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Sale of the Week: Wax In, Wax Out at Chicago’s Olympia Centre

List Price: $1,299,000
Sale Price: $1,075,000
The Property: H. Fisk Johnson, the fifth-generation CEO of S. C. Johnson—the Racine, Wisconsin, consumer-products company behind Raid!, Pledge, Glade, and other brands—has sold his condo on the 51st floor of Olympia Centre (that’s the tapered red tower, at Chicago and Michigan avenues, with Neiman Marcus at its base). Johnson has had a home in the building for 20 years. The seven-room condo has two…

List Price: $1,299,000
Sale Price: $1,075,000
The Property: H. Fisk Johnson, the fifth-generation CEO of S. C. Johnson—the Racine, Wisconsin, consumer-products company behind Raid!, Pledge, Glade, and other brands—has sold his condo on the 51st floor of Olympia Centre (that’s the tapered red tower, at Chicago and Michigan avenues, with Neiman Marcus at its base). Johnson has had a home in the building for 20 years. The seven-room condo has two bedrooms and views south and west—“very high, very gorgeous views,” says Pamela Miles, one of two Rubloff agents who represented the property. The condo had received little updating since the building opened in 1986, Miles says, and still had its original “standard white kitchen.” The deal closed on December 30th.

Johnson is the great-great grandson of Samuel Curtis Johnson Sr., who founded the company in 1886 as a parquet flooring company and later expanded into wax for those floors. With both an MBA and a doctorate in physics, H. Fisk Johnson joined the family firm in 1987. The next year he bought his first condo at Olympia Centre, a 46th-floor unit for which he paid $390,000, according to public records. In 1995, he bought this larger 51st-floor condo, paying $1,025,000, and then sold the other one for $570,000. In 2000, he became S. C. Johnson’s chairman and chairman of the board, and in 2004 he added the title CEO.

According to information at the Cook County Recorder of Deeds,  Johnson bought a single-family home in Lincoln Park for $1.8 million in 2006. He didn’t list this condo for sale until October 2008. Johnson declined to comment.

Price Points: After owning the condo for 13 years, Johnson made a profit of only $50,000, or 4.8 percent. Miles attributes the low sale price not only to the current sag in the real-estate market, but also to the condo’s “tired” condition. She says it needs extensive updating. “Buyers today have so many options, and most of them don’t want to wait while the work is being done,” Miles says. “They want to be able to move right in.” A 38th-floor unit with a similar floor plan and an interior that needed even more work sold earlier in 2008 for $1.25 million—or $175,000 more than Johnson’s unit. “Times were better then,” says Miles.

Listing Agents: Pamela Miles (312-368-5322) and Donna Shanley (312-358-5341), of Rubloff Residential
 

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