The Chicago area didn't have as many $10 million-plus sales in 2016 as in years past. Far and away the most expensive single-family deal was trader Igor Chernomzav's $11.7 million sale of a four-bedroom, full-floor condo unit on the 52nd floor of the Waldorf Astoria. Chernomzav listed the unit in June 2015 for $13.9 million and later cut his asking price to $12.85 million. The buyer was a Chicago-based limited liability company, Erie International, whose manager is a corporate entity based in the British Virgin Islands. Elsewhere in the city, high-priced deals included bankruptcy attorney Peter Francis Geraci's $8.632 million purchase of the 6,000-square-foot, 40th-floor penthouse at the Ritz-Carlton Residences. That deal was held up in court in a battle between Geraci, known for his TV commercials for bankruptcy legal services, and Mexican billionaire German Larrea Mota-Velasco, who owned a condo on the 38th floor and had the right of first refusal on the penthouse as well.
And although it came in two separate deals for two separate spaces, actor Vince Vaughn reaped a total of $12.1 million in the sales of his triplex penthouse unit atop the Palmolive Building on North Michigan Avenue. The actor, who paid $12 million for the triplex penthouse in 2006, initially sought $24.7 million for the entire unit in a pocket listing in 2011. He later scaled back his intentions, asking $18.4 million for it in 2013 and later cutting his asking price to $16.75 million and then to $13.9 million. With no takers, Vaughn in May listed the penthouse in two pieces — the 36th and 37th floors together for $8.5 million and the 35th floor unit for $4.2 million. Almost immediately, the separated units went under contract, and Vaughn soon afterward sold the 36th and 37th floors for $8 million to Chicago-based limited liability company Tramp Rogers LLC, whose manager is identified in state records as wealth manager Margaret Rowley. Vaughn sold the 35th-floor unit for $4.1 million to an entity called the Stinking Creek Road Trust.
Other major sales in the city in 2016 largely took place in the Lincoln Park area. A six-bedroom, 11,000-square-foot mansion built by high-end custom homebuilder Metzler/Hull Development sold in February to a Delaware limited liability company for $8.35 million. And a newly built, 10,500-square-foot mansion in Lincoln Park sold for $8.3 million to a Delaware limited liability company whose managers are executives at the S.C. Johnson family's asset management firm.
The suburbs' biggest deals
Outside of Chicago, no suburban single-family home sales cracked the $10 million threshold, or even cleared $9 million. The highest-priced deal was the $8.5 million November sale to a still-unidentified buyer of a five-bedroom,11,200-square-foot French chateau-style mansion on 2.74 acres on Lake Michigan in Glencoe. The seller was private-equity executive Avy Stein, who paid $8.1 million for it in 1998.
Other high-priced residential deals in 2016 took place in Winnetka, whose most expensive sale was the $6.65 million sale to a land trust in August of a five-bedroom, 7,987-square-foot mansion on the lakefront in Winnetka. Also, a three-story, five-bedroom English manor-style mansion on Lake Michigan was sold Dec. 16 by owners Dana and Mary Thorne to an unidentified buyer for $5.35 million.
Evanston saw the highest-priced deal in the city's history, with the $4.9 million sale of a 10,000-square-foot Georgian Revival-style mansion overlooking Lake Michigan and the Burnham Shores Park.
And just before year-end, on Dec. 22, professional golfer Jeff Sluman and his wife, Linda, sold their 9,000-square-foot, custom-built mansion in east Hinsdale for $4 million — making it the highest-priced residential real estate sale in DuPage County in 2016.
The highest-priced listings
Although no area sales records took place in 2016, one listing record was set that likely won't be eclipsed for a long time. In early December, United Automobile Insurance Co. Chairman and CEO Richard Parrillo and his wife, Michaela, listed their seven-bedroom, 25,000-square-foot Lincoln Park mansion for $50 million. The previous record-high asking prices in the Chicago area were the $32 million asking price for the full-floor, 89th-floor penthouse atop Trump Tower, which sold for $17 million, and the $32 million that the owners of the "Le Grand Reve" mansion in Winnetka once had sought. Le Grand Reve remains on the market for $12.999 million.
Other noteworthy listings in 2016 included rocker Richard Marx's decision to relist his Lake Bluff mansion — which he first listed in 2014 for $18 million — for $13.99 million. Marx later reduced his asking price to $11.99 million. The International College of Surgeons' 10-bedroom, 12,000-square-foot French chateau-inspired mansion at 1516 N. Lake Shore Drive, which first was listed for $17 million in September 2015, underwent two price cuts — first to $15.75 million and then to its present $13 million asking price.
A look ahead: Will Jordan finally find a buyer?
Will any mansion sale in 2017 top the Chicago area's record, which was Groupon co-founder Eric Lefkofsky's $19.5 million purchase of a lakefront mansion in Glencoe in 2014? And beyond any records, a major question in 2017 involves basketball legend Michael Jordan's Highland Park lair.
In March 2017, His Airness will mark five years that he has been trying to sell his 56,000-square-foot Highland Park mansion. Jordan first listed the mansion and its 7-acre property in March 2012 for $29 million, and subsequently reduced it to $21 million, $16 million and its current $14.855 million, along with an unsuccessful dalliance with the auction format in 2013 with a $13 million reserve.
Will MJ get more aggressive with his asking price in 2017?
Other deals to look for in 2017
Several celebrities own expensive homes that could come on the market in 2017. Former Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte, who left the Bears in February and now is with the New York Jets, paid $4.025 million in early 2015 for a five-bedroom, 9,000-square-foot mansion. Recently departed Cubs pitcher Jason Hammel, now a free agent, could list his two-story house in the Lakeview neighborhood's Southport Corridor, which he purchased for more than $2 million in early 2015. And former Cubs pitcher Sean Marshall still owns his 17-room, 7,419-square-foot house in Lincolnwood, which he purchased in 2011 for $1.365 million.
Several former Chicago Blackhawks also may try to unload their North Side homes. For more than a year, former Chicago Blackhawks left wing Patrick Sharp and his wife have rented out their 13-room, 7,300-square-foot brick and limestone mansion in the Southport Corridor, which they purchased in 2012 for $2.95 million. Former Blackhawks defenseman Sheldon Brookbank, who left the team in 2014 and later played in Russia, Finland and Cleveland, continues to own a four-bedroom, 4,200-square-foot house in the Roscoe Village neighborhood, which he bought in 2012 for exactly $1 million.
Next year also may see the sales of some high-priced celebrity homes already on the market, including Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane's two-bedroom Trump Tower unit, currently listed for $2.15 million; former Chicago Bears linebacker Julius Peppers' five-bedroom, 8,000-square-foot Highland Park mansion, listed for $2.399 million; former Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng's Northbrook mansion, available for $1.95 million; and retired Bears linebacker Lance Briggs' six-bedroom mansion in Northfield, listed for $2.499 million.
Finally, with President Barack Obama exiting the White House on Jan. 20 and moving his family into a rental house in Washington, D.C., it's unclear what will happen to his longtime mansion in Chicago's Kenwood neighborhood. The soon-to-be-ex-president purchased it for $1.65 million in 2005.
Source Chicago Tribune