Beachy Keen in Edgewater
List Price: $1.495 million
Sale Price: $1.2 million
The Property: Behind the crazy glass, steel, and brick geometry of this Edgewater townhouse lies a distinctive space: a 10-room home from which residents can walk right out onto the northernmost tip of Lincoln Park and the park’s farthest-north beach, Kathy Osterman Beach.
My exterior shot hardly captures the relationship between the townhouse and its setting, but you can see it in the photo (below right), provided by listing agent Tim Salm. The living room seems ready to burst out between the steel lines and into the park.
“It’s like having a single-family home right on the water. All your windows look out into the park and the lake,” Salm says. The views surpass anything I’ve seen on the lakefront, because usually you have to be in a highrise to get that much view. Here, you’re at ground level.” Smoked glass prevents people using the park and the Lakefront Trail, whose northern terminus is right outside, from seeing in.
The building has a second unit whose beach-facing end looks like this, but it’s significantly smaller. This home encompasses more than 5,000 square feet of space in what were two separate units when the building was completed in the mid-1980s. (I’ve been unable to determine who was the architect or builder; if anyone knows, please post in the comments below.) According to the Cook County Recorder of Deeds, the owner of the end unit bought the next one inland in 1995 and joined the two.
Scott Silver bought the combined units in 2001, according to the Recorder. Several years later, according to Salm, “he gutted the whole thing and re-made it.” That renovation included rationalizing the joined floor plan and rebuilding the in-home elevator. The home now has four full levels and a fifth partial level, Salm says. The master suite fills one entire level, and an outdoor terrace sits atop the glassy living room.
But these features pale compared to the fact that “you can walk right out to the beach,” Salm says. “That’s so rare in Chicago [homes].” There are a few in Rogers Park, Edgewater, and South Shore, but according to Salm’s research, none as large as this home.
The property went on the market July 10 and was under contract a month later, although the sale did not close until October 19. I could not locate Silver to request comment on the home.
Price Points: More typical of the building is this three-bedroom unit that sold for $332,500 last May.
Silver paid $865,000 for the combined units 11 years ago, according to the Recorder. (The prior owner had paid $345,000 for the beach-facing unit in 1990 and $190,000 for the interior unit in 1995, for a total of $535,000.) Salm would not speculate on how much Silver spent on the subsequent renovation, so it’s not possible to say whether the owner profited in the sale.
The final sale price was 80 percent of the asking price.