Find construction projects in Chicago based on trends, including #UnusedZoningCapacity and INVEST South/West

Chicago Cityscape modified Building Permits Browser again to make it easier to find examples of specific trends. In two clicks, find construction projects that can be categorized into one or more these topics:

  1. #UnusedZoningCapacity
  2. Commercial to residential conversion
  3. INVEST South/West
  4. Adaptive reuse
  5. Passive House

Look for "Filter by tag or topic" in the filters section below the permits map and data table.

screenshot of the tag and topic filters

We manually categorize building permits into these and other categories, so they may be missing some projects. View Tags & Topics to see the full list of trends we track (not all of them can be filtered in Building Permits Browser; send us your feedback on what tags & topics you'd like to filter).

Search for civic projects' building permits with a single click

Chicago Cityscape has added a new Quick Filter to the Building Permits Browser to quickly find building permits issued to public agencies. BPB is used by trades unions, architects, and real estate brokers to find where projects have occurred, who designed what, and to learn about the history of a building. 

The new Quick Filter is called "Civic projects", and we're currently beta testing it. Try it now!

The "Civic projects" Quick Filter activates with a single click and pulls up building permits since 2006 that were issued to the Chicago Park District, Chicago Transit Authority, the Public Building Commission, and Chicago Public Schools. While their building permits comprise less than 0.5 percent, multiple are issued every month. 

screenshot of the Quick Filter for "Civic projects"

We know that it's helpful to track these public agency projects because they are important developments in Chicago. While this is in beta testing, please send us any feedback

Notes about the data: The BPB may not show 100 percent of the building permits issued to those three agencies since 2006 because the names used on the permits may be different from time to time. For example, sometimes the agency's name is used, and it's very easy to filter for their permits, but sometimes a project manager's name is used and we may not catch this until later.

2022 Q3 sales data has been published

Chicago Cityscape has added the latest quarter of property sales in Cook County. There were 35,283 sales recorded between July 1, 2022, and September 30, 2022. That is 3,277 fewer sales compared to 2022 Q2.

Browse all of the property sales in our database, which now goes back to 2015.


Bonus update: The property sales & transaction details page has been improved to spell out what were abbreviated characteristics, and include links to more information. 

For example, buyer and seller names are linked so that you can find other sales they may have been part of. Another new characteristic is indicating the land use that the parties indicated on their PTAX submission; previously only the letter referring to a specific use on the form was shown which was only helpful to those who regularly use PTAX forms.

screenshot with new characteristics hihglighted

Property sales from 2015 have been added

Chicago Cityscape's Property Sales Browser has gone back in time by adding sales in Cook County in 2015. Our database now covers 2015 to the first half of 2022. 

In 2015, there were 84,616 property sales in Cook County, which was 95.5 percent of sales recorded through the State of Illinois's online MyDec system (not every county participated).

Use our Property Sales Browser to look for property sales across Cook County. Narrow your search by using these filters:

  • Property class
  • Date
  • Price
  • City
  • Buyer or seller name

Within seconds, our system will sift through 885,000 sales in Cook County to match your search parameters. 

Property sales data is also available at and around an Address Snapshot you look up, or within a Place Snapshot (ZIP code, Chicago community area, or a Personal Place that you draw yourself).

Search for properties in Chicago using the citywide Property Finder map

Chicago Cityscape's venerable Property Finder tool now works for citywide searches. Elevate a search to include properties beyond the smaller areas that previously limited our members – to the entire 234 square miles of Chicago. 

There are over 900,000 properties across Chicago. The same Property Finder filters you're used to at the community area, ward, ZIP code, or Personal Place level, work citywide. 

graphic of part of Chicago showing some properties and a repeat of the example that's in this post

Create simple or complex groups of filters to locate the exact kinds of properties you want to prospect. For example, we found 2,275 parking lots that are (a) larger than 7,000 s.f., (b) in a TOD area and zoning district that allows zero car parking spaces for residential use, and (c) has a supermarket within one mile.

Oh - that "supermarket within one mile" is another new feature 😎

This feature is in beta and please be patient. It takes computers a lot of work to apply your filters to over 900,000 properties. Send us your feedback!

