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Two Chicago Celebrities Finally Unloaded Their Homes (At Big Discounts)

Ex-CEO Bill Wrigley and ex-Bull Brad Miller have both had properties on the market for years. Buyers finally came up with the cash for each one last week.

The recently sold former house of Brad Miller

Photos: Dennis Rodkin

The recently sold home of former Bull Brad Miller.

List Price (Wrigley): $3.5 million
Sale Price: $2.5 million

List Price (Miller): $879,000
Sale Price: $815,000

The Properties: Two celebrity-owned properties that had struggled to get sold finally got unloaded last week—both at considerable discounts.

On Tuesday, former Wrigley CEO Bill Wrigley sold the last piece of a full floor at the upper-crust 65 E. Goethe that he had bought in 2002 for $9.775 million. In 2011, after opting not to finish out the 13,200 square feet of raw space as a single home, Wrigley sold 9,900 square feet of it off for $6.7 million. He had had the remaining 3,300 square feet on the market since then, at an asking price of $3.5 million.

65 E. Goethe
65 E. Goethe, where Bill Wrigley just sold 3,300 square feet for $2.5 million.

On Thursday, Brad Miller who played for the Chicago Bulls in 2000–2002 and again in 2009–2010, closed the sale of a Highland Park home he’d had on the market since September 2010. By the time of the sale, he was asking $879,000, but that was after a series of price cuts from his original ask: $1.25 million.

Both sellers had met with frustration trying to get the properties sold. Jim Kinney, the listing agent for Wrigley, said that after the larger piece, containing the east and north exposures—sold, several offers rolled in for the west-facing remainder, but “they were all complicated deals” that Wrigley turned down. When the $2.5 million offer came in this spring, “It was clean, for cash,” Kinney says.

Miller’s ride must have felt like a roller coaster. He paid $1.09 million for the newly-built 12-room house in March 2009, buying from a builder who was near losing it to the bank, Miller’s real estate agent, Mary Jane Serene, later told me. Since listing it for sale in September 2010, Miller has had a renter in it who wanted to buy (but lost financing). He had two other offers that fell apart. Then, he cut the price dramatically.

“We had to kiss a lot of frogs before we found our prince,” Serene says. After the last potential purchaser’s financing fell through, the house got snapped up in its first day back on the market, Serene says.

Price Points: Miller’s final sale price was a 25 percent loss from his 2009 purchase price. He had more invested in it than the purchase price—after buying it from the distressed builder, he did some finishing and upgrading—but Serene has declined to disclose how much more. Nevertheless, she says that Miller “was happy with” the final sale.

Meanwhile, add Wrigley’s $2.5 million sale last week to the $6.7 million sale of the larger portion in 2011 for a total sale price of $9.2 million. His loss was 5.8 percent, but that’s not counting whatever it cost to carry the property for 11 years.

Listing Agents: Jim Kinney (for Wrigley) of Baird & Warner, 312-981-2081 and jim.kinney@bairdwarner.com. Mary Jane Serene of Keller Williams, 312-388-9668.

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