Photography: Chris Guillen
The secluded but fast-developing Lake County suburb of Kildeer hit a major milestone late last year when it notched its first $2-million house sale.
The developer Michael DeMar-a founding partner of Fidelity Wes Builders, which puts up high-end homes in Kildeer, Long Grove, and Buffalo Grove-originally built the place for his family in 2003. He hired the architect David Dolby, of ALA Associates in Crystal Lake, to design the 14-room house, which sits on a hilltop overlooking a swath of ponds and open lands. “It all came together just right, the house and the lot,” says DeMar. The house has five bedrooms (each with its own bath), seven fireplaces, and a screened porch that overlooks the sloping backyard and several tall oak trees. The name of the new owner had not appeared in public records at press time.
According to the Multiple Listing Service of Northern Illinois, Kildeer’s top sale had previously been $1.94 million, the price paid in January 2005 for a house in the same subdivision as the new recordholder. Other custom-built or privately sold properties in town may have gone for more, but any such transactions would not have been recorded by the MLSNI, which tracks most house sales in metropolitan Chicago.
Photography: Chris Guillen
Water and Woods
North Shore residence sits between Lake Michigan and tree-lined ravines
This 12-room colonial stands like a beacon overlooking a wooded bend in Sheridan Road-an impression underscored by a wing of the house that resembles a giant lantern. Rocky and Lynda Barber, who bought the place in 1992, sold it this past December for $7.475 million.
The house, which was built around 1909, is situated between its own 240-foot stretch of private beach on Lake Michigan (reached via three flights of stairs) and a complex of ravines on the south and west. “You can’t get both of those views in many places,” says Rocky.
After buying the house from John Eyler-who had left Hartmarx in Chicago to become president and CEO of the toy retailer F. A. O. Schwarz-the Barbers commissioned the architect Paul Konstant to design a sizable addition (the lantern-shaped section) that includes a family room and a belowground garage. In 2005, the Barbers moved to Los Angeles, where Rocky is a senior executive for RNC Genter Capital Management. The couple put the house on the market in April and finalized the sale in December. At press time, the buyer’s name had not appeared in public records.
Sears towers, past and present
Over the past decade, residential development has transformed Homan Square, the eight or so square blocks in the North Lawndale neighborhood that were once the world headquarters of Sears, Roebuck & Co. Thanks in part to the efforts of the developer Charles H. Shaw (who died this past January), townhouses, condos, and a big new Chicago Park District field house now enliven this West Side enclave. That should bode well for the original Sears Tower, the 100-year-old 14-story building, with a lovely Italianate crown, at 900 South Homan Avenue. Scott Maesel, the Sussex & Reilly Commercial agent marketing the building for its investor owners, says plans are in the works to sell individually each of the building’s 2,400-square-foot floors, although it’s not yet certain whether they will go as residential or office space. “The idea of owning a full floor of the original Sears Tower ought to go over really well,” Maesel predicts.
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