Experts predicted today that the trend toward enormous houses on Howe, Orchard, and Burling streets will soon force a buyer to purchase the financially downgraded Sears Tower and relocate it to Lincoln Park.
Real estate analysts with Coldwell Banker Real Estate Group point to significant economic pressures on the cost of building new homes and the seemingly insatiable appetite of high-end buyers for "bigger digs."
Coldwell Banker revealed the results of their study of 215 single family homes currently on the market in Lincoln Park.
According to the study, the most expensive home is $12 million and the least expensive is $479K. The $12 million dollar home (to be built on Howe Street) will be have 7800 square feet, which is $1538 per square foot. While the $479K home on Diversey has about 1250 square feet, which is $383 per square foot.
By contrast, industry experts note, the Sears Tower was purchased after 9/11 for $835 million dollars. Its 3.8 million square feet sold for $219 each, a bargain over current residential home prices.
Several high-placed real estate executives speculated that it's only a matter of time until a savvy, high-end home buyer does the math and buys the tower.
The tower's bonds, backed by the building's mortgage loan, were downgraded earlier today, heightening speculation that the deal could go through any time now.
Industry experts familiar with the Chicago market admit privately that the the buyer would probably need to figure an additional 20%, or $167 mil, on top of the purchase price to cover the tower's conversion to a single family home with 2,856 bedrooms, 1,438 and a half baths, a three-car garage, and a swing set out back.
Jill St. Jermaine, a spokesperson for The Bowen Group, the leading real estate company behind the initiative to bring the Sears Tower to Lincoln Park, downplayed the need for re-modeling. She emphasized that the tower is very close to "move-in condition" right now.
"In fact, Lazy-Boy recliners and a flatscreen t.v. are being added to the Skydeck as I speak."