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For the third year in a row, 2011 is on track for less than 600 sales of Downtown Chicago condos.

But even with more than 2,600 units still for sale at the beginning of August 2011, the inventory of unsold Downtown condos is slowly dropping. There are several developments that stood out from the rest of the pack in terms of sales, price cuts and incentives, many offering as much as 30% to 55% off original list prices and starting in the $140,000s.

Downtown Chicago is usually defined as bordered by the Stevenson Expressway to North Avenue, then Lake Michigan and to Ashland Avenue. There are literally dozens of condo buildings in that area, so we'll try to give you a good sampling of what's available and popular right now.

According to Appraisal Research Counselors, 235 West Van Buren from CMK Development is the biggest Downtown Chicago condo tower built since the 1970s. There are 714 condos in the tower and 357 have closed. Another 123 or so are under contract and CMK started taking walk-away buyers to court in mid 2011 to keep from refunding deposits.

Incentives at 235 Van Buren have included $5,000 in closing cost credit and a year of free assessments. The tower is FHA approved and prices right now are starting at $146,900 for one bedroom units and $269,900 for two bedroom condos.

565 Quincy had more sales than any other single development last year. The Belgravia Group lowered prices by up to 30% and has also offered $5,000 in free furniture plus a free indoor parking space with all but the junior one bedroom units. There are only around a dozen condos left for sale in this FHA approved development, with prices starting at $159,900. The Q Room perks include a two-lane bowling alley, movie room, fitness center and putting green.

Aqua has also been a favorite with buyers, and while Magellan Development hasn't offered any price cuts or incentives, the condos have sold well and the apartments are nearly all leased. As of mid 2011 only 62 of the 262 condos were still for sale and just 10 of the 474 apartments available for rent. Prices on the condos start in the mid to upper $300,000s.

The Columbian has been advertising developer closeout prices for more than three months now. They've also thrown in $5,000 to $20,000 in free furniture and a free indoor parking space. Buyers can find one bedroom condos there from $299,900 and two bedroom units from $399,900. Three bedroom penthouse condos run from the $900,000s.

Library Tower on 520 South State Street is also known for special promotions. Developer Lennar Homes has offered price cuts, free parking and upgrades over the past few weeks and are finally down to around nine units left for sale. Those condos are two and three bedroom layouts. Prices start in the $440,000s and the building is FHA approved.

200 North Dearborn from American Invsco is another high-rise where buyers can often find price cuts or incentives. In an effort to ink 36 more sales to meet new Fannie Mae requirements, prices have been slashed as much as 55% most of this year. Some studios had been selling in the $120,000s but most of what is left starts in the $140,000s.

Metropolitan Tower on 310 South Michigan Avenue sold more than 20 units last year and is another development that offered final closeout prices for a long time. The developer is down to one penthouse condo with three bedrooms, 2.5 baths, a free parking space and price tag of $1.25 million.

At Michigan Avenue Tower II on 1400 South Michigan Avenue developer Russland Capital Group knocked $10,000 off condo prices earlier this year. The FHA approved 28 story tower has 257 condos with one to four bedrooms. Prices run anywhere from the $220,000s to more than $1.49 million. Building amenities include a 24 hour doorman, fitness center, pool, bike storage, party room and business room.

In a reversal at the Marquee Michigan Avenue, developer Sedgwick Properties decided to put 35 condos they had been renting back on the market and sell them. The 20 story, 208 unit tower on 1464 South Michigan Avenue is around 85% sold and prices on these one to three bedroom condos coming back on the market are reduced 3% to 5% and run from $199,900 to $399,900. The tower is pet-friendly, too.

The 72 story, 356 unit Legacy on 60 East Monroe has luxury condos priced anywhere from $325,000 for a one bedroom unit to more than $4.26 million for a three bedroom condo. Residents have the Sky Lounge plus a sky bridge that connects the tower to the University Club.

These are a good sampling of some of the most popular Downtown Chicago condos. Buyers can find deals in almost any building, and with more than 2,600 units on the market there are bargains to fit every budget.

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