Crain’s study looks into sales of luxury condos in prominent Chicago towers

St. Regis and Tribune Tower had more luxury condos sold than all other buildings in the area

Chicago /
Nov.November 18, 2021 04:47 PM
St. Regis and Tribune Tower (iStock)

St. Regis and Tribune Tower (iStock)

Two of Chicago’s most prominent buildings, the St. Regis and Tribune Tower, have delivered multiple luxury dwellings to buyers this past year, but they still won’t release details about the specifics of their sales success.

Crain’s Chicago Business dug through public records to find out exactly how full the luxury towers are. One of the key details Crain’s unearthed was that between the two towers, 202 condos sold for $1 million or more so far in 2021. Compared to the rest of downtown, St. Regis and Tribune Tower sold about 1.4 times as many luxury-priced condos as all of the other buildings combined.

“These are big buildings,” Gail Lissner, senior managing director of Integra Realty Resources and a longtime analyst of the downtown condo market, told Crain’s. “They’d be doing big numbers, no matter what.”

The St. Regis, which was formerly known as Wanda Vista and later Vista Tower, is located on the south bank of the Chicago River at 363 East Wacker Drive. The 95-story supertall was designed by Studio Gang and features multi-hued glass on the exterior. The 34-story Tribune Tower, located across the river at 435 Michigan Avenue, was converted into condos after the Chicago Tribune left the building in 2018.

Two additional residential projects have recently joined Chicago’s downtown market. The 47-story Cirrus in Lakeshore East and 75-story One Chicago tower near Holy Name Cathedral don’t have finished condos to offer to buyers yet.

The management team for the St. Regis has been cagey in releasing details about the tower’s sales. Crain’s contacted the team and was told that sales have exceeded expectations and that the tower is “approximately 60 percent sold or under contract.” According to the paper’s research, however, the building’s developer, Magellan, has closed sales for 151 units out of the 353 in the St. Regis tower, putting it at 42 percent sold.

While developers rarely publish contracts that aren’t closed, Redfin estimates that Magellan has marked 18 units under contract, which adds 5 percent to the total. The St. Regis units with pending sales include two priced at more than $9 million and another priced above $10 million. Crain’s looked but couldn’t find any records that confirmed an $18.5 million contract for the 10,640-square-foot unit on the entire 71st and 72nd floors that Magellan announced in 2018.

As for the Tribune Tower, developers Golub Realty and CIM Group sold 51 of the 151 condos available in the building, or 33 percent. The tower’s sales director Jeanne Martini told Crain’s that the number, with pending contracts added, would be “right at 50 percent.”

Martini said seven units went under contract in the week of Nov. 15, in part because a model unit opened a few weeks ago, providing potential buyers the opportunity to experience what the living space is actually like.

[Crain’s] — Victoria Pruitt 





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