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Free rent at Echelon apartments, steps from the West Loop

Echelon at K Station, Chicago

Echelon Chicago is a pet-friendly, full-amenity, boutique apartment tower in the Fulton River District. It is directly across the street from Jewel-Osco, adjacent to a park, and a short walk from CTA trains and River North and West Loop restaurants and nightlife.

Available studios rent from $1,750 a month, 1-bedrooms from $2,157, and 2-bedroom, 2-baths from $3,043. A month’s free rent is available on select units for a limited time.

Floor plans and near real-time rent and availability info can be accessed online.

Join us in the videos for a narrated walk through 1- and 2-bedroom models and four additional layouts.

Echelon at K Station, Chicago, at arrow

Echelon residents enjoy a short walk to work in the Loop or River North, close proximity to the expressway grid, a 5-minute stroll to the CTA Blue Line at Grand Ave, and about a 7-minute walk to the Pink and Green Line stop at Clinton .

22nd floor balcony view, Echelon at K Station, Chicago

Echelon’s pivotal location affords residents great views and easy access to the thriving bar and restaurant scenes in the Fulton River District, River North, River West and West Loop neighborhoods. Jewel-Osco is across the street, and there’s a park next door with a dog-friendly area.

Echelon is a pet-friendly, full-amenity, high-service, smoke free community with on-site leasing, management and maintenance staff and 24/7 door staff.


Kris Dunn - Starting Point Guard, Finishing Point Guard, Or Both?

Before the All-Star break, the Bulls experienced the changing of the forward with Bobby Portis and Jabari Parker traded to the Washington Wizards for Otto Porter Jr.

As the Bulls Monday prepare to play the Milwaukee Bucks, there’s a question of whether it’s becoming a changing of the guard.

If it matters more who finishes than who starts, as players and coaches so often say, then it’s a big deal that Kris Dunn was replaced by Wayne Selden Jr. late in Friday’s win in Orlando and sat out virtually the entire fourth quarter for Ryan Arcidiacono in Saturday’s victory over the Boston Celtics.

Beyond that, the onetime No. 5 overall pick in the NBA draft, currently the second highest drafted player on the Bulls roster after Porter, is going through the poorest stretch of his Bulls career and on a downward spiral since returning from a knee injury in December.


The lanky 6-4 Dunn is averaging a credible 11.4 points and 6.3 assists for the season, the latter which would rank 15th in the NBA if he had played enough games. But Dunn’s production has been in decline, which is a red flag for teams. Players are generally expected to improve throughout the season, especially players returning from injury. Dunn averaged 13.9 points in December, 11.2 in January and now just 8.4 points per game in February, shooting 39 percent and 23 percent on threes. Dunn never has been a good perimeter shooter, but even his aggression seems to have waned. He has attempted four total free throws this month, all in one game despite averaging more than 30 minutes per game.

Coach Jim Boylen has been supportive of Dunn, and said Saturday night after Dunn sat for just the last seconds of the game that, “Kris is all for the team; Kris gets it. Some nights it will be his night.” But it seems apparent that part of the coach’s All-Star break study involved considering Dunn’s play because point guard is perhaps the game’s most important position in this era. Half of the top 10 scorers in the league are their team’s primarily ballhandlers. It’s perhaps also one reason why Boylen in recent weeks has emphasized multiple ball handler play with Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen and now Porter bringing the ball into the front court. The results have been impressive offensively. The Bulls are seventh in scoring since the trade, fifth in shooting, eighth in three-point percentage and sixth in overall offensive rating.

In Saturday’s victory, Arcidiacono played the entire fourth quarter and Dunn just 42 seconds. It was another, hustling defensive game for Arcidiacono, who leads the Bulls in charges taken, chairs pulled (the defensive trick to draw a travel in a post mismatch) and is third overall in the NBA in assist to turnover ratio.

“He’s a tough, competitive kid,” Boylen said after the game about closing with Arcidiacono. “He had made shots early in the game. I felt like we were going to have to make a big shot. We were going to have to score more and the way he shot the ball and had control of the game, I thought it was a good sub for us.”

Arcidiacono has been a good sub and one of the true surprises in the NBA in rising from the depths.

He averages just 5.7 points and 3.5 assists, but undrafted out of Villanova he spent two years in the G-league and seemed destined for a career overseas with limited athleticism. But his tenacity and perseverance enabled him to elbow his way onto the Bulls roster in preseason. And with the faster style the Bulls have played the last month, he’s fit well with his determination to push the ball and ability to make three-point shots, two of three Saturday.

