What is a Chicago Three Flat? It is a very common housing type in Chicago neighborhoods–A residential building with three units typically two units directly above the first floor unit. Each unit will have the basic needs for a home including but not limited to bedrooms, at least one bathroom, a kitchen, heat and electric. In Chicago, landlords do not have to provide air conditioning so many three flats will not have this amenity however window a/c units can easily solve that problem. In Chicago, many two flats have had their basements converted into a third unit. If the basement unit has a front and back entrance separate from those of the units above it, it’s possible it may be a legal three flat. So whenever you see what looks like a two flat in Chicago, you must do some research with the city to find out for certain if it’s a legal two flat or three flat. Some converted basements in two flats were finished without the approval of the city of Chicago and proper building code making them illegal. [source:http://chicagoreinvestment.com/three-flat/]
Here are some pictures of new sustainable 3 flats being built, but usually not in 3 units, but as single family homes, providing large amounts of square footage for a good price, see below. These buildings fit in with their surroundings, although they may be changing the actual make up of the neighborhood–introducing more single family homes, rather than more 3 flat units. I still think these new 3 flats are a great improvement to an empty lot. I would imagine that these houses have a very open feel, and allow for lots of square footage, and wouldn’t feel cramped. That’s what people want in a crowed city, with many houses chopped up into 3 units, it can be hard to find a large single family home, that is modern, energy efficient and big enough for a large family.
These houses by Smarttech Homes, are really nice, and pretty much take advantage of zoning laws, and lot line setbacks, as to max out the zoning, but having some contextual scale in Chicago’s urban neighborhoods.
Chicago Developer: Smarttech Homes http://smarttechhomes.com/smart-house-2-2/
In Logan Square, East Pilsen, and other Chicago neighborhoods, new residences are going up—and being swiftly bought—that go by the brand name Smart Tech Homes. But they could also be called the bungalows of the 21st century.
Like the bungalows that proliferated in Chicago in the early 20th century, Smart Tech Homes are designed to provide relatively affordable housing for the middle class. And like their predecessors, they come with standardized but stylish looks and room for expansion as the family can afford it.
Smart Tech is headed by Irina Druk; Karen Biazar and Staci Slattery of North Clybourn Group are serving as sales agents. Since January 2011, the company has closed 20 sales, and has eight more homes under contract and another ten homes under construction and for sale.
Price is key to the success so far. The 2,400-square-foot, four-bedroom, 2.5-bath homes start at $339,000 in locations like East Pilsen and pop up to $499,000 in the hotter Palmer Square neighborhood. Donna Kwapis-Velez bought the first Smart Tech home; she’s still pleased to have “bought a new house in the city for $403,000. That’s amazing.” She says her husband, Bill Velez, is a fan of the original bungalows; they looked at some of those but went for the energy-efficient Smart Tech Home instead. (source: http://www.chicagomag.com/Radar/Deal-Estate/March-2012/Smart-Techs-Bungalows-for-the-21st-Century/ )
Traditional Chicago 3 Flats