Wicker Park’s Troubled Twins

List Price (house on the right in photo): $990,000
Sale Price: $959,000
The Property: These mirror-image twins in Wicker Park share more than their contemporary brick-and-glass style…

Wicker Park homes

List Price (house on the right in photo): $990,000
Sale Price: $959,000
The Property: These mirror-image twins in Wicker Park share more than their contemporary brick-and-glass style. Built in the mid-2000s with an eye toward selling for more than $1.65 million, both lingered on the market for a few years before being sold at a steep discount—and with some finishing left to be done.

The lender had the house on the right on the market for less than a week in January—and at $50,000 more than its builders’ agent had been asking just a month earlier. It has a two-story living room with a loft study overlooking it, floating metal staircases, dark cherry floors, and two decks off the master suite.

Millie Rosenbloom, the Baird & Warner agent who sold the home for the lender in a deal that closed February 10, says that despite being vacant since its 2008 completion, the house was in good shape, with no mold. “All that was missing were the kitchen appliances and the steamer for the steam shower in the master bath,” Rosenbloom adds. She estimates the cost to buy and install those items at about $50,000.

The final sale price was just 57 percent of the $1,647,900 that the builders wanted back in 2007. They had bought the site in 2004, when it held an older home, for $499,000.

Contemporary homes

The house next door, at left in the photo, sold in September for $950,000. It too had been priced at over $1.65 million a few years back. It was not yet in the hands of the lender when it was sold, but according to the listing posted at the time by Property Consultants’ Anthony Zaskowski, it was about 80 percent completed. At presstime, Zaskowski had not responded to a call asking what was left undone in that home.

The builders had bought that left-side lot for $495,000 in 2004. Their aim was to build a pair of “sophisticated [houses] with two-story drama and a lot of contemporary flair, but their timing was off,” says Rosenbloom, who did not deal with the original builders. “By the time the shells were up, the market was in the toilet.”

Price Points: On this block—a short walk from Milwaukee Avenue’s shopping and dining and the park called Wicker Park—most of the housing is red-brick workers’ cottages and other century-old structures. But directly across the street from these twins, builders also put up two other contemporary homes (right) whose stories also reflect the times. One sold new in 2006 for $1.825 million, and then three years later at a 15 percent discount. The other was sold unfinished by its lender in July 2010 for $850,000; finished and put back on the market later that year at $1,699 million, it sold in February 2011 for $1.475 million.

Listing Agent: Millie Rosenbloom; 312-980-1517 or millerosenbloom@gmail.com

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2 years ago
Posted by Dennis Rodkin

Tony Zaskowski, the agent who sold the left-hand house last fall, filled me in on what the home still needed at the time it was sold: The basement bathroom and one patio were incomplete, and no had been installed on any of the stairs handrails. The first two were $3,000-to-$5,000 items, Zaskowki says, but the last "is a big one." He estimated that the total cost to finish the house was about $25,000.

He also said the left-hand house was preferable to the right-hand house that sold last week because its siting means it gets much more sun in the interior and its views of the downtown skyline can't be blocked, while the house on the right would lose much of its view if the residents of the house on the left were to build a wall or a fence around their uppermost terrace.

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