Chicago's Most Expensive Homes: The $14 MM Converted Substation On The Gold Coast

One of Chicago’s Most Expensive Homes hit the market on The Gold Coast last Wednesday, listed at $13.9 MM, and it is truly spectacular – especially when you consider that it started life as a ComEd substation, which is a pretty boring thing to be. Somebody had a ton of vision and very deep pockets.
The 15,000 sq ft home is located at 924 N Clark St and sits on a 52 x 151 lot with 6 bedrooms, 6 full bathrooms, and 3 half baths. Check out the slideshow below. Here are some of the other particulars:

  • 4 car garage
  • 3 fireplaces
  • Property taxes only $62,562

Those property taxes are outrageous – low! If the house is worth anything close to $14 MM then how is it that the county has the value at just under $3.5 MM? In fact, they just lowered it from over $4.8 MM in 2012.
Here is the agent’s description:

Unrivaled contemporary renovation & expansion of former substation in the heart of the Gold Coast. Gatehouse entrance creates a private oasis w/large front lawn, pool & patio. Light wells, terraces & atriums offer stunning views & light. A rare blend of contemporary & historic architecture w/green features & exquisite finishes. 6+beds/6.3baths, 2kitchens, AV, greenhouse, elevator, exercise, wine cellar & 4 car gar!
Too many rooms/features to list. Resort living in the heart of the Gold Coast. Pool, lawn, gate house, greenhouse, solar panels, geothermal heating/cooling, stunning space & exquisite finishes.

The substation is owned by Bruce and Michele Gelman, who bought it in 2008 for $3.75 MM. (So the property taxes seem to be based upon the unimproved value. How the heck do you get that deal?) At one time the property was owned by Sydney K Culver & Assocs, which explains the lettering shown in the photograph of the lower level recreation room below.
According to the Kirkland & Ellis Web site Bruce Gelman is a partner in the Tax Group. Michele Gelman is a holistic health speaker, educator and coach, gardener, cook, and founder of Michele Gelman Wellness. In August 2009 Chicago Magazine reported that Bruce and Michele worked with architect Michael Hershenson to turn the now 100 year old building into a green single family home with solar panels and a geothermal heating and cooling system:

In converting the two-story building, Hershenson has added another two stories and opened up the dark center with an atrium. He enlarged the small openings on the largely windowless façade, while retaining the tile-and-glass Prairie style detailing… (As Hershenson notes, the decision to salvage the original structure, rather than demolish it and consume resources to build anew, is a key green feature in its own right.) A onetime parking lot [became] the home’s front yard, with a grove of trees set behind a long gatehouse.

I found this video tour of the house on Michele’s Web site, which explains that they also worked with designer, Lauren Lozano Ziol.

#Chicagoexpensivehomes #Chicagorealestate
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