Forty million. That’s how much the 10,293-square-foot, customizable two-story penthouse in the Chicago Spire will cost. The asking price—roughly $4,000 per square foot—is the most ever for a Chicago condo. If completed as planned in 2011, the penthouse atop the twisting, 150-story Santiago Calatrava-designed tower, touted as the world’s tallest residential tower, will present 360-degree, floor-to-ceiling views of the city and the lake, as well as glimpses of Michigan, Indiana, and Wisconsin. Think $40 million is a lot—even for those views? Here’s what’s being asked for premium, top-of-the-market penthouses in other big cities in the United States.


Illustration: Courtesy of Shelbourne Development/Santiago Calatrava


WHERE: New York City

WHAT: Five-bedroom penthouse

HOW MUCH: $70 million

At a record-setting $70 million, the Hotel Pierre penthouse is expensive even by New York standards. The former ballroom at this prewar high-rise has been refashioned as a triplex unit with seven bathrooms, five fireplaces, and 360-degree views of the city. The New York Times proclaimed it “the world’s best” penthouse.


Photograph: Leonardo Media Services B.V.


WHERE: Philadelphia

WHAT: 15,000-sq.-ft. penthouse

HOW MUCH: $21 million

Upon completion, Mandeville Place, a proposed glass-clad 43-story condominium tower along the Schuylkill River, will stand as one of Philadelphia’s tallest buildings. The three-floor penthouse will have floor-to-ceiling windows and fit up to six bedrooms.


Illustration: Copyright Richard Meier & Parters Architects LLP and Bedrock Group, LLC


WHERE: San Francisco

WHAT: 10,000-sq.-ft. penthouse

HOW MUCH: $20 million

Upon completion in 2009, the owner of the penthouse in the 60-story Millennium Tower will hold the distinction of living in the highest residence west of the Mississippi River. The unit, which comes unfinished and costs extra to build out, will feature two outdoor terraces and panoramic views of the San Francisco skyline.


Illustration: Courtesy of Millennium Partners


WHERE: Los Angeles

WHAT: 6,480-sq.-ft. penthouse

HOW MUCH: $8.95 million

The penthouse atop the elegant Californian, a 23-story, 80-unit high-rise in the Wilshire Corridor, has three bedrooms, three bathrooms, and extra space for a live-in maid. On a smogless day, the westward view from this glass-walled unit is of the sun being swallowed by the Pacific.


Illustration: Courtesy of Fifield Companies


WHERE: Houston

WHAT: 10,516-sq.-ft. condo

HOW MUCH: $8.5 million

The developer of the 2727 Kirby condo development near Houston’s tony River Oaks district said the penthouse was built with oil barons in mind. The ceilings in this 30th-floor unit range from 16 to 24 feet in height, and for an extra $1.5 million the owner can build his own heliport on the roof.


Illustration: Copyright 2007 MDA Holdings, LLC