List Price: $1,024,650
Sale Price: $1,195,000
The Property: This 19th-century row house, one block from Lincoln Park, was the subject of a potential seizure order by the U.S. Department of Justice in May 2009, according to documents from the Cook County Recorder of Deeds. Mihai Chezan, the developer who had converted the place from apartments into a lavish single-family home, had originally been asking $2.975 million for the house. By the time of the Justice filing, the house’s price tag was at about $1.99 million. The U.S. Marshal’s office would not comment as to why the house was subject to seizure, and I could not locate Chezan for comment.
In November 2009, the deed for the house was transferred to JPMorgan Chase; that bank had already begun foreclosure proceedings against Chezan in November 2008 in connection with a $2.695-million mortgage he had received on the property from Washington Mutual (a bank later acquired by Chase). Chezan had originally paid $774,000 for the property in 2003, according to the recorder of deeds. In 2005, Chezan bought the brick townhouse next door for $1.1 million; the $2.85-million Washington Mutual mortgage on that property was also foreclosed and hit with a potential seizure order last spring, along with today’s property. At one point, Chezan was offering the two houses for sale together.
Andrea Serban, the Coldwell Banker agent who represented today’s house in 2008, told me last week that Chezan “put probably over a million dollars” into renovating the place. Chezan had transformed the former apartments into a home with five bedrooms, six baths, a high-end kitchen, all new mechanical systems, extensively restored woodwork, Venetian-style plaster, and a new rooftop deck.
Katy Elliott, the Great Lakes Realty agent who represented the property for Chase, said that the house was in a mostly livable condition at the time of the sale, which closed February 10th. Elliott said that a portion of the dining room ceiling had collapsed, and some insufficiently winterized pipes in the basement had burst, causing a small flood. Chase had offered to make repairs, but the buyers opted to take the property as is. The buyers are not yet identified in public records.
Price Points: Thanks to competing bids from multiple potential buyers, the home sold for 16 percent more than the bank was asking. Nevertheless, the final sale price was only 40 percent of the developer’s peak asking price.
Listing Agent: Katy Elliott, Great Lakes Realty.