I was clearly born too early. 15 - 20 years later and I could have gone into the hedge fund business with my physics and math background and my interest in the financial markets. Then maybe today I would be plopping down $58.75 MM for the top 4 floors of 9 W Walton like Ken Griffin of Citadel fame did back in November.
By the way, that is by far the most expensive home purchase in the Chicago area ever and supposedly it was for raw space. Prior to this purchase the title of most expensive purchase in the area belonged to Groupon co-founder Eric Lefkofsky who paid $19.5 MM for a lake front mansion in Glencoe. The most expensive Chicago home purchase belonged to George Lucas who paid $18.75 MM for the 65th floor penthouse at the Park Tower Residences at 800 N Michigan in April 2015. Ironically, the title of most expensive purchase was previously held by Ken Griffin in 2012 when he paid $15 MM for the 66th floor unit directly above George Lucas' condo. At that time Ken already owned the 67the floor unit.
Some of the details of Ken's purchase are a little fuzzy. The top 4 floors of the building are 35 - 38 but the 35th floor is still listed on the MLS as under contract (not closed) with a list price of $12.95 MM AND the description says "Design this floor plan to suit your every need. Stunning interior finishes" with an April 2018 delivery date. So that sounds like the developer is going to be building it out for the buyer. But supposedly the developer is saying that the entire purchase was raw space. And, according to the Chicago Tribune, Griffin paid $12.5 MM for the 35th floor which is close to the list price in the MLS. The Tribune also reported that he paid $12.13 MM for the 36th floor, $12.95 MM for the 37th floor, and a whopping $21.17 MM for the 38th floor penthouse unit. I'm assuming the 38th floor has higher ceilings than the other floors.
The MLS listing for the 35th floor shows the square footage as 7100 with 1100 SF of outdoor space. If we assume that the outdoor space is not included in the 7100 SF then that would mean that Ken has purchased about 28,400 of interior space. The developer did confirm that it was more than 25,000 SF. Crain's estimates that the buildout costs will be approximately $1000/ SF, which would bring Ken's total investment to around $87 MM. Oh...and Crain's also reports that a swimming pool will be put in the unit.
So apparently Ken likes to own real estate. Here is a rundown of what else he owns around the country according to Crain's:
- Close to $230 MM in Palm Beach for just land?
- $200 MM in Manhattan for 3 floors of raw space in a condo building
- A $13.3 MM condo on the 37th floor of the Waldorf Astoria in Chicago
- Two floors in the Park Tower
- Homes in Colorado and Hawaii
Gary Lucido is the President of Lucid Realty, the Chicago area's full service discount real estate brokerage. If you want to keep up to date on the Chicago real estate market, get an insider's view of the seamy underbelly of the real estate industry, or you just think he's the next Kurt Vonnegut you can Subscribe to Getting Real by Email using the form below. Please be sure to verify your email address when you receive the verification notice.