List Price: $7.349 million
Sale Price: $5.1 million
The Property: A lakefront house in Highland Park was sold on December 5 for $5.1 million. That’s just 58 percent of the $8.7 million that the seller, Maryclaire Collins, was asking for the home when she first listed it in the fall of 2010. But it still comes in as Highland Park’s priciest sale since 2007.
Collins bought the 2.7-acre lakefront parcel, which at the time contained an older home, in 2002 for $4.2 million. Today’s six-bedroom, 8,688-square-foot house, designed by Becker Architects, was completed in 2006. Neither the architect, Richard Becker, nor Collins’s selling agent, Debbie Scully, would say how much it cost to build the house, which includes an indoor pool and a tram down to the property’s 272 feet of Lake Michigan shoreline. But going on the standard of $200 to $250 per square foot for construction costs, Collins likely spent between $1.73 million and $2.17 million. That would put her total investment in the property at between $5.93 million and $6.37 million. If that’s true, Collins took a loss on the recent sale.
Situated at the end of a private lane off Sheridan Road, the house opens wide toward the lake (as you can see in this LXTV video). It’s an airy, high-ceilinged space with cedar and stone accents. Its handsome finishes include the barn-style sliding interior doors and stainless steel panels in place of a staircase balustrade. There is an elevator, a screened porch off the master bedroom that faces the lake, and a naturalistic landscape by the Garden Consultants. “It’s contemporary but very warm, with a lot of wood and really nice materials,” Scully said. “It’s got beautiful grounds, and then you go inside and it’s all just wonderfully done.” She said the home was designed to be completely accessible by people with disabilities.
Collins’s husband died in 2000. With her two children grown, Collins is downsizing from the very large house, Scully said. Collins did not respond to a request for comment. The buyers are not yet identified in public records.
Price Points: Even after selling at a big discount, the home ranks among the highest-priced sales in Highland Park. Among the others: In October 2007, Jim and Wendy Abrams bought 17.5 acres from the developer who had planned to carve it up. It’s not clear what they paid, but the developer who sold it to them had paid $19 million for the property a year earlier. Also in 2007, a Highland Park mansion went for $11.2 million, to a trust that obscures the names of the individuals behind it. And in September 2003, the rocker Billy Corgan paid $7 million for a lakefront mansion designed by David Adler; that house is three doors up the lakefront from today’s property.
Photograph: Debbie Scully