Chicago's Most Expensive Condo Sales Of 2021

A couple of weeks ago I posted on how the Chicago luxury home market was on fire last year with a record setting 24 deals closed on the MLS. The focus of that post was single family homes but usually there are quite a few more luxury condos sold in a year. 2021 was exceptional in that regard with a record setting – at least a 15 year record based on the data available to me – 42 condos sold at or above $4 MM. That’s compared to only 10 the previous year.
As is usually the case just a few buildings account for the bulk of those sales:

  • 11 at The St. Regis with prices ranging from $4.1 – $8.5 MM
  • 7 at No. 9 Walton – $4.0 – 6.9 MM
  • 7 at Tribune Tower – $4.0 – 8.1 MM
  • 5 at One Bennett Park – $4.0 – 6.0 MM

I first covered No. 9 Walton in my recap of the most expensive condo sales of 2018. Interestingly, the building was completed in January 2019 and these units were listed by several different agents so I’m assuming these are resales. However, the prior sales information is spotty with strange sounding LLCs included in the chain of title. If these recorded sales were arms length then it looks like the sellers did OK. For instance, unit 2802 was bought for $6.14 MM in December 2019 and sold in March 2021 for $6.85 MM.
The sales at The St. Regis, One Bennett Park and Tribune Tower are all new units. Clearly the market for new construction, high end condos has been hot. I provided an overview of One Bennett Park in my 2019 recap of the most expensive condo sales.

St. Regis Chicago
The St. Regis sits on Wacker Dr. overlooking the Chicago River

The St. Regis (formerly known as the Wanda Vista Tower) had the 3rd and 4th most expensive condo sales last year at $8.5 MM and $8.2 MM. Located at 363 E Wacker, it’s technically part of the Lakeshore East development and it’s the third tallest building in Chicago with 101 stories. It started life as a joint venture between Magellan Development and the Wanda Group out of China but eventually Magellan bought out Wanda and replaced them with St. Regis Hotels – hence the name change. The building contains 393 condos and 191 hotel rooms and was designed by Studio Gang Architects, which is Jeanne Gang’s firm. Amenities are on the 47th floor and include a sky terrace, outdoor pool, lounge, dining room, fitness center, conference center, theater room, golf lounge, and a children’s activity room. 
The St. Regis started closing on units in November 2020 and thus far has closed on 192 units – at least the ones recorded on the MLS. They currently have 7 units pending at prices higher than the ones that closed last year, the most expensive of which was unit 7101 listed at $18.5 MM. For that price you get the entire 10,000 square foot floor with 11 foot ceilings. If I come back in another life as a full commission realtor I’ll buy one of those.
The two most expensive St. Regis units that closed last year were units 7501 and 7801, which were both full floor, 4 bedroom, 4 1/2 bath units but unit 7501 was 5734 sq ft while unit 7801 was 6121 sq ft. Keep in mind that the building does not have straight sides so the floors are not the same size. Interestingly, unit 7501 actually sold at a higher price even though it was listed lower than unit 7801. This could be due to the fact that it went under contract later, possibly when the developer was feeling more confident about the prospects for the development. Unit 7801 sold at a 10% discount to its list price, which is a bit unusual for new construction.
To make matters even more interesting unit 7801 is back on the market as a resale, listed for just under $10 MM. It will be interesting to see what it ends up going for.
Last year’s second highest condo sale is perhaps the most architecturally interesting of the top 4 so I’ve included a slide show with some of the photos at the bottom of this post. (In particular pay attention to the views out the windows in the background of some of the photos.) Unit S3801 in Lincoln Park’s 2550 sold as 8167 sq ft of raw space on the top two floors of the building (38 and 39) with 3 parking spaces for $6 MM in late 2015 to Daniel and Megan O’Keefe. Daniel was a portfolio manager with Artisan Partners and it appears as though they may have bought and sold multiple units in the building. After finishing out this duplex unit they put it back on the market with 5 bedrooms, 5 1/2 baths, and 6 parking spaces (3 more than they started with) for $13 MM in July 2020, finally selling it in January 2021 for $9 MM to an unknown buyer. Finishing out 8167 sq ft could easily cost $3 MM or more and, given the list price and the 3 additional parking spaces, it’s entirely possible this was not a good deal for the O’Keefes.
The highest priced condo sale last year was the full floor 8800 sq ft penthouse on the top floor (26) of the Lucien Lagrange designed building at 840 N Lake Shore Dr. The unit was bought by Bruce and Elizabeth White in 2005 as raw space (price unknown) and built out into a 6 bedroom condo with 6 full baths and 2 half baths. It was listed in April 2019 for $13.5 MM and finally sold in July of last year for $11.25 MM with no price reductions in between.
Bruce White is the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of White Lodging, which is a hotel management company, but he also happens to be the son of a billionaire, Dean White. The White’s sold their condo because they were moving to their ranch in Wyoming. Unfortunately, the buyer’s identity is unknown.
Lincoln Park 2550
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Gary Lucido is the President of Lucid Realty, the Chicago area’s full service real estate brokerage that offers home buyer rebates and discount commissions. If you want to keep up to date on the Chicago real estate market or get an insider’s view of the seamy underbelly of the real estate industry you can Subscribe to Getting Real by Email using the form below. Please be sure to verify your email address when you receive the verification notice.

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