List Price: $2.85 million
Sale Price: $2.55 million
The Property: Four 1980s townhouses in Lincoln Park have been sold to a developer that hopes to build a single megamansion on the site. “This couldn’t happen in any other location,” says Mark Lale, the Urban Real Estate agent who represented the three sellers (one of them owned two of the townhouses.) “They’re sitting on a strip of land that is right in the middle of this huge conglomeration of wealthy people. It’s very attractive to someone who wants to build a $7 million house.”
Tim Salm, the Jameson Sotheby’s agent who represented the buyers, LG Development Group, says that the townhouses are in “a top-flight location, and [we] saw a great opportunity to have this extra-wide parcel.” (The lot is 44 feet wide by 125 feet deep; the city standard is 25 by 125.) Salm says that the developers have preliminary designs for a 9,000-square-foot house, but that zoning would allow for up to 12,000 square feet. The existing townhouses are about 2,000 square feet each.
The townhouses are on the 1800 block of Orchard Street; along with the blocks of Burling and Howe Street between Willow Street and Armitage Avenue, Orchard was the epicenter of a mid-2000s mansion-building frenzy. The townhouses are just two doors down from one of the neighborhood’s grandest homes, Penny Pritzker’s modernist behemoth. Because today’s property is on the east side of the street, it backs up to one of just two alleys in the district; the possibility of an alley garage made the parcel even more attractive, Lale says.
The sale closed October 14. For now, the former owners of the townhouses are still living in them, only now as tenants renting back from the developer. LG won’t demolish the townhouses until a buyer is in place for a custom-built house on the site. Nobody is lined up yet, but both Salm and Lale are confident a buyer will come forward. “There’s always the 1 percent,” Lale says.
Price Points: Lale says that the sellers of the townhouses split the sale price evenly—which comes to $637,500 per unit. That looks like a good deal because, if sold separately, they might have gone for about $80,000 less. According to the Cook County Recorder of Deeds, the most recent sale price for one of the units was $658,000, in 2008, Our annual real-estate charts show prices in Lincoln Park down by about 15.8 percent since 2008—which means the townhouses would each be worth about $554,000 today. And what might the parcel have fetched in the boom years? Salm, who specializes in the luxury market, believes it might have gone for over $3 million, netting at least $100,000 more per townhouse.