Bill Rancic, the Chicagoan who first won Donald Trump’s TV reality show The Apprentice, has turned out to be the buyer of a foreclosed condo at the Park Tower that I wrote about here in early June. Rancic had also shown up in the July issue of Chicago after he and his wife sold a Gold Coast graystone for $3.595 million.
At the Park Tower, Rancic was one of five bidders vying for the 50th-floor condo; Rancic ended up paying $1.185 million for the place, less than half the amount of the previous owner’s mortgage on the condo. At the time of the sale, the buyer was not yet named in public records. Information from the Cook County Recorder of Deeds now reveals Rancic as the buyer.
On the Gold Coast, Rancic had bought a vintage graystone in 2007 for $1.5 million and renovated it extensively before he and his wife, Giuliana DePandi Rancic of E! Entertainment Television, put it on the market for $4.5 million.
Neither Rancic nor his real-estate agent, Laura Rubin, would comment on either of these transactions, so I don’t know whether the Rancics will live in the Park Tower condo or merely bought it as an investment. Lisa Kay, the Coldwell Banker agent who sold the Park Tower condo, would not comment on Rancic’s purchase.
There is other celebrity foreclosure news, and it’s far more positive than yesterday’s report that the Burr Ridge mansion owned by the former Bull Eddy Curry is headed into foreclosure. The basketball star Shaquille O’Neal has announced that he is hatching a plan to help some Florida homeowners by buying their distressed mortgages and then allowing the owners to remain in their homes (rather than face foreclosure). O’Neal would hang on to the mortgages, and the homeowners would get a more affordable payment plan. O’Neal, recently traded from the Phoenix Suns to the Cleveland Cavaliers, acknowledged that lots of details still need to be worked out. But if Shaq does successfully launch the program, here’s hoping some other wealthy folks follow his lead and do some public-spirited mortgage workouts of their own.