List Price: $2.4 million
Sale Price: $2.275 million
The Property: The lawyer and politician Richard J. Phelan and his wife, Barbara, sold their 21st-floor condo at 840 North Lake Shore Drive on June 28th. The couple bought the eight-room, 2,909-square-foot condo in 2007 for $2 million. It has three bedrooms, each with its own bath, and a lavish kitchen (the prior owner was a chef, says Janet Owen, the selling agent; property records do not reveal the chef’s name). The Phelans redecorated the condo “to make it very easy on the eyes,” Owen says. “When you walked in, you immediately dialed down a little bit because it felt very calm, serene.”
The building is known for its high level of amenities, which include a dedicated wine cellar for each condo and a lobby-level coat room where guests can leave boots, umbrellas, and the like. All condos in the building look east to Lake Michigan and south over Lake Shore Park, but Owen says that the Phelans’ condo is on a high enough floor to also have views to the west and north. The condo comes with two deeded parking spaces. The Phelans did not respond to a request for comment. The buyers are not yet identified in public records.
As a lawyer, Richard Phelan defended Outboard Marine Corp. against charges that it had polluted Waukegan Harbor with PCBs, and he defended the city of Chicago against charges of discrimination filed by the Afro-American Patrolmen’s League. In Washington, D.C., he led the 1989 ethics investigation of Jim Wright, then the Speaker of the House. From 1990 to 1994, Phelan served as president of the Cook County Board, and in 1994 he ran unsuccessfully for governor. More recently, he had been a partner at the law firm Foley & Lardner.
Price Points: The Phelans have lived part-time in Florida for many years. Property records for Collier County, Florida, show that in late May 2010, they paid $1.175 million for a property one block from the clubhouse in Colliers Reserve Country Club in Naples. At about the same time, they put the Lake Shore Drive condo on the market with an asking price of $2.55 million, cut shortly afterward to $2.4 million. The condo went under contract a few days after the price cut. “The buyer thought it was priced right,” Owen says. “It works every time.”
Listing Agent: Janet Owen of Sudler Sotheby’s; 312-706-2382 or email@example.com