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Multimillion-Dollar Home Sales Ended with a Bang in 2017

High-end real estate purchases went from middling to record-breaking by year’s end.

Ken Griffin’s new digs   Rendering: Courtesy of JDL Development

It looked like a ho-hum year for luxury real estate. Nearly all the most expensive houses that sold dragged on the market for months and went for well below the original asking prices. And then, in early January, a shock: News broke that the richest man in Illinois, Ken Griffin, had quietly laid out an extraordinary $58.75 million in November for the top four floors at 9 West Walton Street—the biggest residential real estate deal in the metro area ever, by a wide margin. Here’s a peek at that and the rest of the top 10 sales in 2017.

1 $58.75 million

9 W. Walton St.
The units that Citadel CEO Ken Griffin scooped up—totaling more than 25,000 square feet—are still unfinished. So it’s anyone’s guess how many bedrooms, bathrooms, and grand salons he’ll pack into his floors of the new building. (Other residents start moving into No. 9 Walton in March.)

1547 N. Dearborn Pkwy.
Photo: Positive Image

2 $12 million

1547 N. Dearborn Pkwy.
Four years after listing her limestone-clad, 12-bedroom Gold Coast residence with an $18.75 million price tag, philanthropist Ann Lurie (as in Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital) sold it to the neighboring Latin School of Chicago in December. The school will have a head start transforming it into offices—it’s already got a dozen bathrooms.

3 $9 million

210 S. Ridge Rd., Lake Forest
This 47-acre former farm—which includes a historic Howard Van Doren Shaw–designed mansion that supposedly inspired The Great Gatsby—is set to be redeveloped into 34 properties. So we beat on …

4 $7.5 million (tie)

52 E. Bellevue Pl.
Husband-and-wife developers Anita Lisek and Bart Przyjemski of Noah Properties overhauled this Gold Coast mansion in 2016 with a sauna, an elevator, and LED lighting everywhere. They sold the souped-up property in October to a rumored heir to the Red Bull energy drink fortune, who ostensibly will have no trouble staying awake for all-night movie marathons in the home’s theater.

5 $7.5 million (tie)

15 Linden Ave., Wilmette
The listing for this sprawling North Shore manse, which sold in November, described it as the “ultimate powerhouse lakefront home.” Sounds like hyperbole, until you consider that the five-­bedroom house sits on almost a full acre of Lake Michigan shoreline.

6 $7.2 million

542 W. Grant Pl.
A total gut reno turned this 19th-century structure, which sold in January 2017, into the most expensive former dairy barn ever. Today, where cows once moseyed, there are five bedrooms, seven bathrooms, and a sculpture of a giraffe.

159 E. Walton Pl.
Photo: Coldwell Banker

7 $6.5 million

159 E. Walton Pl.
This full-floor, traditionally appointed unit (butler’s pantry, anyone?) in Chicago’s historic Palmolive Building sold in September for just $500,000 below its original asking price.

261 E. Onwentsia Rd., Lake Forest
Photo: Sotheby’s International Realty

8 $6.4 million

261 E. Onwentsia Rd., Lake Forest
This eight-bedroom house, sold in October, is a sanctuary—literally. It was built with stone from the same quarry that supplies the Vatican. (Also doesn’t hurt that it’s on a three-acre lot.)

9 $6.19 million

973 Sheridan Rd., Winnetka
Surprise! It’s another Lurie house, this one a gargantuan Mediterranean-style estate built in 1991 for Ann and her first husband, Robert. Despite lake views from nearly every window, it spent five years bouncing on and off the market before selling in September.

1922 N. Howe St.
Photo: @Properties

10 $5.85 million

1922 N. Howe St.
Yeah, this almost-new house (built in 2016) has fancy appliances, high-end finishes, yadda yadda yadda. The even better part? Between the yard and rooftop terrace, it’s got 2,600 square feet of outdoor space.

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