This developer sold all its West Loop condos before the building was complete

Belgravia Group has been developing in the West Loop since 2004

Belgravia Group CEO Jon McCulloch along with renderings of the CA6 West Loop condos (Getty, CA6 Condos, Belgravia Group)
Belgravia Group CEO Jon McCulloch along with renderings of the CA6 West Loop condos (Getty, CA6 Condos, Belgravia Group)

Belgravia Group uses Google Street View to compare the West Loop’s bustling residential areas with photos of previous condo sales near empty lots and vacant buildings. The pitch: early investors have the most to gain.

The approach paid off for the Chicago firm, which started investing in the neighborhood in 2004. Its newest condominium project, 72 four-bedroom luxury townhomes at 311 S. Racine Avenue, sold even before construction was completed, demonstrating the area’s resilience, according to Belgravia CEO Jon McCulloch.

It’s an anomaly in Chicago’s overall condo market, where units sit on the market longer and sell for lower prices than single-family homes. The West Loop is different: Home to tech companies like Google, it’s attracting both residents and commercial tenants. Some 9,000 West Loop apartments have been proposed or are in the planning stages, although rising rates may scupper some of them.

Many potential buyers in the area are young families looking for larger homes, McCulloch said. The condos range from 2,160 to 3,157 square feet and have either three or four bedrooms, and include 12 four-bedroom penthouses with rooftop terraces – up from five based on demand. Prices range from $850,000 to $2.1 million. The four-bedroom condos are performing so well that the company’s next project, CAX, will have both four- and five-bedroom floor plans.

Because Belgravia is offering high-end homes that aren’t priced at the top of the market, the company has had to be creative about where it builds. “When you’re kind of in more of the high mid-market space you have to find ways to push boundaries,” he said, choosing locations outside the typical boundaries of a neighborhood.

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McCulloch said Belgravia is evaluating where to turn next and is scouting locations on the fringe of the West Loop where they expect development to follow.

The almost-completed S. Racine project, dubbed CA6, is the sixth condominium project the firm has completed in the area. Belgravia expects the first residents to move in this summer.

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