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Pre-Season Rental Heatmap; Hines After More Of West Loop; More

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And now the latest from Curbed Chicago, covering everything you need to know about the city's neighborhoods and real estate...

EVERYWHERE— Yesterday, Curbed launched its first-ever Rental Heatmap, a compendium of quite hot and desirable rental buildings around town. We gathered 15 to kick things off, with the aid of Yelp reviews, tipsters, and other online resources. Come scope the list, and consider recommending more!

WEST LOOP— Hines Interests bit down hard on another office development opportunity downtown, stepping in to buy half of a large parcel at 645 W Madison. It plans a 500,000-square-foot tower that would, mercifully, relieve the West Loop Gate area of a ghastly surface parking lot. The parcel's other half still belongs to MR Properties, which is now thinking hotel.

OLD TOWN— A fabulous little number in the fabled Carl Street Studios is back on the market for $499K. It bears the tile mosaic work and frescoes of artist Edgar Miller, who lived his final years in this unit. Miller and Sol Kogen set upon the Victorian mansion in 1927 and transformed it into a dozen or so spacious live/work artist studios.

STREETERVILLE— We took the liberty of swinging by the Optima Center Chicago construction site this week for a routine check-up. Destined to be a 42-story, 325-unit rental building, progress has the structure at about 8 floors above street level. Keep your eyes peeled for a secondary 238-space parking structure. If it's David Hovey-designed as well, how bad can it be?