List Price: $1,150,000
Sale Price: $1,185,000
The Property: In what appears to be the city’s loftiest foreclosure so far, a five-room condo on the 50th floor of the Park Tower, the 70-story hotel and residential high-rise immediately west of Chicago’s historic Water Tower, was sold on May 28th. Although there were five bidders—all offering to pay up front in cash—the selling price was still less than half the amount of the previous owner’s mortgage on the place.

The 2,000-square-foot condo has views to the north, the west, and, partially, the east. There are two bedrooms and a kitchen designed by de Giulio that includes a very pricey (and very yellow) oven  by La Cornue. The oven, the other appliances, and some high-end electronics—a flat-screen TV in the living room, mounted computer screens in an office—all remained in the condo. “Usually with a foreclosure, you don’t get any of that,” says Lisa Kay, a Coldwell Banker foreclosure specialist who sold the condo for the lender, Washington Mutual. “It’s all gone by the time we get there,” removed by the foreclosed owners.

The foreclosed owner, whom I could not reach for comment, bought the condo in August 2007. The price he paid is not shown in property records, but his mortgage, taken out the same day as the purchase, was for $2.54 million. I don’t know the size of his down payment, so I can’t say precisely what he paid for the condo.

Cook County property records show that just seven months after he bought the place, the owner was hit with a lien by the building’s owners association for unpaid assessments (they are $1,023 a month). Two months later, when he had owned the condo for only ten months, the lender issued a lis pendens, a notice that a foreclosure suit was underway. According to Kay, the owner had put the place up for sale with an asking price of $2.999 million.

In February 2009, Washington Mutual (now a part of Chase Bank) took possession of the property. The bank listed it with Kay on April 3rd. “We had five offers within the week,” she says. “Everybody was offering cash.” The sale, at $35,000 more than the bank was asking, closed May 28th. The buyer is not yet identified in public records.

Price Points: Recently, two other Park Tower units with the same floor plan were sold conventionally (not as foreclosures), Kay says. A 42nd-floor condo sold for $1.3 million in January, and one on the 28th floor sold for $1.23 million in March. Both of those units had been sold in prior years for prices within range of their 2009 sale prices; they had not dropped by over 50 percent, as with the foreclosed unit. But I wasn’t able to find any good reason—other than an exuberant market—that the foreclosed condo had been valued so high in 2007 anyway. Its prior sale, in 2005, was for $1.59 million; two years later, those owners turned it over for nearly $1 million.

Listing Agent: Lisa Kay of Coldwell Banker, 312-475-3259;