An inside look at Chicago real estate

Top 5 Most Expensive Chicago Real Estate Deals of 2012

Andrew Schroedter
   | Market News

The local housing market may still be sputtering—up one month and down the next—but these acquisitions show there remains an appetite, perhaps a smaller one than in previous years, for high-priced real estate.

$15 Million – Park Tower

You may have heard the most expensive condominium in Chicago history was recently sold to a billionaire hedge fund manager.

Kenneth Griffin, CEO of Chicago-based Citadel LLC, paid $15 million for a 7,900-square-foot penthouse in the Park Tower, a luxury high-rise at 800 N. Michigan Ave.

The sale, which closed last month, is the highest in Chicago history, surpassing the $12 million that actor Vince Vaughn of Old School and Wedding Crashers fame paid in 2006 for a unit in the historic Palmolive building.

$6.55 Million – 209 E. Lake Shore Drive

The 12th floor, 5,800-square-foot residence originally listed last year for $7.25 million. It was renovated for over 2 ½ years by Chicago architect Dirk Denison. The highlight? Perfect views of Lake Michigan. The building is a co-op, so the buyer and seller aren’t listed on public records. Jameson Sotheby International Realty represented the seller; Coldwell Banker Residential represented the buyer.

$6.4 Million – The Fordham

Next is the $6.4 million sale of a 47th floor penthouse at River North’s Fordham condo project. The 8,100-square-foot residence at 25. E. Superior St. was originally listed in April for just under $7 million. The seller, who wasn’t identified in public records, spent $10 million to create the full-floor unit with three bedrooms and five terraces showcasing panoramic city views—so conceivably he or she sold at a loss. That’s the bad news. The good news is that the unit, which came with a private four-car garage, was one of only six that sold for $6 million or more in Chicago in 2012. Chezi Rafaeli of Coldwell Banker represented the seller; Prudential Rubloff represented the buyer.

$6 Million – Waldorf Astoria

Joseph G. Nicholas sold a 6,430-square-foot unit on the 54th floor of the Waldorf Astoria, 11 E. Walton St., for $6 million. It was less than the asking price of $6.5 million, but Nicholas, a Chicago hedge fund executive, still came out ahead. Public records show he paid $5 million for the four bedroom unit with 360-degree views of the city in March and flipped it. Prudential represented Nicholas, while Premier Relocation represented the buyer, a venture called Amtral Holdings LLC.

$6 Million – The Bristol

Manufacturing heiress Judith Blazer paid $6 million for a 6,700-square-foot residence at the Bristol condo development at 57 E. Delaware St. The four bedroom duplex had been listed off and on for about two years. The asking price was just under $7 million. Blazer’s grandfather founded a manufacturing business in Appleton, Wis. that is now a part of Illinois Tool Works. Koenig & Strey Real Living represented Blazer and the listing agent.