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A Diamond in the Rough at River City, But is it Worth the Price?

Browse through the available listings for River City in the South Loop, and you'll find some of the bleakest, most run-down apartments in the downtown area — except for this one. The bright and colorful 2,300-square-foot unit is spread out over three floors, and it has an updated kitchen, a sauna, and big roof deck with a full-size outdoor refrigerator. Judging from the info available on Redfin, the median sale price in the building for the past year has been about $86,000, and the average has been a bit higher, at about $91,000. And these aren't just studios and one-bedrooms; for example, a 3BD, 2.5BA sold for $125,500 last year, and a 2BD, 2BA went for $97,900. In contrast, this snappy-looking 2BD, 2.5BA, is priced at $750,000. For that price, you could buy a half-dozen run-down condos in the same building.

The S-shaped, Bertrand Goldberg-designed development has had its share of problems over the years. American Invsco (which is now being sued by an Ohio investor) began converting the 448-unit building into condos in the late '90s. The condos originally hit the market at prices ranging from the $400s to the $800s, but most of them ended up selling for much less than that, and several were ultimate auctioned off about four years ago. Most recently, the building suffered a severe flood over the summer, forcing residents to evacuate. Not surprisingly, taxes and assessments in the building are very high.
· Listing: 800 S Wells St #1301 [Redfin]

River City

800 South Wells Street, Chicago, IL 60607