Former NYC Douglas Elliman Broker Dina Lewis Joins Jeff Lowe Group in Chicago
Dina Lewis, among Elliman’s top-producing brokers over two decades in New York, joined Chicago’s Jeff Lowe Group at Compass, a team that topped all rivals in the city and in Illinois by residential sales in nine of the past 10 years.
Lewis, who burnished her chops with Melanie Lazenby at Elliman, moved to Chicago with her daughter in 2018 will operate out of Lincoln Park, one of the city’s most affluent neighborhoods. She’ll focus on the same market that she did in New York: Luxury resale and new development.
“I have spent the last four years learning the city and learning the market,” she said in an interview. “I felt like I needed to align myself with the best team and the best company.”
Lowe Group closed almost $400 million of residential sales last year. It beat rivals by sales in every year since 2012 except for 2013, according to Midwest Real Estate Data. Among recent deals, it represented the seller of property bought by actor Jim Belushi in March, and is shopping the Ravenswood home of Jed Hoyer, president of baseball operations at the Chicago Cubs.
Lewis and Lazenby won top producer awards at Elliman during their stint in New York, selling more than $33 million of real estate in 2009 alone, according to their promotional materials. Elliman doesn’t have offices in Chicago.
She said Chicago offers plenty of top-end condo opportunities, citing major sales at the St. Regis and One Bennett Park developments. A condo at the St. Regis sold for $6 million last week, marking Chicago’s 52nd sale of at least $4 million so far this year and putting the pace ahead of 2021. A $20 million sale at Trump Tower in March leads the list.
Still, condos spend more time on the market than detached single-family homes and also trend to be a drag on overall prices. In the first three months of the year, Chicago homes sold after an average of 61 days on the market, compared with 99 for condos, which make up about two-thirds of all houses sold in the city.
One big difference from New York: more buyers are seeking homes, not just investments, she said. Lewis, who lives in River North, said she’s also seen a bigger flow back into the city from the suburbs as the pandemic wanes.
“There’s room for more luxury development in the city,” she said. “You have people who are truly investing in the city and investing in a home that they’ll live in for a long time.”
Chicago wasn’t top of mind when she visited in 2017 with her daughter, now 10. That changed as she got to know the area.
“I’m a New Yorker and now I have a Girl Scout Troop,” she said. “It’s crazy.”