by Kiki Yablon
From Dennis Rodkin at Chicago magazine's Deal Estate blog :
While there is pressure on President-elect Barack Obama to help resuscitate the nation’s moribund real-estate scene, he has already helped at least one very localized segment of the Chicago market: Kenwood.
Where as recently as 2005, Rodkin had previously reported, you could buy a three-story graystone for the price of a Rogers Park condo.
Obama’s historic election has drawn worldwide attention to his hometown neighborhood and the better-known community just to the south, Hyde Park. Both neighborhoods have long been undervalued, their fantastic collection of houses—from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and from average-size to colossal—pulling down significantly smaller prices than counterparts on the North Side. But now, buoyed by the presence of the Midwestern White House, the tide may turn.
The first house to sell in Obama's neighborhood since the election sold for its asking price of $1.25 million in under a week to Laura Coe and Jill Harris, formerly of Bucktown. (Though technically, Rodkin points out, they made the deal in August, before he was nominated.)
“There’s so much security in the neighborhood, I feel like our three-year-old could go out and dance in the middle of the street,” says Coe. “Security issues have always been a problem in Hyde Park and Kenwood. I don’t think we’ll have to worry about that for a while now.”