For a closer look at the house, launch the photo gallery »
List Price: $1.4 million
The Property: Lakeshore Place, once known as the American Furniture Mart, is a 1920s behemoth on the lakefront that’s heavy and dark. On its 11th floor is a condo that is the exact opposite: airy and light.
After buying the condo in the early 2000s, Nancee Martin, an advertising executive, and Dan Jensen, a furniture designer, renovated the space with an eye toward lightening up its previous look, which at the time had a dark pink décor and thick room dividers. They began in the foyer, with a neon installation that Jensen designed in the style of Dan Flavin. It’s an innovative way to brighten an underlit, interior part of the floor plan. But it also paves the way for the real light show, the wall of east-facing windows that invites sunshine into the large main space, which functions as living room, dining room, and study.
As you will see in the video, the condo overlooks Lake Michigan off Ohio Street Beach. On an overcast day like the one when we visited, the pale water and sky seem to connect with the white walls of the condo, inducing a feeling of endless space. But even on a sunnier day, there’s lots of room here, even in the kitchen, which has been pushed back toward the interior of the building to further open up the main space.
The condo has three bedrooms; one of them, tucked at the back of the floor plan and with no windows, is now used as a den. The master suite—with a very large dressing room and sharply outfitted bath—and second bedroom both have lake views. There’s also a large, shelf-lined alcove that could serve as an office for fans of the stand-up desk.
The sellers have largely relocated to Florida. “We’re too old to be cold,” Martin says, adding, though, that their Sunshine State view isn’t as nice as the one from this condo. That’s not the only thing she will miss about Lakeshore Place. “It’s like a town within one building,” she says, with restaurants, a hardware store, and medical offices all on hand. “In the winter, you don’t have to leave the building unless you want to.”
Price Points: Marla Hori, one of two agents representing the condo and a longtime resident of the building, says that a few of its condos with the same square footage (about 2,800) as today’s property have sold in recent years for under $1 million. But they didn’t have lake views or newer finishes, as this one does. She pointed to similarly priced sales for condos of that size at Ten East Delaware, the Palmolive Building, and 270 E. Pearson. “We’re priced in the right ballpark” she says.