for smaller unit size apartments.”  

When comparing couples versus single renters, couples accounted for 65% of all leases during this period in 2019. In 2020, couples only rented 49% of the apartments, a 16% decrease. This also contributes to lower rent levels, as couples tend to have more buying power. 

Relocations

Nearly 40% of Class A renters in downtown Chicago are relocation renters. This is where the current environment has hurt the market the most. As a percentage of total renters year over year, the number of leases attributed to relocations has dropped by 22%. This has hurt velocity, absorption, and rent prices. 

“The greatest demographic change we saw from last year to this year is a decline in relocation clients moving here for new jobs,” said Ziemke. “Historically, renters who are relocating tend to be slightly older and have higher incomes along with more disposable income, which is a key factor in being comfortable spending more on rent.” 

The top five states driving relocation in 2019 were California, New York, Texas, Michigan, and Indiana. These five states saw a 53% decline in relocations to Chicago during the measured 11-week period.  

“The open question as we look toward the second half of the year is if relocation traffic is going to come back,” said Galvin. “People who live in Chicago have been more willing to move because they have spent exponentially more time in their apartment than ever anticipated. As offices start to re-open and we ramp up for 2021, we expect relocations and leasing velocity to increase as compared to traditional 3rd and 4th quarters of the past.” 

Wolf Point East introduces the Lake Collection on Floors 41 through 55 and the Penthouse Collection on Floors 56 through 58. The upper-tier floors have upgraded finishes, unparalleled views and consist of expansive floor plans ranging from Jr. one-bedroom units through three-bedroom rental residences. Wolf Point East also debuts photography of its newly completed amenity spaces as the leasing team is conducting virtual tours during the current Stay at Home executive order. 

 

Units located on Floors 41 through 55 are part of the Lake Collection. The Jr. one-bedroom units start at $2,695, one-bedroom units start at $3,125, one-bedroom plus den units start at $4,295 and two-bedroom units start at $5,605 per month. Select units have already been reserved and residents will begin moving into these units in mid-May. 

 

Units located on Floors 56 through 58 comprise the Penthouse Collection. There are only six units per floor that are a unique blend of larger layouts averaging 1,700 square feet. Residents will begin moving into these units in July which offer a differentiated design aesthetic, a long list of unique features and unparalleled views.

 

“Wolf Point East is one of the more unique apartment towers we have delivered across our global portfolio,” said Will Renner, Managing Director at Hines. “We are energized by the response so far and look forward to welcoming more residents into newly released units in the building.”

 

Pre-leasing began in November 2019 and first move-ins occured in January 2020. The 698-unit luxury apartment building offers studio to three-bedroom penthouse floor plans. Studios start at $2,095 per month, junior one bedrooms start at $2,375, one bedrooms start at $2,595 per month and two bedrooms start at $3,995 per month. 

 

Wolf Point East also announces the completion of the building amenity program comprising over three floors. The inviting amenities include a full-floor fitness center complete with best-in-class Technogym cardio equipment, comprehensive weight training and Aktiv Gym Rax smart rigging, a rare feature in residential buildings. The third floor features The Sports Club complete with social games, a golf lounge equipped with a top of the line Full Swing simulator, and an indoor pool with NanaWall system that fully opens onto a furnished sundeck overlooking the Chicago River. Additional extraordinary amenities can be found on the 40th floor including a co-working space that offers private work rooms and a large conference room, an outdoor dog run and elegant gathering spaces for dining and entertaining. One of the highlights of the amenity spaces is the Mirror Lounge, a unique gathering space with unparalleled views of the Chicago southern skyline, outdoor grills and a private entertaining kitchen. The amenity interiors and model units have been curated by Soucie Horner Ltd.

 

“Our design for the interior and amenity spaces was all about creating a sense of urban serenity that not only complements the building’s exterior, but also celebrates its unique riverfront location and historic importance to the city of Chicago,” said Shea Soucie, co-founder and Principal of Soucie Horner, Ltd. “That meant modern, elegant, comfortable style inspired as much by what makes the building so special, as by the lessons we’ve learned over twenty years designing for the luxury residential market. Applying that inspiration, and that expertise - in collaboration with ownership and the architecture team - made it all sing.”

 

Luxury Living Chicago Realty is exclusively marketing and leasing Wolf Point East and is offering a personalized remote leasing experience for interested potential renters.

 

“Wolf Point East offers a unique matrix of iconic architecture, unparalleled city views, location and luxury finishes designed for today’s modern renter,” said Aaron Galvin, CEO & Founder of Luxury Living Chicago Realty. “Wolf Point East raises the bar for urban apartment living in Chicago while exuding warmth and elegance in the thoughtfully designed floor plans and community-enhancing amenities.”     

 

Located at the intersection of River North, Fulton Market and the Loop above a four-acre riverfront park, Wolf Point East is designed by internationally renowned Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects in partnership with Pappageorge Haymes Partners. 

 

The development team is composed of Hines, Wolf Point Owners LLC and the AFL-CIO Building Investment Trust. Wolf Point Owners LLC is a part of Park Holdings Group LLC which is the principal investment entity of the Kennedy Family.

 

Learn more about the apartments and future updates at www.WolfPointEast.com

 

Luxury Living Chicago Realty (LLCR) analyzed data from 1,708 renters across the company’s 2019 exclusive leasing portfolio to better understand who the renters are, what they do for a living and where they are coming from. 

 

Who Are Chicago’s Luxury Renters? 

The 2019 data revealed 869 (50.9%) of the renters were male and 839 (49.1%) were female. Throughout the exclusive portfolio, 53.7% of the renters were couples, 32.4% of the renters were single and 13.9% were roommates.

 

What Do Class A Renters Do For A Living?

The top Industries of employment were Financial Services, Healthcare, Management Consulting, Technology and Marketing & Advertising, respectively. The average income of a male renter was $124,924 and the average income of a female renter was $86,078. 

 

Couples had the greatest buying power with an average combined income of $213,420, followed by roommates with a combined income of $162,428 and singles ($116,863).

 

"Two of the biggest factors driving rents in Class A buildings are high-income couples with disposable income and singles relocating to Chicago for high-paying jobs," said Mark Ziemke, Leasing Strategy Manager at LLCR. "Both high-earning couples and relocating singles were consistent trends throughout 2019" 

 

Where Are Luxury Renters Coming From?

Of the 1,708 renters, 39.3% of the total portfolio were moving into Chicago. New York, Michigan, California, Texas and Indiana were the top five states renters were relocating from. In the portfolio, renters came from 37 different states in 2019. 

 

"We are frequently asked about who is renting these luxury units and how they can afford them. People moving to Chicago for high paying jobs in the urban core are driving this absorption," said Aaron Galvin, Founder/CEO of Luxury Living Chicago Realty. "As long as jobs continue to abound in Chicago and companies keep investing in this world-class city, we are going to continue to absorb the Class A apartment inventory."

 

In 2019, LLCR helped nearly 3,000 Chicago renters find a new home in the newest Class A apartment buildings. Notable exclusive marketing and leasing assignments in 2020 include Wolf Point East, Norweta, Logan Apartments and River City Apartments.

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