Photo: Dennis Rodkin
List Price: $1,395,000
Sale Price: $1,342,500
The Property: This graciously updated 19th-century row house in Lincoln Park sold in eight days. One of its sellers, on the other hand, has been waiting for months to get a deal sealed.
James W. Brewster, Jr., is a former Obama “bundler” whom the president nominated last spring to be the U.S. ambassador to the Dominican Republic. But because he’s gay, religious leaders there denounced his selection. In July, opponents in the Dominican Republic, which is 70 percent Catholic, organized “Black Monday” protests of the choice of Brewster for the post.
As of last week, Brewster had yet to be confirmed. The sale of the house, which had gone under contract in early June, closed Sept. 12.
Brewster and his partner, Bob Satawake, bought the house in 2003 for $875,000. according to the Cook County Recorder of Deeds. The house was livable at the time but needed updating, says Satawake, who’s a real estate agent. The bathrooms had last been done in the 1970s, he says, and the plumbing, electric, and sewer service were dated as well.
But much of the home’s vintage charm was intact. “The plaster moldings, the extra-wide wood trim, the hand-carved staircase—all of these things done in the 1880s were still in the house,” Satawake says. After the renovations, the home had two bedrooms on the second floor and two in the basement, a charming little rear garden with an outdoor fireplace, and a roof deck, all seen in the listing photos.
“It has that quaint, romantic feeling when you walk in,” says Tommy Hicks, the Jameson Sotheby’s agent who sold the house for Brewster and Satawake. It’s in a prime part of Lincoln Park, a short walk from the zoo, and with all the shopping and dining of Armitage, Lincoln, and Clark all around.
The sellers aren’t yet identified in public records of the sale.
Price Points: The home went on the market May 29, with an asking price of $1.395 million. Three competing offers came in within a few days, and on June 5 the home went under contract. Satawake says he was pleased with the swiftness of the deal: “I knew if we priced it appropriately, we’d get offers in the first few days on the market,” he says. “Information [about home values] is so available and so transparent, if you overprice it, the [buyers] know and they don’t come.”