List Price: $2.499 million
The Property: This spacious, newly completed four-story home is one of a planned string of five houses and an eight-unit condo building going up on the 1600 block of North Wolcott Street in Bucktown. The first one finished, this house is a joint project of JODI Development and Ranquist Development. The latter, run by the husband-and-wife team of Bob and Karen Ranquist, has been responsible for some of the finest contemporary architecture in this architecturally savvy neighborhood.

With this home, designed by the firm Osterhaus McCarthy, the couple introduced some new touches to complement their usual clean-lined layouts and super-sleek bathrooms and kitchens. Behind the living room, the house narrows to a hallway, then widens again for the dining room; that configuration continues on the floor above. The result is that several indoor rooms look at each other across outdoor spaces. “When you’re in the kitchen, you look through three layers of windows out to the street,” says Karen Ranquist during a recent tour of the house.

The design configuration also spreads out the three family bedrooms on the third floor so they are not bunched together. The fourth-floor master suite—connected, via two staircases, to the bedrooms below—feels like an intimate hotel suite set apart from everything else.

The rooftop deck—which in some new houses feels like just that: a deck on a roof—feels like an actual backyard, even though it sits above a four-car garage (the horizontal-planked privacy fence contributes to the wide deck’s success). There are decks on two more levels, including a deck on the house’s roof with a perch that juts out to the east for a wraparound view of the city.
Price Points: Even amidst the current real-estate slowdown, this has been the year of the $2-million-plus home in Bucktown. There was only one such sale in 2006, but so far there have been seven in 2007, according to data from the Multiple Listing Service of Northern Illinois (the most expensive went for $2.82 million). This month, the neighborhood even notched its first sale of a condo for over $1 million. 

Listing Agent: Karen Ranquist, RCR Realty, 312-948-9700