“With time playing under coach and getting Otto acclimated with the offense and the way Zach and Lauri are playing, we’re flowing

CAGC names DuPage County Administrator Tom Cuculich as new executive director

The Chicagoland Associated General Contractors (CAGC) says Tom Cuculich has been appointed as its new executive director effective July 15.

Cuculich has three decades of experience and will lead implementation of all board-approved programs and services, CAGC said in a statement.

Cuculich is transitioning from his role as County Administrator for DuPage County which he held for more than a decade and “in which he was responsible for implementing an open government founded on transparency and accountability,” the statement said.  He also has been executive director for the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority.

“I look forward to serving as the executive director of the CAGC and leading the organization into our next chapter,” Cuculich said. “After 30 years of public service, this is a unique opportunity to combine my experience in administration, leadership and knowledge of the Chicagoland construction industry. I will be focused on building on the success of the CAGC and strengthening the organization’s value for new and existing member companies.”

Cuculich will manage policy initiatives, operational issues, strategic planning, the association’s initiative into MBE/WBE workforce development, and WBE/ MBE business development while serving as the organization’s primary contact for elected officials.

CAGC says it provides business opportunities, promotes innovative construction practices, and enhances labor relations through advocacy, education, and networking.

“We are proud to welcome Tom to the Chicagoland AGC team and look forward to his insight, perspective, and leadership as executive director of the organization,” said CAGC board president George Tuhowski. “We also want to take this opportunity to thank former executive director Dan McLaughlin for his hard work, dedication to our members, and leadership in implementing impactful programs and strong advocacy for Chicagoland’s construction industry.”

McLaughlin served in the role for over six years, most notably playing an instrumental role in merging Chicago’s Builders Association with Fox Valley AGC, creating a program for young leaders in construction and working to build minority representation in the field. McLaughlin will continue on with the organization in a part-time capacity and will continue his efforts on behalf of the association on all MBE/WBE initiatives.

“During this exciting transition, we are proud to welcome Tom Cuculich to the team and thank Dan McLaughlin for his hard work,” said incoming board president Mike Meagher. “The CAGC’s leadership has been vital for our industry and we look forward to that continued success under Tom’s direction.”

Editor’s note: We published an erroneous photo of Tom Cuculich in an earlier version of this post. Our apologies for the error.


Yadier Molina OUT for This Weekend’s Cubs Series

Just ahead of the opener in this weekend’s Cubs-Cardinals series, the Cardinals made a very significant roster move:

Molina, who will strain to find something to do this weekend instead of playing baseball, has been solidly below-average at the plate this year, and although he doesn’t necessarily rate as elite defensively anymore, there’s simply no denying his importance to the Cardinals. The way he works with the pitching staff, the way he calls a game, the way he works an umpire, the way he frames, and on and on … it matters. Chagrined as we may be, it matters.

So to be without Molina for this weekend’s series against the Cubs is undoubtedly a blow.

Knizer, 24, is the reason the Cardinals had no problem trading Carson Kelly in the offseason, and is considered by some to be the heir-apparent to Molina in the long-term. He has hit reasonably well at every level in the minor leagues since being a 7th round pick in 2016, though his high-contact, low-power, no-walk approach is the kind we’ve seen flame out often at the big league level. In theory, he shouldn’t make you nervous for this series, but you know how Cardinals call-ups do against the Cubs.

In addition to Knizer available behind the plate, the Cardinals have Matt Wieters, who has raked in limited duty so far this year, but mostly thanks to a flukey high BABIP and HR/FB. He probably does offer more at the plate now than Molina, but I’m not so sure he’s a plus bat, and I doubt he makes up for what is lost when Molina is not available.


Joe Maddon Speaks: Physical vs. Mental Mistakes, Coaching Involvement, Javy’s Leadership, More

The Chicago Cubs have begun their season of urgency in a 1-3 deficit against a bad Rangers team and quality Braves team, who had otherwise just been swept by the Phillies.

Yesterday’s game was particularly ugly – which is saying a lot after dropping two straight games in Texas, despite averaging a little over a run per inning – and Cubs manager Joe Maddon showed up to discuss all of it on 670 the Score (the interview is embedded at the bottom of this post).

