Sale of the Week - Gold Coast gem

Neighborhood: Gold Coast, Chicago
List price: $12 million
Sale price: $11 million

Desotw1040907 The Property: This imposing stone mansion-23 rooms in all-is a relic of Lake Shore Drive’s early days as an avenue dotted with opulent single-family homes. Built in 1890 in the Richardsonian Romanesque style, the house declined in the 20th century. When he bought it in 1989, says the entrepreneur Art Frigo, the place was “a mess and completely closed off, except for one large room.” Frigo also bought the similarly rundown mansion next door, paying $3.75 million for both places. He restored both, installing two lavish condos in each of the houses; when those failed to sell, he ended up living in one and renting the other three. Eventually he sold both condos in the neighboring house to a family who knitted them back together into one home. Now this house has sold as a single residence, too. “The market caught up to the house,” says Patty Navilio, Frigo’s real estate agent then and now. “Back when Art bought it, nobody wanted to live in 15,000 square feet, but now we’re in the era of the mega-house.”

The Seller: Frigo, whose entrepreneurial interests are numerous, says he now spends more time in Florida than Chicago. “I had to let go of the house,” he says, “but I didn’t want to.” After trying a few years ago to sell both units in this house as a package, Frigo decided to convert the mansion back into a single home. Once the work was completed, the house sold in five days in late March.

Buyer: Not identified in public records.

Sales agents: Patty Navilio and Mary Bennett, Koenig & Strey GMAC

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