Jerry Kleiner's Villa: West Town's Most Expensive Home South Of Division

West Town has a few multi-million dollar homes but almost  all of them are located in the Bucktown portion and one is located in Wicker Park – all north of Division. However, there is one home at 1424 W Ohio that stands out from everything else in the immediate neighborhood as exceptionally cool and it’s owned by restaurateur and designer Jerry Kleiner. Currently priced at $2.75 MM, when you look at the slideshow of his “villa” below you can see some of the eclectic, dramatic, and surreal style elements that gave his restaurants (Carnivale, Red Light, Marche, Opera, etc…) such a distinctive look. Here is the description of his home from his biography:

Transforming an 8,500 square foot industrial garage into his home, Kleiner reinvented luxury living. With 35 foot ceilings and a glass roof, combined with a colorful scheme of fabrics, furniture and accessories, his palatial living space transcends opulent.

Jerry Kleiner bought the building in January 1998 for $400,000 and obviously put a ton into it. He first put it on the market in February 2011 for $2.9 MM but by June of that year he was also trying to rent it out for $16,000/ month. By August he decided to take it completely off the market. Then in September of last year he put it back on the market at $2.675 MM but then in May of this year they RAISED the price to it’s current level of $2.75 MM. Go figure. So it’s now been on the market almost exactly one year.
Here is the description from the MLS:

Sited on 3 city lots (76×126), this awe-inspiring estate will satisfy any art collectors desire! Brick home incl over 100′ of floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking private yard, complete w/putting green & custom limestone grotto. Ceiling heights from 15′-35′, w/Luminaire recessed lighting & extensive millwork. Kitchen fitted w/Traulsen refrigeration. All baths Urban Archaeology. 2.5-car att garage w/street entrance.

The house is surrounded by a 10 foot wall. Here are some of the key property statistics:

  • 4 bedrooms
  • 2 full baths, 2 half baths (not that many for a house in this price range)
  • 1 fireplace (again, on the light side)
  • 9400 square feet
  • No basement
  • 2012 property taxes of only $14,446.13. Uhhhh….excuse me…the county gives his home a market value of only $805,000. How did that happen? His neighbors should be pissed.

As you might expect of a restaurateur, the dining room and kitchen figure prominently in the home. The dining “hall” is actually the centerpiece of the home and sits under a massive skylight.
In a story originally published by Time Out Chicago called Colorful Kleiner, in which they aptly compared the home to something out of Alice In Wonderland, Jerry described his home as almost an experimental project:

The beauty of the story is here’s a garage, and here’s what you can do with a garage. There was beauty in it when somebody built this place. I wanted to take and build from that because there’s character in it.

Clearly part of the challenge of selling this home is that it is way nicer than everything else in the neighborhood, which has a median household income of only $60,000. I say “only” not because I think that’s low but because homes of this magnitude and style are usually in much ritzier neighborhoods. But Jerry’s challenge in selling his home is probably the least of his concerns, given all his other problems: Jerry Kleiner’s Highs And Lows.

You can find some additional and much larger photos here: Jerry Kleiner’s Villa.
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