Here are his comments, alongside some thoughts of my own …

  • The Cubs played a bad one yesterday – a game Maddon says he wants the players to crumble up and throw out – but otherwise believes the team as a whole player very well during the first three games. He acknowledges the pitching issues, but suggests that a stricter look would more accurately reveal a few bad innings and a failure to put things away than any serious problems. I tend to agree with that. It doesn’t make any of it less painful – and the bullpen questions are very real, as they existed before that series – but the Texas Cubs were killing the ball and there were some fine pitching performances.
  • On the six errors yesterday, Maddon separates them into two buckets: physical mistakes and mental mistakes. Physical mistakes are going to happen and are somewhat unavoidable, but mental mistakes “have no part in our game.” He also said he’ll talk to a player about a mental mistake, but would largely let a physical error slide by. I couldn’t agree with Maddon more on that point. And I’ll also add that the two of the three biggest mental mistakes (Anthony Rizzo’s flip that wound up out of play, and David Bote’s bad flip) came at very bad times *and* involved some misfortune. Rizzo’s flip, for example, could’ve easily stayed in play a thousand other times and wouldn’t have resulted in an extra base.
  • Maddon thinks a little too much was made about him being “more involved” this season than he was in the past, as he indicates he was basically always a hands-on manager. But he does add that he participated a lot more with hitting during Spring Training. Specifically, he mentions situational and opportunity hitting as well as the pitchers hitting practice. Beyond that, he also says that his new approach to planning for an entire series ahead of time, as opposed to just one game ahead of time, is a big change from his first four years with the Cubs.
  • That last bit, sounds like a really good change, by the way: “It seems like they like the idea of knowing a little bit sooner what it’s going to look like over the next couple days.” Having players know the schedule in advance helps clear up a lot of confusion over why certain players are starting one day, but not the next. According to Maddon, some guys have thought that a bad day at the plate on Day 1 led to their bench on Day 2, when in reality nothing could be further from the truth. Eliminating that misunderstanding is probably pretty great for a player’s psyche.
  • Maddon says he tries to never say anything bad about players in public and/or to the media, because whenever he has done that, he’s felt like he was ultimately just defending himself. He says he’s still growing as a manager and has learned to accept criticism more, but to not take it personally. Listening, he says, is a very hard, but very important skill to develop.
  • Despite how external conversations may go, Maddon doesn’t want to be somewhere where pressure and expectations are not part of the equation.
  • An umpire, Bill Miller, did bring up Carl Edwards Jr.’s now-jettisoned delivery

Cubs exercise club option on Quintana for '19

CHICAGO -- The Cubs secured one more member of their starting rotation on Wednesday by exercising the $10.5 million club option on Jose Quintana. They have until the end of the week to decide whether to pick up Cole Hamels' $20 million team option.

Quintana joins starters Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, Yu Darvish and Tyler Chatwood, who are under control for next season. Hamels, who was 4-3 with a 2.36 ERA in 12 starts with the Cubs, would give the rotation a huge boost and one more item to check off on the team's offseason wish list. If Chicago declines his option, the Rangers would pay Hamels a $6 million buyout.

CHICAGO -- The Cubs secured one more member of their starting rotation on Wednesday by exercising the $10.5 million club option on Jose Quintana. They have until the end of the week to decide whether to pick up Cole Hamels' $20 million team option.

Quintana joins starters Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, Yu Darvish and Tyler Chatwood, who are under control for next season. Hamels, who was 4-3 with a 2.36 ERA in 12 starts with the Cubs, would give the rotation a huge boost and one more item to check off on the team's offseason wish list. If Chicago declines his option, the Rangers would pay Hamels a $6 million buyout.

Having enough pitching is a goal for the 2019 season, Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said.

"We're set up to have some depth in the starting staff next year," Epstein said at his end of the season wrapup. "We're not looking to get rid of starting pitchers. We're looking to have as much depth as possible so we can withstand multiple injuries."

Quintana, who turns 30 in January, went 13-11 with a 4.03 ERA in 32 starts in his first full season with the Cubs. He reached 32 starts for the sixth season in a row and he matched his career high in wins.

Not only is Quintana an affordable option for the Cubs now but his contract includes a $10.5 million club option for 2020.

Video: PIT@CHC: Kintzler induces inning-ending DP in 10th

On Wednesday, the Cubs also claimed left-handed pitcher Jerry Vasto off waivers from the Royals and will welcome back reliever Brandon Kintzler, who will exercise his $5 million player option. The Cubs declined a $10 million team option on the right-hander for next season.

