The Location: Old Town, Chicago
The Listing: An expansive 19-room condominium-about four times as large as neighboring units-on the top two floors of a seven-year-old seven-story building on Sedgwick Street south of North Avenue. A private elevator entrance opens onto a two-story reception room dominated by a grand marble staircase with iron handrails and a giant picture window that frames a view of the Sears Tower. The kitchen is designed for entertaining grandly, the second family room has onyx floors, and the rooftop deck is immense. The surrounding neighborhood is changing from the hardscrabble life of Cabrini-Green nearby to the clean-scrubbed look exemplified by the new Dominick’s store on Division Street.
The Asking Price: $4.19 million. The seller, who has owned the home since 2001, listed it in mid-2005 with Baird & Warner’s Dana DiPasquale. Deal Estate walked through the property with three other real-estate agents, who each made a hypothetical offer.
Although Newberger savored the kitchen and the perfect-for-parties floor plan, she noted that a “property is never in a vacuum.” The slightly rough-edged environs, she said, don’t justify a price that breaks down to $599 per square foot. “They’re going for that in the Gold Coast, but I don’t think they will in this mixed area.”
Her Best Offer: $3.4 million
Koenig & Strey
“There is a lot of flash but no practicality,” said Joyce, pointing to the laundry room’s midrange appliances seated on stylish granite floors. “A hip young couple might fall in love with this space, but empty nesters are going to want substance with the glamour. They don’t want the bathroom door hitting the toilet when you open it.”
Her Best Offer: $2.2 million
Lautt spotted water damage on the roof and sun blisters on some interior paint, but his larger concern was the location. “It’s a drawback,” said Lautt. “There’s not much to walk to outside your front door. People in this price range are expecting more in terms of neighborhood. This neighborhood is going there, but it might [take another] five or eight years.”
His Best Offer: $3.2 million
List price: $10.8 million
A brilliantly lit house with an eye-popping price tag
This opulent Deerfield mansion contains lots of antique chandeliers and sconces, collected by the home’s owners-Richard and Nora Lewis-during trips to Paris, London, and New Orleans. Working with their interior designer, the Lewises deftly deployed the light fixtures and other pieces throughout the 24 rooms of their house, which they had bought in 1989. The residence-which incorporates part of a 19th-century orphanage once on the site-has seven bedrooms, ten bathrooms, a nearly all-white ballroom, and a paneled library. With their two children now grown, the Lewises have listed it with Mimi Bass and Andi Dorn of Koenig & Strey GMAC. The asking price, $10.8 million, is nearly five times as much as Deerfield’s highest recorded sale price of $2.3 million, paid this past February, according to the Multiple Listing Service of Northern Illinois, for an 11-room house two miles from the Lewises’.
Photography: Chris Guillen, VHT