Last week I looked at Chicago's most expensive single family home sales of 2018 and last year was a bit stronger at the high end than 2017 - 14 homes sold above $4 MM vs. 11 the year before. However, now I'm turning my attention to the most expensive condo sales of 2018 and last year blew 2017 out of the water with 37 sales above $4 MM vs. 13 in 2017.
However, one could argue that 2018 had an unfair advantage in that just one building accounted for 23 of those closings - the uber ultra high end No 9 Walton. In fact, that building took the top two spots with $12.1 MM paid for approximately 10,000 square feet of raw space on the 21st floor, which it looks like the developer envisioned finished out with 7 bedrooms, 7 full baths, and 1 half bath. And then $9.9 MM was paid for 7100 square feet of raw space on the 34th floor, which was listed as having 5 bedrooms, 5 full baths, and 1 half bath. Compare those purchases to 2017's highest purchase price paid of $6.5 MM (once you exclude the outlier of Ken Griffin's purchase - more on that later).
The building is full of the Who's Who of Chicago - athletes and business people. The listings for 9 Walton don't provide any information and the photographs are generic/ conceptual so there isn't much to tell you about the individual units. However, I can give you a quick overview of the building.
It was developed by JDL and the founder, Jim Letchinger, was intimately involved. In fact, he has personally worked with each of the buyers to create their own custom floorplan and finishes for their unit. Incredibly, he and his wife will actually be living in the building, which is a pretty ballsy move if you ask me. Can you imagine a customer knocking on your door at 2 AM to complain about the microwave not heating their frozen burrito evenly?
The building is 38 stories with either 66, 68, 70, or 71 units (I've heard them all) and offers private wine storage, steam room, sauna, and a house car and driver in addition to ALL the other usual amenities. Units have 10 -12 foot ceilings with extremely high end finishes such as O’Brien and Harris or Bulthaup Cabinetry kitchens, Victoria + Albert tubs, 1 ¾” solid doors, custom-carved marble fireplace mantel, and Kallista nickel plated plumbing fixtures just to name a few.
Thus far 55 units have closed in the building with prices ranging from $1.7 MM - $12.1 MM, but that doesn't include the 4 top floors purchased by Ken Griffin for a total of $58.75 MM back in 2017.
So let's move on to the #3 spot which was unit 87A in the Trump Tower at 401 N Wabash which was 6850 square feet (half a floor) with 4 bedrooms, 4 full bathrooms, 1 half bath and included 5 parking spaces and sold for $9.4 MM. The monthly assessment is $7604 which probably, but not certainly, includes a monthly special assessment of $1066 through February 2021. Property taxes for 2017 were $131,464 but that was based upon an estimated market value of only a little more than $6.2 MM. For 2018 they raised the market value to $6.9 MM. I sure hope Fritz Kaegi is paying attention - especially if this is indicative of the assessed values of all the units, which it usually is.
The sellers were Thomas and Jean Gross. Thomas recently retired as Vice Chairman and COO of a unit of Eaton Corp. The unit was purchased by Richard and Jill Chaifetz. Richard is an entrepreneur and philanthropist. He founded ComPsych and now runs an investment firm.
Here is a description of the unit from the MLS:
Completed in 2015, this custom 6,850 square foot penthouse was built to standards rarely seen in Chicago. Inherently livable, this residence offers perfectly proportioned rooms with 16 foot ceilings, massive floor-to-ceiling windows with panoramic views in every direction, and every amenity imaginable. Finishes include exquisite millwork and built-ins, custom stone, inlaid and rift sawn oak floors, handcrafted hardware, designer paint and fabric wall coverings, motorized shades, remote controlled custom lighting, and a 7-zone a/v system. Ideal for entertaining, the grand public rooms include a top-of-the-line, eat-in kitchen with wine cellar and butler’s pantry. Each of the 4 bedrooms has custom built-ins and luxurious en suite baths. The master dressing room is larger than most bedrooms. Five garage spaces as well as private storage are included in the sale. Building amenities include 5-star services, a world class spa and indoor lap pool, and a Michelin rated French restaurant.
I've included a slideshow of some select photos from this unit at the bottom of this post. Notice how at this elevation it's kinda like living in an airplane - so far above it all. I'm sure a lot of people like that but personally I would prefer being much lower in a building - just high enough to clear the tops of adjacent buildings but close enough to be able to still see the city.
The #4 spot went to a full floor penthouse unit on the 39th floor of the Ritz Carlton at 118 E Erie which sold as raw space for $8 MM with a $10,965 monthly assessment. With 6597 square feet the developer listed it as having 4 bedrooms, 3 full baths, and 1 half bath. The property taxes were de minimis for 2017 but the 2018 estimated market value is $6.1 MM so the property taxes will probably be around $122,000.
Created with flickr slideshow.
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Gary Lucido is the President of Lucid Realty, the Chicago area's full service real estate brokerage that offers home buyer rebates and discount commissions. 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.