The real estate agents for philanthropist Ann Lurie’s Gold Coast mansion have given the 18,590-square-footer another big downward price adjustment. Now asking $11 million, the 12-bed, 13-bath limestone Victorian on Dearborn Parkway was last listed for $13.75 million, and originally $18.75 million including an oversized side lot back in May 2013. The lot was severed from the listing the following year. Emily Sachs Wong represents the property with the help of @properties agent Sarah Lurie, Ann Lurie’s daughter-in-law.
“Psychologically we felt $11 million is a much more approachable number,” says the younger Lurie. “And the price reduction is significant enough to show we’re serious [about selling].” It can be incredibly hard to put your finger on the correct price for a property without equal, at least in its neighborhood. The new price is based on feedback from buyers at showings. “Our challenge is to appeal to the buyer who wants exactly the home being offered,” adds Wong. “It’s not a place you’ll want or need to come in and redesign or expand.”
Ann Lurie already took care of that. The mansion was in serious disrepair when she bought it in 1995. Designed in 1891 by August Fiedler for Jacob Rehm, a four-term Chicago Police superintendent, founding commissioner of Lincoln Park, and brewer (plenty of German immigrants brewed on the side), the home had its first floor windows blocked over. When Lurie went to redo the roof, according to Sarah, she discovered seven layers of roofing slapped on—a testament to the sturdiness of the home. Superfluous material was stripped away from the exterior and reapplied in various ways in the interior, and an enormous amount of original architectural finishes and built-ins were preserved.
In the last 20 years major renovation was brought to the kitchen and bedrooms, and a dramatic rear conservatory/sun room was added. And for really letting loose, there’s a gorgeous newer basement build-out with a lounge and billiards room.
Even though the side lot isn’t currently listed, it had been available for $4 million. A buyer who acts quickly enough will get first crack at the extra land to help secure the magnificence of this estate. As for comps, while there aren’t any direct ones, both brokers are encouraged by the $7.4 million sale of Nicholas Pritzker’s home at 1518 North Astor Street. At about 7,900 square feet, it’s not even half the size. It’s also more architecturally sedate. There is one 15,000-square-foot mansion for sale for $13.9 million on Clark Street just south of Oak Street, but it’s very contemporary. A 10,000-square-footer is also listed for just under $9 million a block east of Lurie’s place. Otherwise, Lincoln Park collects the brawniest for-sale homes.
Wong also carries the listing for Ann Lurie’s two-story, 5,000-square-foot “maisonette” condo at the stately 189 East Lakeshore Drive—no elevator required. The two-level home has a totally different aesthetic—a blank canvas taking on a modern flair with soft, soothing materials. The current asking price is $5.25 million.