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Friday, September 05, 2008 / LOACQ, LLC

26TH Street Lofts District:


By DeBat Media Services

CHICAGO—A “cool industrial feel” highlights the interior of a professionally furnished and decorated duplex model now open for viewing at Opera Lofts, 2545 S. Dearborn in the emerging 26th Street Loft District on the Near South Side.

Loft model Residence 502, the professionally furnished duplex model, is a 2-bedroom-plus den, 2-bath residence with 1,842 square feet. The duplex is priced at $459,900.

“The main concept for the Opera Lofts model is to expand on the idea of raw materials and textures,” said interior designerKapan Shipman of Chicago-based Habitar Designs.

“With its exposed concrete ceilings, bricks and ductwork, the unit certainly has a cool industrial feel,” Shipman said.“I wanted to emphasize the rawness and play with mixed textures, but at the same time, contrast the industrial cool with organic warmth.”

Developers Leigh Ballen and Andres Schcolnik of LOACQ, LLC are completing the rehabilitation of the Lyric Opera’s former design and warehouse center to create 93 true loft units with soaring ceiling heights of 13 to 30 feet and high-end finishes.

“For more than 75 years, the Opera Lofts building served as the workshop for the creation of the sets, props and stages of the world famous Lyric Opera of Chicago” said Ballen. “Today, this adaptive-reuse space has been reinvented as a unique loft-living development in a pioneering new neighborhood on the edge of the South Loop.”

“Opera Lofts is already one-third sold and first occupancies are well underway,” said Kathleen A. Ryan, broker/owner of Opera Realty, the exclusive sales and marketing agent for the development. Prices range from $249,900 for a 1-bedroom-plus-work-space loft to $899,900 for the most expensive penthouse.

In Residence 502, the interior designer selected furniture pieces that were modern and yet have a sense of earthy origin to them, simple in design, but rich with natural beauty and texture that invites touch.

“The bright orange mosaic backsplash pretty much set the tone for the color palette,” Shipman said. “I really love how bold it looks against the neutral grays and the rich chocolate color of the floor.”

Residence 502 features a central entry to the main living level. A stairway to the bedroom level and a cozy den is to the right and a shower bath and laundry center is to the left.

Straight ahead is the spacious 14.5-by-21-foot living/dining room, which features a soaring 19.5-foot ceiling. A private balcony (12.5 by 5 feet) opens off the living room. A secondary bedroom with walk-in closet is to the left of the living room.

The open L-shaped island kitchen is the focal point in the center of the residence. The kitchen is equipped with 42-inch maple upper cabinets and a GE stainless-steel appliance package that includes refrigerator, dishwasher, gas range, microwave and garbage disposal.

A spiral staircase leading to the bedroom level is to the left of the kitchen along with a utility closet.

The spacious 16-by-21-foot master bedroom suite overlooks the living room below. It has a private master bath with double vanity, tub and a walk-in closet.

In addition to the duplex model, a professionally furnished and decorated vignette simplex model is also on display in the sales center.

Opera Loft units showcase concrete columns, exposed brick and spiral ductwork. Living areas feature 13-foot window height. Oak hardwood flooring is standard.

Master baths feature Egyptian marble counter tops, full-slab floors and shower surround and Travertine marble vessel sinks. Hall baths feature Argentine marble floors.

Residences are prewired for high-speed Internet, cable and telephone and include an in-wall electronic safe.

Three unique loft penthouses each with two private terraces are available on the 7th floor of Opera Lofts. “The penthouses at Opera Lofts feature spectacular views of downtown Chicago from private terraces and our green roof,” said Ballen.

The 3-bedroom, 2.5 bath penthouses have 2,207 to 2,912 square feet of space and spectacular north, west and southwest skyline views. Prices range from $729,900 to $899,900.

In addition to the penthouses and the duplex model, the extensive floor plan choices now available at Opera Lofts are:

• One-bedroom plus work loft area and 1 bath. This unit has 1,050 to 1,070 square feet of space. Prices range from $249,900 to $279,900.

• One-bedroom-plus-den, 2 baths and 1,082 to 1,403 square feet. Prices range from $329,900 to $339,900.

• Two-bedrooms, 2 baths. Living space runs from 1,080 to 1,403 square feet. Prices range from $289,900 to $354,900.

• Two-bedrooms plus work loft area and 2 baths. This unit has 1,286 to 1,609 square feet of space. Prices range from $329,900 to $389,900.

• Two-bedroom-plus-den, 2 baths. This unit has 1,638 to 1,842 square feet of space. Prices range from $439,900 to $539,900.

• Three-bedrooms, 2 baths. This unit has 1,270 to 1,965 square feet of space. Prices range from $329,900 to $499,900.

Indoor deeded parking is available for $22,500.

Opera Lofts features twin high-speed elevators, a fitness center, and green roof with common deck, barbeque area and a pet friendly dog run that encompass several thousand square feet.

The Opera Lofts is in the heart of the emerging 26th Street Lofts District on 26th Street between Dearborn Street and Michigan Avenue, immediately west of the Mercy Medical Center and the proposed Olympic Village development.

The district, immediately southwest of McCormick Place and just south of the Stevenson Expressway, includes several existing and planned loft projects, including the Bronzeville Lofts and the Kissell-Karr Lofts on 26th Street, and the new, 250-room South Loop Hotel on the southwest corner of 26th and State streets.

“The 26th Street Lofts District is a quiet new loft neighborhood nestled between Cermak Road, the southern boundary of South Loop, and the Illinois Institute of Technology campus on 31st Street,” said Ballen.

“Anyone with vision can see the future of the neighborhood is bright, with a new CTA Orange/Green Line station planned for the area and expressway access within a block or two,” Ballen said.

The Opera Lofts sales center and duplex and vignette models at 2545 S. Dearborn are open Tuesday through Friday from noon to 6 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. For more information, call 312-225-5000, or visit

FOR: LOACQ, LLC                            CONTACT: Don DeBat

                3740 W. North Ave.                              Aimee DeBat                 

                Chicago, IL 60647                                  312-944-1177               


                                                                                OR: Leigh Ballen



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE               September 2, 2008 

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