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Around Rogers Park: After Delays, Tawani Apartment Building to Begin Construction

 

The ground-breaking ceremony was held this past March. But spring turned into summer, fall and winter, and the 1323 W. Morse Avenue site remained strangely quiet and empty. But now it looks like the proposed development is finally ready to go. The Chicago City Council recently gave its approval, and a $30 million construction permit was issued in early December.

 

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Around Rogers Park: Concord on Sheridan Under Construction

 

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It’s official. Construction on the new Concord at Sheridan mixed-use apartment and retail property began in early December. If all goes according to plan, the apartment building will begin to rise in February and the property will open in the fall of 2018. This is the largest, new construction building to be built in the Rogers Park community since before the onset of the recession of 2008-2009.

 

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Verella’s Round-Up: More Roommates, More Problems?

 

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As living expenses have increased, shared living arrangements have grown rapidly and are now at record levels, according to The Rental Housing Journal. More adult occupants per unit inherently cause more problems for property owners. Here are some of the primary issues that can impact landlords when renting to roommates.

 

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Chicago Gets Smaller… but Smarter Too

By now, most of you have probably heard the unsettling news that Chicago, the region, and the state of Illinois are losing population. For the state, these losses have been continuous since 2014.  For the metro area, there have been net losses in both 2015 and 2016. And for the city, the population dropped from 2015 to 2016.

 

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RPBG Director Profile - Mina Cardenas

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Mina Cardenas has been involved with Rogers Park Builders Group for the past two years and has served as a Director during this time. Mina credits the organization for helping her strengthen existing relationships and building new ones. Mina has worked for Wintrust Bank for the past nine years and is currently Branch Manager at the Rogers Park branch on Western Avenue. In her position at Wintrust, Mina is constantly looking for new opportunities to create and expand relationships in the Rogers Park community. Like many of us, Mina enjoys socializing and working with the community of property owners and real estate professionals that RPBG brings together, and has benefitted professionally from her association with the organization.

 

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Tax Cut and Jobs Act – Impact on Property Owners

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The recently passed Tax Cut and Jobs Act, signed into law on December 22, 2017, contains changes of major importance to all members of the Rogers Park Builders Group. The impact of these changes will vary greatly among members of our group, based on the organizational structure of their business, amount of property owned, number of employees (if any) and total taxable income of the individual business owner. Although it will take some time before tax professionals are able to assess the total impact of the new law on their clients, we can provide this brief synopsis of the major details that will affect us all:

 

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As I See It: “Mr. Postman, Wait and See” as to RLTO Reform



It has been 12 years since I last assumed the mantle of President of the Rogers Park Builders Group, so it’s been a long time since I last wrote a President’s column for The Builder. With so many issues involving Chicago, Rogers Park, and general landlord topics from which to choose, one could understandably wonder what topic I would cover in this – my first post in my second stint as RPBG President.

 

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December 2017 Market Update

December 2017 Market Update | Steve Cain, RPBG Director - Writer / Editor
December 4, 2017
 

We have come to the end of another year and it’s time to look forward to the next. As my work load has increased, I’ve found it more difficult to find the time to do these monthly updates. As a result, I’m going to pull back to once a quarter instead of once a month, and my updates will appear in The Builder, the quarterly newsletter of the Rogers Park Builders Group.

It’s been a terrific 2017 for the organization which continues to be a positive presence in the Rogers Park community and remains strongly committed to its well-being. Over the past couple of years, we have truly put our money where our mouth is, and we plan to do more of the same in 2018. Members of RPBG should feel good about the contributions we have made and deserve a hearty round of congratulations. I wish everyone a Happy Holiday Season and a Prosperous New Year – here’s to an almost complete and very successful 2017, and best wishes for an even better 2018.

 

Steve Cain is a local investor and serves as Secretary of the RPBG, and he also writes and publishes our well received newsletter, The Builder. The views expressed in Steve’s Market Update are his own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organization.

 

 

November 2017 Market Update

November 2017 Market Update | Steve Cain, RPBG Director - Writer / Editor
November 8, 2017
 
The latest jobs report came out on Friday. It showed 261,000 new jobs created in October, a welcome reversal of the job losses that occurred the prior month. In fact, the October report revised the September numbers, shifting from a negative (minus 33,000) to a positive (plus 18,000) net new jobs. Unemployment also fell from 4.2% to 4.1%, the lowest it has been since December 2000, nearly seventeen long years ago!
 
The October jobs report is certainly good news for the economy. Part of the reason the October number was so big is the same reason the September number was so low. You may recall we had some interesting weather late summer and early fall this year with three major hurricanes wreaking havoc on the economies of the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast, Florida and Puerto Rico. The devastation caused by these storms temporarily put a lot of people out of work. No one expected all of these job losses to be permanent, and the October jobs report is one measure of the ongoing recovery from those weather events.
 
But the trend is still clear. With the upward revision in job numbers for the month of September, the US economy is now in its 85th month (that’s seven years and one month) of positive job growth. This is an impressive number by any measure, and represents one of the longest stretches of job growth the country has ever experienced.
 
If there is any bad news in these job and unemployment numbers, it is that the distribution of these new jobs remains uneven, and is not widespread across the country. The Chicago area seems to be a good example of both the good and the bad of this trend. While the Central Area booms, the rest of the city and region are not doing as well. Overall, the Chicago area economy is growing, but at a slower rate than the nation and most other large metro areas. 
 
One indication of this trend is housing values. While a few downtown and near-downtown zip codes have seen housing values recover to pre-recession levels, most of the rest of the city and suburbs have not. The downtown economy may be the region’s golden goose, but it is not large enough to lift the whole region. Previous large job losses in manufacturing, and current weakness in retail, continue to hobble many parts of the Chicago area. The region’s growing economic sectors are simply not dominant enough to completely make up for the weaker sectors across all areas of the city and suburbs.
 
In my own experience, we have seen weaker demand and declining effective rents for our few remaining available apartment units in Rogers Park and other far North Side neighborhoods. Some of this is simply due to the time of the year. The pre-holiday months of November and December are often the most difficult time of the year to find tenants. 
 
But some of this seems to be due to a shift in the market. After years of steady rent growth and strong demand, the market appears to be tilting from a landlord’s market to a tenant’s market. We have had to reduce rents and are still seeing tepid interest. These observations are anecdotal and personal. I can’t say that other property owners have been experiencing the same thing. But the pain is real – we are having a harder time renting units.
 
Perhaps the continued economic expansion will rev things up in Chicago again and the spring leasing season will bring a return to stronger demand and increasing rents. I, for one, am holding my breath. The national trends do not apply equally to all places. Chicago is not Austin or Seattle. We are just going to have to live with that reality… and keep hoping Amazon chooses us for their next headquarters!
 

 

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