The former homes of Ryne Sandberg and Gery Chico
The home of Ryne Sandberg, now on the market (left), and the recently-sold home of Gery Chico.

Cubs great Ryne Sandberg and his wife, Margaret, put their three-bedroom Streeterville co-op on the market Wednesday, asking $650,000. The home has 2,500 square feet of space in a classic brick-and-limestone 1920s building. I could not reach Sandberg for comment. Public records don’t say when the Sandbergs bought the Streeterville property or how much they spent; their sales agent, Gail Missner of Baird & Warner, declined to comment.

Ryne Sandberg
Ryne Sandberg

Last year, the Hall of Fame second baseman broke with the Cubs organization after being passed over for the job of manager. Sandberg currently manages the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Meanwhile, about five miles southwest, Gery Chico, who lost the race to succeed Mayor Richard M. Daley last year, has sold his former home in Little Italy. The sale, for $1.05 million, closed March 9. That’s about 49 percent of what Chico and his wife, Sunny, first wanted for the home when they put it on the market in 2007.

The 12-room brick and limestone house across from the 155-year-old Arrigo Park was built in 2001 but given a classic look that fits into its older environs. Newly divorced that year, Chico bought the house for $879,000. At the time, he was at the end of a six-year run as president of the Chicago Public Schools and chairman of the law firm Altheimer & Gray, which went bankrupt in 2003.

Gery Chico
Gery Chico

In 2007, when Chico was president of the Chicago Park District board, he and his second wife, Sunny Penedo Chico, listed the home for sale, asking $2.15 million. In November 2009, with the place still unsold and its asking price down to $1.499 million, they took it off the market; they then rented it with a two-year lease to out-of-towners who were moving to Chicago temporarily, says Baird & Warner’s Millie Rosenbloom, their agent then and for the recent sale. “That was the best thing to do in such a soft market,” Rosenbloom says. (She was not the agent when the home was priced for more than $2 million; she came on board when it was at $1.499.)

Earlier in 2009, the Chicos had bought a $2.35 million condo at The Metropolitan Tower at 310 South Michigan Avenue. That year they also bought a 5,800-square-foot home in Scottsdale, Arizona, for $2.4 million. They also have a home in Beverly Shores, Indiana.

In September 2010, shortly after Daley announced he wouldn’t run again, Chico threw his hat into the ring ahead of Rahm Emanuel, the eventual winner.

When the two-year lease on the Little Italy home expired in November 2011, the house went back on the market at $1.19 million. According to the listing sheet, it has five bedrooms, an exercise room, an office, mahogany built-ins- (except in the office where they’re oak), and a terrace off the fourth floor. “It’s a very pretty house, beautifully built, and by [fall 2011] we had a brand new market,” Rosenbloom says. “It’s a very good buy for the area,” close to the Illinois Medical District and Taylor Street’s restaurants.

Chico, who is now serving as the chairman of the Illinois State Board of Education, had little to say about the sale. “We got a fair price,” he wrote in an e-mail, “and [a] wonderful family bought the house.”


Photography: (Sandberg) Phil Velasquez/Chicago Tribune; (Chico) Keri Wiginton/Chicago Tribune