Charity exec with checkered history pays $5.5M for One Bennett Park condo

William Bigley picked up a 55th-floor unit in one of the new building’s priciest sales yet
By Alex Nitkin |
Research by Haru Coryne
May 24, 2019 08:00AM

One Bennett Park

One Bennett Park

The owner of a Minnesota-based charity accused of mishandling tens of millions of dollars in donations is the latest buyer of a pricey condo at One Bennett Park.

William Bigley paid $5.5 million this month for a three-bedroom unit on the 55th floor of the 67-story tower, joining a steady stream of buyers shelling out for condos in the tower since Related Midwest began sales earlier this year, according to Cook County property records.

Bigley financed the purchase with a $3.3 million loan from Wells Fargo, records show.

The 3,800-square-foot condo is one of just five units in the tower with a terrace, according to a Related spokesperson. The 350-square-foot deck connects to two rooms and faces east toward the lake.

Bigley co-founded the Car Donation Foundation, which solicits vehicle donations and passes along the proceeds to groups like Make-a-Wish. In 2015, the Minnesota Attorney General accused Bigley and his partner of hanging on to 80 percent of revenue raised, or about $36 million, between 2011 and 2014, according to Minnesota Public Radio.

A spokesperson for the charity told the Star Tribune at the time that high marketing and operational costs helped explain the sum.

Bigley appears to have paid a higher price for his condo than a wave of previous buyers in the Robert A. M. Stern-designed building, who paid between $4 and $4.7 million in successive sales this month.

Related turned over the tower’s first condo in February, with the $2.4 million sale of a 43rd-floor unit.

One Bennett Park includes 69 condos above 279 luxury apartments. The rental portion of the building opened late last year.

Condo owners in the building have unique access to their own “cordial lounge” on the 41st floor with wood-paneled lockers for storing spirits. That’s on top of a lap swimming pool and “tween room” available to all residents in the Streeterville tower.