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.
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.
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!