List Price: $1.75 million
Sale Price: $1.6 million
The Property: This 18-room Burr Ridge mansion was the home of Christopher Kelly, the former Rod Blagojevich fundraiser who committed suicide in September 2009 just before going on trial with the former governor. Kelly and his wife, Carmen Kosti-Kelly, had paid $2.96 million for the property in January 2005, according to the Cook County Recorder of Deeds. In the foreclosure sale that closed last Monday, the house went for 55 percent of what the Kellys had paid six years earlier.
“It’s a lot of house for the money,” says Debbie Prodehl, the Coldwell Banker agent who sold the residence for Old Second National Bank, which had foreclosed on the $2.1 million mortgage after Christopher Kelly defaulted in March 2009. “It was left in beautiful shape for a foreclosed property. There was a gorgeous office with solid wood walls and ceiling, a beautiful master suite with a very large walk-in closet, the kitchen has cherry cabinets and granite and stone flooring, and there is a full finished basement with a theatre room and a wet bar.”
According to Prodehl’s listing sheet, the home has five bedrooms, five full and two partial baths, six fireplaces, a spiral walnut staircase, and a circular driveway. There’s a three-car garage and, according to Prodehl “a very private lot [that] probably was nicely landscaped, but that had been let go for a while.” (The house is in a gated community; I was not able to go see it, but the listing for the property contained these photos.) Prodehl would not identify the buyers, and they are not yet named in public records.
Kelly, whom my Chicago colleague Bryan Smith profiled last spring, had been a record-setting political fundraiser, raking in over $30 million for Blagojevich’s 2002 gubernatorial campaign. But in January 2009, shortly after Blagojevich was impeached, Kelly pled guilty to hiding financial transactions from the federal government and admitted he had used corporate funds to pay his gambling debts. At the time of his suicide in September 2009, he was no longer living in the Burr Ridge mansion, but was living with a girlfriend in a condo in the city.
Price Points: Prodehl says that the home was valued at about $3.4 million by its original builder, although records show the Kellys paid about $400,000 less than that. When Prodehl first put it on the market for the bank in September 2010, the asking price was $2.1 million; it then came down a few times, finally hitting its final asking price of $1.75 million on December 1st. It then sold quickly, going under contract on December 17th. “It got a lot of activity when we got it to that price,” she says. “I don’t know how many showings we had, but it was steady traffic.”
Listing Agent: Debbie Prodehl of Coldwell Banker; 708-301-4700
Photograph: (house) Courtesy of Debbie Prodehl, (Kelly) Chicago Tribune photo by Chris Walker