Even though the Solstice building currently looks like a paper cut-out...
...on Thursday I attended the Grand Opening, to view a "furnished model." The model is a mock-up, built inside some trailers on the northeast corner of the Solstice property.
This is the reception area, with a looping video showing computer-generated views of the interior and exterior of the building (complete with live-action actors), a scale replica of the building, and interactive computer screens I forgot to look at (I think they show the view from all the units in the building). I did remember to get a glass of white wine, however.
Here's the living room (and dining area) of the 3-bedroom model -- obviously with south views. The terrace is nice (note the grill), but those slanted windows made me dizzy. I'm not kidding. I didn't expect it from the architectural drawings, but in real life they disoriented me for a while until I got used to them, especially in juxtaposition with the straight steel posts of the guard rail on the terrace.
Amenities include a pool, a BBQ area, a sun-deck, and a garden on top of the garage structure. The pool is unfortunately not shaped to allow lap swimming, which is a mistake (Jeanne Gang, take note!), given the segment of the market that Solstice will be courting. There will also be a well-equipped health club and a fancy party room.
The price ranges are:
My brother (the Sicilian one) and I disagreed on whether it's realistic to expect that people with that sort of money will choose to move to Hyde Park. I think that compared with what you get on the north side, these apartments may be a better value, and the proximity to the lake and Metra can't be beat. There are several north-side Lab School families waiting to move to the neighborhood, and discouraged by the lack of available houses close to school. I also wouldn't underestimate how much the presence of a Treasure Island in the neighborhood has removed at least one mental hurdle for high-end buyers. He thinks the price for a similar unit in the 1700 E. 56th building right down the block is less than half of that, so no one will pony up that kind of cash.
Word is that three units and two penthouses have already sold. I may be winning this argument.