LOGAN SQUARE — An apartment building near the California Blue Line station sold for a whopping $9.4 million last week, according to the real estate firm that brokered the deal.
A tech entrepreneur and a local investor bought the early 1900s building at 2315 N. Milwaukee Ave. from Barbara Sierra and her family, who have owned the property for more than 40 years. The building is home to 27 apartments and several small businesses, including Cafe Mustache, Blue Line Barbers and Smart Cleaners.
Ian Luscombe, senior director of commercial real estate firm CRER, said the buyers plan to gut rehab the apartments and keep the businesses that wish to remain in the building. Luscombe, who represented the sellers and the buyers, declined to comment further on the buyers, saying only that one of them does business out of Israel.
The sale price of $9.4 million could be a record for a mid-sized vintage apartment building in Logan Square, which continues to attract economic investment despite the pandemic, Luscombe said.
The deal also highlights the rising cost of living in the gentrifying neighborhood. Sierra said she and her ex-husband paid about $280,000 for the property when they bought it in the early 1980s. Cook County property records show the building being sold for $275,000.
“We bought the building because we didn’t want to work for nobody; we wanted to work for ourselves,” Sierra said. “This was the opportunity to buy, to educate my kids and to work for myself.”
Credit: CRERA historic photo of the building at 2315 N. Milwaukee Ave., taken in 1906.
While it’s emotional leaving the building behind, Sierra said she’s ready to move on and retire in Florida after four decades of maintaining the building and dealing with tenants. Sierra and her family have long owned a tire and auto shop in the building, which they plan to relocate elsewhere in Chicago if they can find a suitable location, Sierra said.
“They started raising taxes, and that’s too much. These shootings — all kinds of things were going on,” she said, adding that a bullet flew through one of the apartments in the building not long ago. “I just don’t want to deal with the things that are going on.”
Built in 1902 and offering 27,650 square feet of rentable space, the Milwaukee Avenue building didn’t garner much interest when Luscombe’s firm put it on the market last year after the pandemic hit, Luscombe said. But that changed when the firm tried again this spring as Chicago’s real estate market was booming. The buyers beat out four other offers, Luscombe said.
In recent years, the area around the intersection of Milwaukee and California avenues has drawn luxury apartment projects, including the MiCa Towers at 2733 W. Belden Ave., the NoCa Blu apartments at 2340 N. California Ave. and the “L” apartments at 2211 N. Milwaukee Ave.
It’s unclear what impact, if any, the sale will have on existing renters and small business owners. Calls to some of the businesses in the building were not returned.
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