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Renovation Creates Two Spacious 'Penthouse' Units in South Loop Tower

Chicago's short supply of new condos has fueled demand for high-end renovations

1201 S. Prairie 23rd Floor Unit 1 All photos by Nick Fochtman

The years following the Great Recession have been lean for condo construction in the Windy City as the overwhelming majority of new multi-family residential projects have focused almost exclusively on rentals. While this trend is slowly reversing with a handful of new condominium projects now either in the ground or on drawing tables, the lack of supply has prompted a number of firms to find lucrative opportunities renovating units in existing pre-recession high-rise buildings to the latest, like-new luxury specifications.

Chicago-based Real Restoration has done just that by creating a pair of brand new, penthouse-spec units occupying the entire 23rd floor in The Grant at 1201 S. Prairie. Completed in 2008, the 53-story South Loop tower anchors the southern portion of Grant Park and offers sweeping vistas of downtown Chicago and its lakefront. Real Restoration CEO/Founder Morris Gershengorin explains, "I've spent a lot of time in this building and it’s already a ‘10’ when it comes to amenities and the views. These two units take things even further with their upgrades and finishes, rivaling the very best you’ll find in Chicago right now."

The Grant (pictured center)

Because the floor was previously used as the building’s sales center, Real Restoration was essentially presented with a blank, unfinished canvass on which to build. With typical floor plans in the building offering six units per level, both condos offer multiple balconies and points of ingress and egress. The spacious top-of-the-line kitchens come with motorized Ernestomeda cabinetry, combination gas/induction ranges from Wolf, and built-in steam ovens, Sub-Zeros, and espresso machines.

Thanks to fully integrated security and audio systems as well as programmable power window shades controlled via wall pad or smartphone, both condos are essentially turn-key. "All a buyer needs to do is show up with artwork, clothing, and furniture," says Gershengorin. The units were also built specifically with storage in mind, offering cavernous and fully-finished walk-in closets as well as three additional storage lockers each.

While by no means cheap, the massive condos are relatively reasonable considering what four- and five-bedroom units typically ask in River North, Lakeshore East, or off the Mag Mile. "If you put these units on the north end of Grant Park you’d easily see them fetching over $1,000 a square foot," says listing agent Ryan Preuett of Conlon/Christies International Real Estate.

↑ The 5,907-square-foot western unit offers four bedrooms and five-and-a-half bathrooms with an estimated asking price of $4 million.

↑ At 4,623 square feet, the slightly smaller east unit features no less than five bedrooms, four-and-a-half bathrooms, and a home theatre. It's currently seeking $3.25 million.