List Price: $2.99 million
Sale Price: $3.1 million
The Property: Newly built on a double lot in Bucktown, this house sold for $3,105,429 on December 23. That's the second highest price anybody’s paid for a Bucktown house. The record-setter is a block and a half away. It sold in 2009 for $3.68 million. The buyers there were Janine and Henry Givray; he runs a firm that manages trade associations.

Today’s property, an eight-bedroom house, is just a few blocks from the Bucktown/Wicker Park epicenter at North, Damen, and Milwaukee Avenues. Not only that, but it has a 1,500-bottle wine cellar, quarter-sawn white oak floors, a four-car garage, an outdoor kitchen, and a main kitchen (indoors) that’s tricked out with super-luxe appliances.

The 60-inch Wolf range alone “is like $17,000 bucks,” says Michael Walczak, whose firm, Stratum Builders, built the house with architect Jim Ridley and designer Joseph Dolan.

There’s an interior courtyard surrounded by windows, and thanks to Bucktown’s below-the-sidewalks ground plain, an extra-tall basement level. The exterior was designed to look “chic” Walczak says. “It’s a head-turner. People slow down to try and peek in the windows.”

And that’s before they knew what a sky-high price it snagged.

Bucktown’s third-place house also sold in 2009. Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright Tracy Letts paid $3 million for a house about five blocks from this one. Since then, at least one other seller tried to make it into the $3 million club, asking $3.275 million but ultimately selling for under $3 million. And Walczak says he’s now planning a house in the neighborhood whose price will be at least $3.2 million.

The buyers bought through a bank trust, so their names aren’t in the Cook County Recorder of Deeds files.

Price Points: In 2007, Stratum, which has built numerous homes in Bucktown, Wicker Park, and other neighborhoods, paid $480,000 for one of the two lots that would eventually hold this house. Walczak says the plan at the time was to build on that lot only. But a year later, the next-door lot went up for sale, and Stratum got it for $520,000. So there’s a million dollars in the land alone.

The combined lot is 48 feet wide and 121 deep. Walczak’s design team drew up plans for a house to build there, which Stratum priced in November 2012 at $2.995 million. The buyers showed up in December 2012 wanting something completely different, Walczak says, so design began again “from scratch.” The house was completed a year later.

Listing Agent: Jeff Lowe of Prudential Rubloff, 312-264-1122 and

Update: A reader helpfully pointed out that another Bucktown house recently sold for more money. The house, at 1735 North Honore, didn't show up in the MRED system when I asked an agent for record prices last week. But I see in the recorder of deeds system that the house did sell for $3.68 million. I fact-checked this story as usual, but for some reason, I didn't find the other sale. I apologize for the error—Bucktown is hot!