List Price: $5.75 million
Sale Price: $5.25 million
The Property: On April 15th, the developer and socialite Fred Latsko sold this Gold Coast chateau with its extensive rehab still unfinished. Mary Bennett, the sales agent for Latsko and his wife, Julie, says that her clients planned to live in the house, “but it didn’t work out that way.” She says that the buyer—identified in public documents as Teresa Andresen—plans to finish the work on the property and move in. I could reach neither the Latskos nor Andresen for comment.
According to the Cook County Recorder of Deeds, Fred Latsko—the developer who last year moved Barneys New York to its new Oak Street location and is the current owner of Oprah Winfrey’s former Indiana farm—bought the Gold Coast property in 2006 for $3.5 million. He began a full-scale rehab, but when he sold the four-story, 10,700-square-foot house this month, its renovation was only partially completed and the place wasn’t habitable. “They had gutted the interior, put in new air-conditioning ducts and electrical, and framed out some [of the interior], but it wasn’t finished to drywall,” says Bennett. “It was sold as is.”
The Gold Coast mansion dates to 1899. When Latsko bought the place in 2006, it contained 11 apartments and was owned by Coe College, which had received the property as a bequest from the late K. Raymond Clark, a 1930 alumnus.
Fred Latsko is a principal in Structure Management Midwest LLC, whose projects include several newly constructed and rehabbed single-family homes, condos, and commercial properties in the Gold Coast and Lincoln Park neighborhoods. Julie Latsko is a co-owner of the Table Fifty-Two restaurant with the chef Art Smith.
Last fall, according to Crain’s Chicago Business,Fred Latsko faced lawsuits from the lenders of multimillion-dollar loans on two of his developments. Crain’s reported that a Latsko venture had been hit with a foreclosure on its $21-million portfolio of commercial properties, and that another lender was suing over Latsko’s personal guarantee of a $10-million loan that was past due. In January 2009, in one of his last acts as governor, Rod Blagojevich expunged the criminal records related to Latsko’s 1985 conviction for improperly using someone else’s credit card. In 1989, when he was governor, James Thompson had pardoned Latsko for the crime.
Price Points: Bennett says that the Latskos were at one time asking as much as $7.95 million for the property, “but that was for a completed home.” Additionally, though the sale price that appeared in listing documents was $5.25 million, the recorder’s documents indicate that the place actually sold for $4.926 million. Bennett says that the $324,000 difference covered money the Latskos had already paid toward as yet unfinished parts of the rehab (such as an elevator and a new staircase) and was separate from the transfer of the house itself.