Finding property citywide starts with these two steps

  1. Open the Chicago (municipality) Place Snapshot, or select the "Research" menu button and select the "Property Finder - Chicago citywide" option.
  2. Select the "Property Finder" button below the map. After a moment, a datatable and filters will appear. The first 10 properties, ordered by PIN, will show in the datatable, and in the map.

screenshot of the menu to get to Property Finder

New incentive added: Solar & wind energy tax credit boost

With the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, new and existing national tax credits will encourage the adoption of more energy efficient building systems and constructing renewable energy facilities. The standard investment tax credit for a new qualifying solar or wind energy is six percent while the bonus tax credit for investing in low-income communities is worth 10 additional percentage points.

There is even an option, in the same areas, to gain an additional 10 points if constructing the facility on a qualifying rental residential building or if it will benefit low-income households. 

Chicago Cityscape has added this geographically-based "IRA solar & wind bonus credit" to Incentives Checker. Search for it within Incentives Checker using the keywords IRA, solar, wind, or energy.

screenshot of Incentives Checker with the "IRA" keyword being used to locate this particular incentive at an eligible address

Look up an address in Illinois to see if it might qualify for the energy credit boost.

New Property Finder feature: Show both types of government land at the same time

By request, one can now filter Property Finder to show property owned by the City of Chicago and property associated with the Cook County Land Bank Authority at the same time. Previously, Cityscape members could only show one or the other. 

Property Finder now also makes the distinction between property currently owned by the City of Chicago and property previously owned. 

The screenshot below also shows how the two filters have moved from "Special filters" to a new "Gov't owned land" group of filters.

Scavenger Sale Portal: Over 3,000 properties removed

Two quick updates: The Chicago Cityscape Scavenger Sale Portal now has 3,626 fewer properties, and properties are now sorted in the order they are auctioned. 

Reminder: There is no bidding on Monday, February 21, 2022, due to it being Presidents Day.

1. Of the 3,626 removed properties, 1,932 were already scheduled to be auctioned in the first week. That means that there are 1,694 properties that were going to be auctioned this week but will not. 

screenshot of the map and spreadsheet on our Portal

2. We're improving the Portal based on feedback and based on how people track properties during the auction. To help you make following the auction more efficient, we made several changes:

  • By default, only properties to be auctioned on the day you're looking at them and in the future are shown. You can filter for a specific date, or remove all date filters by changing the "Filter by bid date" dropdown menu. 
  • When you're signed in, you can view up to 5,000 properties at a time. This is enough to see an entire day's worth of scheduled properties. 
  • Properties are sorted by the order in which they will be auctioned (that is, by volume and then by PIN). Look for this sequence number in the "Day #" column. If you are looking at a view that includes multiple bid dates the day # will reset to 1 in the middle of your view. 
  • Exporting the data will also export the sequence number. This way you can print out a spreadsheet and keep it sorted properly and follow along with the auctioneer. 

Please keep sending us feedback to info@chicagocityscape! While it's too late to make any further improvements – because there are four bidding days left – we want to build a better Portal for the next Scavenger Sale in 2023.

TDL updated with new statewide logistics map

Our "TDL" (transportation, distribution, and logistics) features have received two updates. 

First, there's a new statewide map – called Illinois Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics (TDL) – of intermodal yards and distribution and fulfillment centers. You can filter this map by municipality, operator (like Aeroterm and Amazon), and type. We have three types: intermodal, distribution center, and Amazon (yes, there are so many that it gets its own type). 

screenshot of the new statewide TDL map

We are looking to expand our database of distribution centers and similar warehouses, to include ones operated by third parties like Prologis and Missner. 

Secondly, in Transportation Snapshot, we increased the loading speed to show TDL facilities within 10 miles of any address that you look up. Additionally, the data from 2018 showing the number of lifts at each intermodal yard was added. 

screenshot of a Transportation Snapshot map for a particular address

Cannabis update: Craft grower locations are on the map

Just three weeks ago, the Illinois Department of Agriculture issued licenses for over 30 craft growers. We updated our cannabis maps to show 30 licensees; some of the other licensees do not have locations and are not shown. 

Here's how to access the map of craft growers:

  • Illinois map of growing facilities (21 cultivation centers and 30 craft growers) - You can filter and sort the map by type, operator name, and city. A Cityscape Real Estate Pro membership or the Cannabis Compliance add-on is required to view all of the locations.
  • Cannabis businesses near an address - The Cannabis Compliance section of every Address Snapshot has been updated to show the locations of craft growers. The layer for growing facilities (cultivation centers & craft growers) is not shown by default, so open the map's layer chooser and enable "Growing facilities". 

What's next: We'll be adding the newly-licensed infusers (that have business locations) next week. 

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