List Price: $2.3 million
Sale Price: $1.73 million
The Property: In early August, buyers picked up a shell of a home left unfinished since early 2009. Situated in a quiet, pedestrian-only enclave of new, large homes just a block off bustling Clark Street, the home was priced at $3.6 million when construction first began. But the builder opted to stop work when sales in the development lagged, and he later handed it over to his lender, First Bank & Trust Company of Illinois.
Although the shell had sat unfinished for a long stretch, “it was clean and dry inside,” says Danny Glick, the @Properties agent who had represented the home both for its builder and later for the lender. “It was very well built. What it needed was somebody with vision to undertake [finishing] it.”
The house had a completed brick and limestone exterior and a breezeway to a three-car garage on the alley. The interior was only framed out in wood, but the plans had called for four bedrooms, three baths, and a laundry room on the second floor; an elevator; and a big living room, according to the listing.
The house is in a cluster of what was to be ten grand homes facing a landscaped pedestrian court (see photo at lower right), complete with a fountain directly in front of this residence. (The homes would all have garages in the rear, on the alleys.) The pedestrian enclave is at the core of Geneva Terrace Estates, a set of 22 homes that the builder Stuart Rose launched in 2005 on part of a site formerly occupied by a CTA bus barn. Rose ended up building seven houses and selling one lot to another builder. In 2011, Rose’s lender took back this unfinished home, some finished but unsold homes, and two empty lots.
The lot of today’s property is large for the city: 37.5 by 147 feet, compared to the norm of 25 by 125. The sale closed August 8.
Price Points: The exact purchase price was $1,737,500; Glick calculated that completing the house will cost about $1.3 million, making the total investment about $3.04 million. He estimates that when done, the house will be worth $3.4 million, based on sales of other homes in the enclave. According to Glick, the top-priced residence went for $4 million in 2007 or 2008, and the home across the way from this one went for $2.78 million earlier this year (it’s smaller, with less land and no elevator). I wondered whether an investor or an actual homeowner would take on completing the home with its potential profit of about 10 percent. Glick said a nondisclosure agreement prohibited him from revealing that, and public records do not yet identify the buyer.