Bill Wrigley sold his Lake Forest mansion for $5.6 million.
The numbers on house sales for the second half of 2011 are in, and the news isn’t good. Despite that, some residential real-estate transactions during that period still saw huge sums of money change hands. Three of the top five sales were in the city, and two were in Lake Forest; they ranged in price from $5.6 million to $6.7 million. Here are the eye-popping details.
The Gold Coast home above went for $5.78 million—nearly eight times its 1994 sale price.
On December 15, Bill Wrigley doubled his pleasure, selling two multimillion-dollar properties that he had been trying to unload for a couple of years. The former chewing-gum magnate sold two Gold Coast penthouse spaces at 65 East Goethe as a single unit for $6.7 million and a 16-room lakefront mansion in Lake Forest for $5.6 million. Wrigley’s two sales were among the five most expensive home sales in the area between July 1 and December 31, 2011, with the Goethe sale taking the top spot and the Lake Forest deal coming in fifth. Like most of the other properties on this list, they sold at steep discounts: In 2003, Wrigley paid $9.9 million for the Lake Forest estate and upward of $9.75 million on Goethe.
The second-highest sale price for the period came in July, when the venture capitalist Michael J. Ahern and his wife, Gayle, paid $6.35 million for a 5,500-square-foot condo occupying the entire 32nd floor of the Palmolive Building.
In August, a 13-room Gold Coast mansion built in 1885 went for $5.78 million. The sellers, Don and Aline Funk, got $30,000 more than they had been asking—and nearly eight times what they paid for the place in 1994. (The buyer is not identified in public records.)
The fourth-priciest sale was in July, when Tim and Gail Anderson sold the Lake Forest mansion known as Chimneys Cottage for $5.625 million—less than half of the nearly $12 million the couple had been asking when they put the 22-room house on the market in 2008. The 11,000-square-foot home includes a 1920s library addition by the architect Howard Van Doren Shaw.
Photography: (top) Chris Guillen; (right) Dennis Rodkin
Metro Chicago’s Other Top Sales
The top five home sales occurred in Cook and Lake Counties. Here are the priciest sales in the region’s other four counties:
DuPage County Ralph Faison, a tech exec who left town to take the CEO post at a company near Philadelphia, and his wife, Patricia, sold their 17-room Hinsdale house with an indoor pool (above) for $4.5 million in December. They paid $4.81 million for it in 2003.
Kane County After taking a high-level job at Sears, Sam Solomon paid $3.1 million for a six-bedroom 11,000-square-foot house with six fireplaces and an outdoor pool, spa, and waterfall. It was the highest price paid for a house in St. Charles since March 2006.
McHenry County A newly constructed residence on five wooded acres in Barrington Hills, originally priced at more than $3.5 million, was sold in September as a foreclosure for about $1.54 million. The seven-bedroom home comes with a 1,200-square-foot guesthouse.
Will County A 10,000-square-foot home in Mokena sold for $1.84 million in July. The five-bedroom, nine-bathroom house—which also has a theatre, a study, and an indoor basketball court—had been listed for nearly $2.6 million.
Photograph: Dennis Rodkin