The Real Deal Chicago

Tower of power: a look at who’s buying at No. 9 Walton

A Bull, a Cub, a candy magnate and Illinois’ richest man are among those who bought condos in the 38-story Gold Coast building
By John O’Brien |
Research by Laura Hanrahan
August 10, 2018 10:01AM

9 West Walton Street, Jason Heyward, Ken Griffin, Omer Asik, Steve Stratton, Todd Siwak, and Matthew Lawton (Credit: JDL, ESPN, JLL, ULI)

UPDATE, Aug. 15, 12:15 p.m.: A 7-foot-tall Chicago Bull, a candy company magnate and the richest man in Illinois walk into the lobby of a luxury Chicago condo tower.

If you’re waiting for a punchline, don’t. There’s no joke here — just the possibility of what could happen once Omer Asik, Todd Siwak and Ken Griffin all have moved in to their units in the still-under-construction high-rise from JDL Development at 9 West Walton Street in the Gold Coast. The 38-story building was scheduled to open later this year.

The roster of soon-to-be residents at No. 9 Walton already includes hedge-fund managers, financial advisers, real estate execs, doctors, lawyers and other wealthy buyers who gave the building the record for most sales of $3 million or more, according to Crain’s.

And while it’s true there are many Gold Coast buildings boasting well-heeled leaders of Chicago industry living in multimillion-dollar homes, No. 9 Walton has dominated the list of most expensive residential sales in recent months.

In addition to the usual luxury amenities, the building also features a house car and driver, private wine storage available, a covered dog run and two guest suites available to all homeowners. And Gemini restaurant owner Ryan O’Donnell is opening a new two-floor restaurant inside the building, Eater reported. A spokesperson for the Walton Street Kitchen + Bar said it will be led by executive chef Jon Keeley.

A JDL executive declined to comment for this article, citing the privacy of the firm’s buyers.

The unit prices were determined using information in documents filed with the Cook County Recorder of Deeds. While a number of the units were purchased through trusts or LLC, The Real Deal was able to determine the identities of a number of the buyers:

Ken Griffin

The hedge fund billionaire behind Citadel made a splash late last year when he bought four unfinished floors at the top of the building for $59 million, shattering the record for most expensive home sale ever in Chicago. And even with the millions he’d have to spend to build out the home, it wouldn’t come close to the price tag of Griffin’s sprawling South Florida compound.

Todd Siwak

The Ferrara Candy Company CEO paid $4.6 million for a three-bedroom unit on the 17th floor. Siwak has led the Oakbrook Terrace-based firm since 2013 and plans to use the condo as a second residence, according to the ChicagoTribune. He also has a home in the St. Louis area.

Jason Heyward

The Cubs outfielder bought a 19th-floor unit for $6.9 million through an LLC. But the 29-year-old shouldn’t have many problems making his payments: He’s in the middle of an eight-year, $184 million contract with the Cubs.

Matthew Lawton

The executive managing director of commercial real estate firm HFF paid $4.5 million for an 8th-floor condo.

Steven and Sarah Stratton

JLL’s Steven Stratton is the firm’s Chicago tenant representation group co-lead and oversees its Midwest practice. He and his wife, Sarah, paid $3.8 million for the 10th-floor unit.

Omer Asik

The 7-footer from Turkey who is in his second stint with the Bulls paid $3.1 million for a seventh-floor condo with Wilma Wyngaart.

Ashley and Jennifer Keller

Ashley Keller is a co-founder of Keller Lenkner, a plaintiff-side litigation firm. He also was a co-founder of litigation finance firm GKC, which sold in 2016 for $160 million. The Kellers paid $4.8 million for their 20th-floor condo.

Stephen Madry and Valerie Vlahos

Madry, a plastic surgeon, and Vlahos, a director at PriceWaterhouseCooper, paid $5.5 million for their 16th-floor condo.

Dominick and Cynthia Mondi

The president of Mesirow Financial and his wife paid $2.5 million for their fourth-floor unit.

Imad Bazzi and Salma Shawwaf

Bazzi is CEO of Oakbrook Terrace-based ACH Food Companies, a manufacturer of cooking and baking ingredients. They paid $3.2 million for their ninth-floor condo.

Joseph Rotter

The former Citadel hedge fund manager is managing director for Neuberger Berman Investment Advisers and head of the Principal Strategies Group. He paid $3.6 million for his fourth-floor condo.

David and Laura Eikenmeyer

The couple behind the Urban Child Academy preschools paid $5.3 million for their 19th-floor unit

Kevin and Shoshana Vernick

Shoshana Vernick is managing director at investment bank Sterling Partners, while Kevin Vernick is president of commercial real estate firm Vernick & Associates. They paid $3.7 million for their 12th-floor condo.

Cary and Teri Cicurel

Cary Cicurel is managing director at Loop Capital Markets. The couple’s 17th-floor unit cost $4.5 million.

Steve and Ariel Derringer

Steven Derringer is partner at law firm Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar. The couple paid $4.5 million for their 14th-floor condo.

Helaine G. Cohen

The broker for Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Koenig Rubloff Realty Group paid $2.3 million for her seventh-floor condo. Cohen’s online bio says she is creator of ChicagoCondoFinder.com.

This story has been updated to correct the purchase price of the Ashley and Jennifer Keller’s condominium. It also has been updated to remove an item that misidentified the buyer of a 34th-floor condo. That unit was actually purchased by a trust.