Kintzler, who was acquired from the Nationals on July 31, posted a 7.00 ERA over 18 innings in 25 games with the Cubs, giving up 14 earned runs on 27 hits and nine walks. He began the season with a 3.59 ERA in 45 games with Washington. The former Twins closer has a career 3.48 ERA over nine

Market Conditions: Will 5% 30-Year Average Mortgage Rates Impact the Chicago Market?

We’ve been chattering about the possibility of 5% average mortgage rates for years here on Crib Chatter.

Every time the rates have gotten close, they have retreated…until now.

For the first time since 2011, 30-year average mortgage rates have hit 5%.

Just a reminder, but in August, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 4.55% up from 3.88% in August 2017.

Most of the current buyers have likely locked in those lower August rates but moving forward, such as in January and February 2019, those buyers likely won’t have that same lower rate.

Some argue that 5% mortgage rates are still “cheap” compared to the 6%+ level of the pre-2011 period so what’s the big deal?

But home prices have now returned to 2007-2008 highs, or even exceeded them. 5% rates mean higher monthly costs.

How much would a standard 2/2 monthly mortgage payment rise with 5% rates?

This 2-bedroom in Michael’s Terrace at 1309 N. Wells in Old Town came on the market in June 2018.

The listing says it was “gut rehabbed.”

It has an east facing balcony and windows.

The kitchen has white cabinets, quartz counter tops and new stainless steel appliances.

It has hardwood floors in the living/dining room.

This unit has the features buyers look for including central air, washer/dryer in the unit and garage parking is included.

Originally listed in June for $419,000 it has been reduced to $414,900.

I ran the mortgage costs for this unit at 30-year rates of 4.55% and at 5% on Baird and Warner’s mortgage calculator.

At 4.55% with a 10% down payment, or $41,490, the monthly mortgage payment including taxes, PMI and insurance is $2671.04 (this doesn’t include the assessments):

  • Principal: $1903.12
  • Taxes: $494.92
  • Ins/PMI: $273 (PMI = $152; INS = $1452 yearly)
  • Total = $2671.04

At 5% with a 10% down payment:

  • Principal: $2004.55
  • Taxes: $494.92
  • Ins/PMI: $273
  • Total = $2772.46

The 5% rate is just $101.42 more a month.

Is the 5% rate a game changer in the Chicago market or is it much ado about nothing?

Patrick Santry at Coldwell Banker has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #907: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, no square footage listed

  • Sold in February 1995 for $122,000
  • Sold in April 1999 for $195,000
  • Sold in February 2004 for $280,000
  • Originally listed in June 2018 for $419,000
  • Reduced and raised
  • Currently listed at $414,900 (includes garage parking)
  • Assessments of $560 a month (includes doorman, exterior maintenance, scavenger and snow removal)
  • Taxes of $5939
  • Central Air
  • Washer/dryer in the unit
  • Bedroom #1: 15×11
  • Bedroom #2: 13×11
  • Living room: 19×16
  • Kitchen: 13×7

Township consolidation referendum to appear on Alton ballots

Alton voters will face two referendums that could eliminate government layers at both the township and county levels.

The fate of Alton Township will be placed in voters’ hands Nov. 6.

Included on Alton general election ballots will be a referendum asking residents whether to eliminate the township. If voters choose to dissolve Alton Township, the city of Alton will perform the township’s duties and services. Alton Township’s borders directly overlap with the city’s.

The referendum question will read, “Shall the Township of Alton cease?” and give voters a “yes” or “no” option.

Alton leaders in May started the process to potentially dissolve Alton Township. Their resolution stated the City Council “recognizes that there are significant potential cost savings to the taxpayers of the city of Alton by eliminating Alton Township, because Alton Township is coterminous with the city of Alton.”

In August, Gov. Bruce Rauner signed into law Senate Bill 3, which allowed Illinois communities to hold referendums on whether to dissolve or consolidate townships.

Townships generally perform three services: property assessment, road maintenance and general aid. When a township and city share borders, the township usually has no roads to maintain and sometimes does not perform assessments.

In 2016, the Belleville City Council voted to consolidate Belleville Township with the city, becoming the first municipality in southwestern Illinois to approve such a measure. At the time, Belleville leaders estimated local taxpayers’ savings at around $260,000 annually by eliminating a government layer with the sole function of handing out limited aid to about 40 needy people a month.

