Luxury condo flips in downtown Chicago

5 Replies

There is an article in today's Crain's Chicago Business about investors flipping condos in downtown Chicago.  In on example, an investor buys a 1960 sf condo in Olympia Center, a 30-year old upscale high rise in a great location.  Purchase price $725,000, estimated selling price $1.4 million.  There is no information about renovation, holding, sales, etc. cost.  The idea is that the property's interior looks dated, and a buyer likely would be turned off by such an interior-they want it to look like 2015.  There is apparently a shortage of nicer condos in this desirable area.  It was also stated renovation in such a building may present challenges such as access to freight elevators, etc.  Does anyone agree there can be opportunities in this sector?

This is something we really want to look into now. I did also see the article we had a condo deal we did that we did that we were almost able to double on as well. Chicago condo market is really happening from what I have heard from other local investors. I am definitely going to be following this post if anyone has solid numbers or experience. Thanks! 

I hope this works out for you @Nick Feliciano.  It is more of upscale market than I am used to, with higher end finishes.  It appears to understanding the finishes and amenities the newer condos have as a way to understand the market and meet the need.  It includes things like kitchen cabinets, flooring, wall tile, fixtures, appliances, color, etc.

When you move up the socio economic ladder, it comes down to the attention to detail. The difference between marble is looked at. Carrerra vs Calacatta. Having large kitchen islands with waterfall edges, and the seams of the stone better be PERFECT! 


This takes an entirely different EYE, design aesthetic and contractors with more experience working with these finishes. Such as full body systems in showers, correct glass door installations that are thick and durable.

The NAME is more important than the look at a certain level. For the buyers it is about the "BRAG".

So usually, when you step up you need to bring in a different team of contractors, suppliers, designers, etc. But yes, working with condo associations can be fun. Most require deposits, insurance bonds, etc to do work. Depending on the age of the building, you may have to deal with interesting plumbing shut off situations. Finding a time that works with neighbors and your plumber. 


While there can be a pot of gold, just remember, rates are starting to climb, the new Chicago Real Estate taxes will hit any property over 250k, so a few buyers may no longer qualify for that level of purchase. 

We have done a condo remodel for a local investor. 340 east Randolph corner unit purchased 6 months ago 1.2m. Started 4 months ago. The GC is my uncle and he hired us to do the demo, flooring and bathroom tile. I know the overall contract rehab price is close to 500k. 80$ sq for flooring 40$ sq for tile installation, To give you an idea it's 2200sq 3/2.5

The finishes are extravagant to say the least.
I feel that since this is personal that he went overboard. Master bath tile was 8k for just the floor.

The custom cabinets were 100k.

The interior designer was going to charge 80k for her ideas but we fired her.

ARV at this level is close to 2.5, so if it was a flip after holding and commissions 8 months atleast turn around time on rehab plus sell still looking to make 650k

We have done a condo remodel for a local investor. 340 east Randolph corner unit purchased 6 months ago 1.2m. Started 4 months ago. The GC is my uncle and he hired us to do the demo, flooring and bathroom tile. I know the overall contract rehab price is close to 500k. 80$ sq for flooring 40$ sq for tile installation, To give you an idea it's 2200sq 3/2.5

The finishes are extravagant to say the least.
I feel that since this is personal that he went overboard. Master bath tile was 8k for just the floor.

The custom cabinets were 100k.

The interior designer was going to charge 80k for her ideas but we fired her.

ARV at this level is close to 2.5, so if it was a flip after holding and commissions 8 months atleast turn around time on rehab plus sell still looking to make 650k

I'll post before and after video and pictures once complete.