Take a guided tour of the condo with views of the Drake Hotel, elaborate millwork and the kitchen with a wall of glass.
List Price: $2,495,000
The Property: This two-bedroom condo at the landmark Palmolive Building has been sumptuously finished with extensive millwork, gracious chandeliers, and a home automation system that controls everything from the indoor temperature to the blackout shades on the windows.
Jeffrey Sprecher and Kelly Loeffler bought roughly 2,500 square feet of space on the fifth floor of the Palmolive in April 2007, when the former office building was being renovated and converted to condos. They paid about $1.66 million for the space, and then, according to Janet Owen, the agent now representing it for sale, “spent another $1 million finishing it.” The price of the millwork alone must have been enormous: the two detailed mantels, the richly paneled library, and the kitchen’s teak island are superb, all done by Clive Christian, a company that Owen describes as “the Bentley of woodwork.”
Four of the home’s eight rooms—the living room, the dining room, a guest bedroom, and a 312-square-foot master bedroom—flank the north side of the building, with tall windows looking onto the Drake Hotel. The kitchen stands next to the dining room, with a wall of glass doors between them that make it possible to either blend or separate the two spaces, depending on the tone of the evening. The closets are relatively small, but then, this was intended to be Sprecher and Loeffler’s pied-à-terre, not their full-time residence.
Sprecher is the founder and CEO of Intercontinental Exchange, an electronic commodities exchange known as ICE; Loeffler is its vice-president for investor relations. In the spring and summer of 2007, the Atlanta-based ICE was attempting a merger with the Chicago Board of Trade—which eventually merged with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange instead. Despite that, Owen says, Sprecher and Loeffler “are doing a lot more business here in Chicago now,” so they have bought a larger unit at the Palmolive. They listed this fifth-floor unit for sale in April.
Price Points: Built in 1929 as offices for the Palmolive soap company (which became Colgate-Palmolive-Peet) and later serving as the headquarters of Playboy, the 37-story building at 919 North Michigan Avenue is one of Chicago’s jazziest Art Deco towers. Since converting to condos, the building has become a much sought-after residential address. Of the 39 units whose sales have been recorded with Midwest Real Estate Data (which tracks residential sales in northern Illinois), 19 have been for $2 million or more. The two that have sold for nearest this unit’s asking price are: a three-bedroom, 2,832-square-foot unit on the 15th floor that sold in November 2006 for $2.495 million; and a three-bedroom, 3,259-square-foot unit on the 16th floor that sold for $2.54 million in December 2006. I could not determine how the quality of the finishes in those units compared to this one.