List Price: $5.75 million
Sale Price: $5.78 million
List Price: $4.75 million
Sale Price: $4.154 million
The Properties: A 13-room mansion on an extra-large lot on North State Parkway sold August 23 for a little more than its asking price—and for nearly eight times what its sellers had paid for the place in 1994.
Built in 1885, the home (pictured at right) has a rare (for the Gold Coast) 30-by-130-foot lot, six bedrooms, and seven-plus baths, and an air of elegant refinement, as seen in the photos that accompanied the listing. It has large rooms, including a deep living room made up of what would originally have been two separate parlors, and a big master bedroom spanning the width of the second floor. Its features include the murals and built-in china cabinets on the dining room walls and the vintage-look paneling and wood ceiling beams in the third-floor den.
Don and Aline Funk paid $750,000 for the home in 1994, according to the Cook County Recorder of Deeds. Don Funk is the third generation of his family to be involved in the seed corn business; his grandfather, Edward J. Funk, founded the Super Crost Seed Co. in Kentland, Indiana, in 1935. Don Funk and his now-deceased brother, Robert, took over the family firm, Edward J. Funk & Sons, in 1971. (This is not the same company as Funk Bros. Seed Company, a Bloomington, Illinois, company that is now part of Novartis Seeds.) Don and Aline Funk own Channel Bio, an independent seed company. I could not reach them for comment, and their agent, Pamela Sage, declined to be interviewed for this story.
On August 29, another Gold Coast mansion sold, though at a steep discount from its original asking price. The 16-room mansion (pictured at right), built in 1889 on Astor Street, went for $4.154 million. That’s 87 percent of the $4.75 million that was being asked in July, when the home went under contract. But it’s just 75 percent of the $5.5 million that its seller, David Fox—vice chairman of J.P. Morgan Chase and head of the company’s investment banking in the Midwest and Canada—was asking when he first put it on the market in May 2010. I could not reach Fox for comment.
Price Points: The Funks’ home went on the market in April and was under contract in just over a month (although the deal didn’t close until August). That it sold swiftly and for a little more than its asking price suggests that there might have been multiple bidders (though I could not confirm that). It’s also possible that the buyers—who aren’t yet identified in public records—threw in extra money to buy some of the home’s furnishings.
Photograph: (Astor Street mansion) Todd Urban