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Elm Street Just Can’t Hit the $4 Million Mark

This red stone mansion sold for $2.45 million—just 58 percent of its price three years ago. The same thing happened next door. What’s the problem on Elm Street?

Photo: Dennis Rodkin

List Price: $2.8 million
Sale Price: $2.45 million
The Property: The sellers of this scrumptious red stone mansion (at right in the photo) from 1887 wanted $4.2 million when they put in on the market three years ago, but recently settled for 58 percent of that. The sale of the seven-bedroom, 6,400-square-footer closed Aug. 12 for $2.45 million.

These sellers aren’t alone: Next door is a graystone mansion (at left in the photo) whose sellers wanted $4.5 million in 2010. They lost it in foreclosure in 2012 and last December the lender sold it for $2.12 million. And across the street, this red stone beauty tried to top $4 million: the asking price was $4.8 million back in 2008 but is now $3.67 million.

Lovely as it is with its stately old mansions, Oak Street Beach at one end and Rush Street’s dining, drinking and romancing at the other, Elm doesn’t seem to be a $4 million street.

You can’t blame the sellers of today’s property for hoping. According to the Cook County Recorder of Deeds, Ronald and Ann Waters paid $2.25 million for the home in 2000; that was shortly after he became the chief financial officer of the William Wrigley Jr. gum company. They then put the home through extensive renovations. According to Meredith Manni Meserow, the listing agent on the recent sale, that included redoing all the infrastructure of the home—plumbing, electric, air conditioning, and heat—as well as creating a kitchen/great room,” which she says is “that wonderful family space that we don’t see in most of these 100-year-old Gold Coast homes.” They preserved vintage crown moldings and other details, she says. Also left unchanged were the “generous room sizes” and high ceilings, all visible in the listing photos.

Manni Meserow would not say how much the renovations cost, but she conceded that a sale at $200,000 more than they had paid for the home thirteen years earlier did not cover all of the sellers’ investment in the property.

Public records identify the buyers as Nicholas Davies and Katherine Daley, a granddaughter of former Chicago mayor Richard J. Daley through his son Michael. I could not reach the buyers or the sellers.

Price Points: Manni Meserow was not the agent for the house until March of this year, when the asking price was $2.8 million, but she says there’s at least one reason it didn’t sell up in that range: there’s no garage. The homes on the south side of Elm have no alley and no other accommodation for parking. “I’m hard-pressed to find any house on the Gold Coast that has sold for anywhere near $4 million without parking,” she said.

The red house across the street? The one whose price has come down below $4 million? It has a two-car garage.

Listing Agent: Meredith Manni Meserow of Koenig & Strey Real Living, 312-944-8900 and meredith.mannimeserow@realliving.com
 

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