General Area in Loop>Question Details

Syed, Home Buyer in Chicago, IL

To all the agents and experts on Chicago real estate: What are your opinions of 235 Van Buren, the new high

Asked by Syed, Chicago, IL Sun Apr 20, 2008

rise going up just down the street from the Sears Tower. Good value? Or potential corporate rental ghetto? Have any qualms with the developer--CMK, who built Contemporaine, 1720 and 1620 S Prairie.

Help the community by answering this question:


I am not a fan of their work. It always seems to be the cheapest stuff in their buildings.

I am also not a fan of this building.

Matt Laricy
Americorp Real Estate
Brokers Associate, e-PRO
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 14, 2010
CMK is known for in-expensive construction. They advertise that they can build the cheapest per square foot than anyone; which is probably true. The downside, however, is you do get a cheaper product. Overall, the quality of construction is decent; however issues with leaking windows for instance may be things that can come up after 2 to 3 years of the building being complete.

Being that they are one of the LEAST EXPENSIVE they also attract many investors or buyers who may have been pushing the envelope with their finances.

1620 S. Michigan currently has 11 units on the market that are SHORT SALES
1720 S. Michigan currently has 10 units on the market that are SHORT SALES

I suspect some more short sales, and possibly a couple bank owned may come on line in these two buildings soon.

630 N. Franklin does NOT currently have any short sales or foreclosures on the market, but did have some in the past. I believe this building was spared because of Location, Location, Location!

Next building to watch out for? 235 W. Van Buren - I believe in 8 months or so we will start seeing a handful of short sales come online. Not too many since those who couldn't afford it, simply did not close. However, those who do need to relocate or simply do not want to own there anymore will need to sell and will probably have to short their units.

Paul Blackburn
"The Blackburn Group"
Crown Heights Realty
773.771.7502 - Direct
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 2, 2010
CMK ,which was started by Collin Kihnke and Matt Kihnke, has a bad reputation in the Real Estate market among professionals. Several of their projects are experiencing significant problems with their window walls leaking, mechanical systems that never worked properly and low quality construction materials. Numerous associations have reported that the true operating expense in their buildings is 200-300 percent more than CMK stated in their sales literature, leaving the new owners responsible for the budgetary shortfalls.

Owners report that it is extremely difficult to get CMK to honor their warranties because, as one owner put it "Collin wont return my calls".

Some of their projects are architecturally progressive, adding new life to the Chicago skyline. Until they improve their construction methods and client services, I would stay far away from one of their developments.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 18, 2008
I agree. The developers work is pretty good. No real complaints from buyers. If you want to the live in the heart of the financial district, it's perfect for you. Plus, you are close to Greektown, West Loop, Millenium Park, South Loop. Some might even say that it's a fantastic central location to "it all"!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri May 2, 2008
I like the developers work.. I am not as crazy about that area as a place to live.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Apr 20, 2008
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