According to the Alton Telegraph, other Madison County townships that have “traditionally” been coterminous with their municipalities include Godfrey, Collinsville and Granite City. Some of those boundaries have since changed, however.

Alton residents will also vote Nov. 6 on a consolidation referendum posed by the county. That referendum will ask voters whether to eliminate Madison County’s office of the recorder of deeds and transfer its functions to the county clerk.

Voters in the neighboring village of Godfrey also will face a ballot question asking whether to consolidate its township with the village.


What Does a $13.5 Million Penthouse Look Like? 840 N. Lake Shore Drive in the Gold Coast

This 6-bedroom penthouse in 840 N. Lake Shore Drive in the Gold Coast came on the market in April 2019. (Did we decide that this area was Gold Coast and not Streeterville?)

Built in 2007, the building has 72 units on just 26 floors and a parking garage.

This is a true penthouse on the 26th floor with 8800 square feet of interior space and 1135 square feet of outdoor living including a 90×9 terrace and other smaller terraces.

It’s apparently all on one level.

It has multiple exposures including the Lake and city views as well as Navy Pier.

The listing says this unit was bought as raw space and custom designed.

It has 12 foot ceilings and multiple living and dining areas.

The 6 bedrooms are en suite with two half bathrooms.

There’s a great room in the rotunda.

The listing describes the kitchen, with white cabinets and counter tops as a “custom Boffi eat-in kitchen with a showcase wine cellar.”

It has central air, washer/dryer in the unit and 3-car garage parking is included.

It has come on the market at $13.5 million which makes it among the most expensive condos currently on the market in the city.

With both city and lake views, is this condo the best of all worlds?

Timothy Salm at Jameson Sotheby’s has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #2601: 6 bedrooms, 7 baths, 8800 square feet, penthouse

  • The CCRD doesn’t list a prior sales price from 2007
  • Currently listed at $13.5 million
  • Assessment of $8542 a month (includes gas, doorman, cable, exercise room, exterior maintenance, lawn care, scavenger, snow removal)
  • Taxes of $60,143
  • Central Air
  • 3 car garage parking included
  • Bedroom #1: 28×16
  • Bedroom #2: 17×16
  • Bedroom #3: 15×16
  • Bedroom #4: 15×14
  • Bedroom #5: 18×11
  • Bedroom #6: 18×11
  • Game Room: 17×20
  • Exercise Room: 17×20
  • Media Room: 15×12
  • Laundry Room: 5×6


Cubs roster moves: Addison Russell recalled, Mike Montgomery activated, Pedro Strop to the IL

Addison Russell was suspended last September for 40 games under terms of the Joint MLB/MLBPA Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy, a policy negotiated between players and management in 2015.

As per the terms of that agreement and his suspension, he had a seven-game rehab assignment at Triple-A Iowa and after the suspension and rehab assignment ended, he was optioned to Iowa and played five more games. All told, in Russell’s 12 Triple-A games he hit .222/.357/.467 (10-for-45) with two doubles and three home runs.

Today, he will rejoin the Cubs:

Ben Zobrist was scratched from Tuesday night’s starting lineup for what were termed “personal reasons” and at this time it's still not clear what those are. With Zobrist on the restricted list, a 40-man spot is open.

The return of Russell to active status with the big-league Cubs will be difficult for some fans. I understand that. Theo Epstein has long said that Russell would not be able to return until the team was sure that he was following the program set up for him for his off-the-field life. We can only hope that he is doing that and becoming a better person. I wish him well. It’s still possible that the Cubs will trade him somewhere. As I’ve written before, I think that would be best for all concerned.

I’d think when Zobrist returns, Mark Zagunis will be optioned to Iowa, and then the team will have to make a choice about Ian Happ. Victor Caratini is also on rehab assignment, and obviously when he returns Taylor Davis will head back to Iowa.

Mike Montgomery has also been on rehab assignment, and his return gives the Cubs another lefty out of the pen. The injury to Pedro Strop might explain his poor performance the other night. The Cubs will have to mix and match at closer while Pedro is out.

Incidentally, usually players optioned to Triple-A, as Russell was last Friday, must stay there for a minimum of 10 days. That, however, doesn’t apply when the player is recalled to replace someone put on the IL, as is the case today.


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