The West Loop has nearly completed its transition from a gritty meat-packing district to a well-heeled pocket of downtown, complete with fine dining, gleaming office space, and posh hotels. Long before Google moved into the neighborhood, the area was seeing a steady flow of warehouse-loft conversion, its old brick buildings with large windows subdivided and dressed up for residential use. And the penthouse loft at 411 S. Sangamon captures that post-industrial aesthetic in a space that’s practical for everyday living and primed for entertaining.
Back on the market after a short hiatus, the coveted top-floor unit has a new asking price of $1.45 million — a considerable reduction. The loft was first listed in April for $1.85 million, then relisted in October for $1.775 million before reappearing this week with listing agent Rafael Murillo of Compass Realty.
One possible selling point: the loft's vibe was striking enough for TV producer Dick Wolf to cast it in the first season of his NBC series, Chicago Fire. Homeowner Raymond Lyle says the opportunity was almost a fluke.
“Dick Wolf wanted a gritty looking loft so they went out and looked at a bunch,” Lyle says. “By chance, they stopped by my house and took some photos but thought it was too nice for a firefighter.”
After reviewing photos from a number of lofts, though, Wolf decided 411 Sangamon was the ticket. The unit served as the home of fictional firefighter Kelly Severide, played by actor Taylor Kinney. While the first season was being filmed, Kinney’s then-fiancé Lady Gaga was said to have visited the loft, according to Lyle.
“Originally they were going to use it for an episode or two and then rebuild it on a soundstage,” Lyle says. On one occasion, producers asked to use of the loft on Thanksgiving day, leaving the family to change their plans last minute. In the end, though, it was worth it: The show scrapped plans to duplicate the loft and continued to film on-location.
The unit didn’t begin as the sprawling 3,800-footer it is today. Lyle, who originally purchased in the building in 2003, acquired an adjacent unit in 2014. The move didn't just expand Lyle’s footprint on the top floor, but gave his family full control of the rooftop deck space. The final product was a four-bedroom, four-bathroom stunner with a spiraling staircase leading up to the rooftop. Currently, the deck covers 1,200 square feet, but there's room for the next owner to nearly double that.
Lyle's goal was to create a space where he could both entertain guests and accomodate his growing family. After combining the two units, he added a spacious master suite and theater room. A generous walk-in closet boasts 10-foot-tall shelves while the master bath is eqipped with heated floors and towel racks. The theater room, which Lyle and his wife use often, is treated with a pro audio rig and acoustic paneling.
After 15 years in the penthouse, Lyle is looking to give a single-family home a shot. “My ideal would be to build a home in the West Loop, but that’s impossible,” he says. The search for a new home continues, but given West Loop's amenities and schools, the family wants to stay close by.