Chicago's Most Expensive Condo Ever Sells For $15,000,000

Well, we all would like to know who it is that bought this 66th floor penthouse unit in the Park Tower at 800 N Michigan Ave because they now hold the record for buying the most expensive condo ever sold in the city of Chicago. If you have $15 MM burning a hole in your pocket then you missed your chance. This condo wasn’t even on the market because it was listed on the MLS after it closed on Friday. What that means, BTW, is simply that the deal was privately negotiated and then placed on the MLS so that the realtor could get credit for the transaction in the annual rankings.
Although we don’t know who bought this unit yet it appears to have been previously owned by Richard Cooper, whose family owns the Cooperfund family investment company. The investment business must be good because the penthouse unit directly above this one is owned by Ken Griffin, who is the founder and CEO of Citadel.
According to the MLS “listing” this is a 7900 square foot unit with 3 bedrooms, 4 full bathrooms, 5 half bathrooms and it comes with 3 garage spaces. The MLS listing describes it as “Park Tower full floor Penthouse residence features 16’ ceilings & 360 degree panoramic views. Approximately 7900 square feet of living space, plus a 44’x15′ private terrace space.”
Monthly assessments are $5372 and the property taxes are a bargain at only $109,373. The city had it valued at $6.7 MM for 2011 and seems to be raising that value to $7.6 MM for 2012. Hey, Joe Berrios, you out there? You paying attention? If you are going to insist on overvaluing my house you need to focus on this one because it is clearly undervalued!
It seems like the unit holds several records because in addition to being the most expensive condo ever it is way up there in terms of price per square foot at $1899/ SF. The highest price paid per square foot in the rest of the building during the last year was $935 paid for unit 2601, which is obviously several floors below this one. But since we don’t know much about this unit we have no idea if it’s worth the premium. For all we know this unit could have gold plated toilets.
Speaking of toilets…maybe they are gold plated because Richard Cooper must really like bathrooms. That has to be another record in terms of the ratio of bathrooms to bedrooms – 3:1. Mr. Cooper must eat way too much fiber.
However, if the top floor penthouse in the Trump Tower ever sells anywhere close to it’s asking price it will bust this record. That unit is listed at $32,000,000 or $2244/ square foot. Incidentally, the same real estate agent is handling that unit. BTW, that agent was on both sides of this transaction – potentially a conflict of interest. Normally I would be more concerned about this conflict. When a unit is on the market and the buyer is actually shopping around they are heavily relying upon their agent to find the other half of their transaction. But in this case I’m thinking there is a good chance that neither the buyer nor the seller were actually looking for one another so it might have been more of an opportunistic transaction and the buyer and seller are probably pretty sophisticated business people.
As for the commission on this transaction we really don’t know. The listing shows a cooperating commission of 2.5%, which would imply a total commission of 5%. However, because this listing was posted merely for record keeping it’s possible that they just cloned a boilerplate template and that commission does not reflect reality. If in fact the seller did pay $750,000 in commissions then that’s a crime.
You can get Dennis Rodkin’s take on this transaction at his Deal Estate blog.

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