Another House Sale Related to Blagojevich Scandal
List Price: $1.87 million
Sale Price: $1.55 million
The Property: This 103-year-old Tudor-style home in Glencoe was sold last week by P. Nicholas Hurtgen, a former investment banker involved in the influence-peddling scandal surrounding former governor Rod Blagojevich. The sale by Hurtgen and his wife, Catherine, is, by my count, the fifth sale of a Chicago-area home linked to the sprawling Blagojevich corruption drama.
A onetime Bear Stearns executive, Hurtgen was arrested in 2005 and charged with three counts of mail fraud, three of wire fraud, and one of extortion. The charges stemmed from his alleged involvement in a scheme to block state approval for an expansion at Naperville’s Edward Hospital unless the project hired a construction magnate with ties to Blagojevich.
Hurtgen pleaded guilty in February 2009, but he withdrew his guilty plea after a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court narrowed the range of the federal honest-services fraud law. Prosecutors have since dropped six of the charges against Hurtgen. There has been no announcement yet of a decision on the one remaining charge against him.
The home, designed by Robert Seyfarth, was built in 1908. According to the Cook County Recorder of Deeds, the Hurtgens bought the 13-room house in 1999 for $850,000. It has six bedrooms, beamed ceilings in the family room, a sun porch, two fireplaces, and a pergola over a south-facing terrace. According to the Hurtgens’ listing agent, Debbie Richwine, the house has a barrel ceiling in the front hall (a trademark Seyfarth touch) and a front staircase with a giant Palladian-style window on the landing overlooking the backyard. Through Richwine, the Hurtgens indicated that they would not discuss the sale.
Since late 2007, at least four other homes of people either directly involved in or tangentially connected to the Blagojevich case have also sold. They are:
• the Lincoln Park home of Joseph Cari, once a high-flying Democratic fundraiser, which sold for $3 million in December 2007;
• the 30-room Wilmette mansion, sold in March 2010, that had belonged to the political wheeler-dealer Tony Rezko before he lost it in foreclosure;
• the Glencoe home, sold in foreclosure in March 2010, that had belonged to a former Rezko partner who was not part of the influence-peddling scandal but who claimed that his financial collapse stemmed from Rezko’s failure to settle business debts; and
• the Burr Ridge mansion that had been the home of Chris Kelly—a Blagojevich fundraiser who committed suicide in 2009—that was sold in foreclosure in February 2011.
Still unsold is the Ravenswood Manor home of Blagojevich. Represented by the former governor’s wife, Patti, the house is listed at $1.07 million—or almost twice the $550,000 that the couple paid for it in 1999.
Price Points: The Hurtgen house went on the market in January with an asking price of $1.995 million. The price dropped to $1.87 million in July and $1.795 million in August. The house went under contract in mid-October and the sale closed November 7 to buyers not yet named in public records.
Listing Agent: Debbie Richwine of @Properties; 847-702-4633