From her third-floor Bucktown condo, Jill Rupple can stay home to cook and watch the sun set over the Northwest Tower, a neighborhood landmark, or walk a few blocks and be surrounded by the fertile Wicker Park/Bucktown dining and entertainment scene.
It is, Rupple says, “a perfect combination. I have families with strollers and kids on my street, but I have Etta and Big Star and Club Lucky” and other restaurants nearby, as well as an entrance to the 606 recreational trail and a CTA Blue Line stop.
Rupple bought the condominium, whose main living space is all glass on one side opening to a wide, roofed balcony, when it was newly built in 2009.
A dozen years later and now retired from the human resources field, Rupple and her Milwaukee-based husband are building a home on 35 acres in Wisconsin, “a very different place from my city life,” she says. She’ll put the roughly 1,750-square-foot, three-bedroom condo on the market October 6, represented by Karen Ranquist, a Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Chicago agent. The asking price is $815,000.
Having the terrace directly off the kitchen, and facing west, makes for a pleasant evening ritual. “I like to sit on the terrace and watch the sun set, then come in and cook,” Rupple said.
Having all that glass could make the home feel exposed, except for the combination of trees along the street and the overhangs of the terraces. There are shades for privacy, but Rupple said she uses them infrequently.
The trees and the overhangs also help reduce solar heat gain inside the condo.
Designed by a renowned Seattle architecture firm, Miller|Hull Partnership, with the Chicago firm and built by Ranquist Development, the building gained awards from architecture and builders’ groups for its sleek modernity, but what Rupple likes is that “it’s not in-your-face modernism, it’s modern and clean-lined.”
The asking price, $815,000, is the same as Rupple paid for the unit in 2009. There is one difference: she bought the condominium with two parking spaces but is now offering only one in the price. The other is an additional $30,000. Nevertheless, a buyer who takes the whole package pays only about 3.7 percent more than Rupple paid in 2009, in a neighborhood whose restaurants and other amenities have only grown more numerous in the intervening years. The 606 opened six years after she moved in.
“I’ve looked at the comparables, and I think this is a fair price to ask now,” Rupple said. Besides, when she bought the place, “I wasn’t looking to make a lot of money on it. I was looking for a fun place to live.”
The terrace “is always a place to sit with a glass of wine,” Rupple said. The way the interior flows right out to it makes the balcony feell like an integral part of the living space. Sitting up here “is an oasis in the city,” Rupple said. “The hustle and bustle of North Avenue is right out there, but you’re away from it all.”
Rupple redid the decking with a sustainable product, Trex decking, made of recycled plastic and wood.
The main living space combines living and kitchen areas, both made more spacious by Rupple’s elimination of a dining room table.
“I’m not a fan of a dining room table,” Rupple says. When buying the condo from the developer, she requested that the Arclinea cabinetry be extended closer to the glass wall, and the island be made big enough to seat six.
The developer designed the kitchen to be everything to the right of the wine refrigerator; Rupple added space for not only that wine fridge but more storage and an appliance garage at the right, where she can put away the coffee maker and toaster when done with them in the morning.
“The way I live, I’m either in the living room reading a book by the fireplace or in the kitchen,” Rupple said.
Fans of dining tables, take heart: Listing agent Ranquist measured it all out, and a dining table can fit into the living room area. Rupple said a buyer might also want to turn her glass-doored office (seen in a photo further on in this article) into a dining room.
The stairstep of cabinetry was Rupple’s addition that made up for a slightly too sleek layout. As originally designed, there was no division between the front door and the living room, no coat closet and little display space for art. She had the three-part cabinet built to fix all that, and to create more of a sense of enclosure for the living room.
In the primary bedroom, whose window also faces west, Rupple used wide-plank blinds to make moderating the sun easy.
The flooring in this bedroom and throughout the home is dark-stained oak.
Rupple liked the limestone-and-tile look of the primary bathroom so much that at the home she and her husband are building in Wisconsin, they’re replicating it. Shelving and storage bins below the sinks keeps them from looking austere and provides storage space that suits the overall design.
In the third bedroom, Rupple widened the door opening and installed glass pocket doors. “It was years ago, but I made what everybody wants since the pandemic, a home office,” she says.
Because it’s also the closest bedroom to the kitchen, Rupple says, “if you really need a dining room,” this could be it.