House in Wilmette

List Price: $5.3 million
Sale Price: $4.75 million

The Property: This 16-room house with about 135 feet of Lake Michigan beach was sold in April for the highest price paid in Wilmette in nearly two years. Built in 1968 by Hemphill, a company that built thousands of high-end North Shore homes over several decades, this residence was greatly expanded in the mid-1990s, after the then-owner, William De Nicolo, demolished the house next door. The house now has about 7,500 square feet of interior space and stands on nine-tenths of an acre. “You see the lake from every room in the house,” says J. P. Bitting, the @Properties agent who represented De Nicolo’s estate in selling the property.

De Nicolo was a shareholder in the Chicago Mercantile Exchange who launched the wireless alarm company Telular in the 1980s. Around the time he expanded the house, De Nicolo also had the property’s lakefront bluff restored and secured with concrete slabs and rock, an expensive undertaking. The beachfront includes a boat launch.

The house has four bedrooms, five-plus baths, four garage spaces, an indoor lap pool, and lush landscaping that surrounds the home. (My photo is from early April, before the May green-up obscured the view of the house.) I have not been able to locate the buyers, identified by the Cook County Recorder of Deeds as Alex and Maria Ogg. Bitting says they will need to update the kitchen and some other parts of the interior.

This is the priciest sale in Wilmette since July 2008, when a lakefront estate one block away from this place was sold for $9 million, a record for the town. That house, built in 1939, had once belonged to members of the Goldblatt family (of department-store fame).             

Price Points: De Nicolo’s estate initially listed the property for sale with Bitting in 2007, with an asking price of $6.9 million, which Bitting says was the appraised value at that time. The sale price was 31 percent below that original asking price. Last month I wrote about an empty parcel of land on Wilmette’s lakefront that Jack Ryan, the former U.S. Senate candidate, had put up for sale at $4.95 million. Real-estate tipsters tell me that a buyer has already signed a contract for that property; I have not been able to confirm that with Ryan, his wife, Amanda, or his two sisters, who were showing the property. Depending on the sale price, it could top the amount paid for today’s property and become the third-highest house sale in Wilmette. The second highest is the 14-room Prairie-style house that went for $7.25 million in July 2007.

Listing Agent: J. P. Bitting of @Properties; 312-287-6480 or