Buyers of $20M Trump Tower unit ID’d as private equity pro, plastic surgeon

Bryan Cressey and Iliana Sweis bought the 89th-floor unit

Bryan Cressey and Chezi Rafaeli with Trump Tower Chicago
Bryan Cressey and Chezi Rafaeli with Trump Tower Chicago (Getty, Harvard Law, Top Agent)

The buyers of Chicago’s third most expensive condo deal ever were revealed.

Private equity veteran Bryan Cressey and his wife, plastic surgeon Iliana Sweis, spent $20 million on the 14,260-square-foot unit sold in Trump Tower at 401 North Wabash Avenue, the Chicago Tribune reported, citing a real estate source familiar with the building. The deal, which closed in March, marked the third-highest priced sale of any home within Chicago’s city limits.

The couple, who was represented by real estate agent Chezi Rafaeli in the purchase, isn’t new to the building. Sweis spent $2.7 million on a lower-floor unit in 2009, and Cressey, who co-founded private equity firm Golder Thoma Cressey, bought one of the building’s hotel condos for $1.68 million in 2015.

Cressey and Sweis bought the pricey penthouse unit through an opaque Delaware limited liability company, from Sanjay Shah, the CEO of Hoffman Estates-based software maker Vistex. Shah paid $17 million in 2004 for the 12-room condo, though never lived in it.

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Chicago’s Trump Tower was recently cited in a suit filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James that claims former President Donald Trump undervalued properties to save money and then overvalued properties to secure larger loans. The lawsuit alleges Trump and his Trump Organization purposefully excluded the Chicago Trump Tower from its financial statements since it was built in 2009 in an effort to hide that he was reporting different values depending on a desired outcome.

The five-bedroom penthouse has eight bathrooms, floor-to-ceiling glass-insulated windows, a 19-foot high living room ceiling and a private access elevator. Chicago building officials approved Cressey and Sweis’ request to demolish the existing interior walls and ceilings for $125,000 in August.

The purchase price comes below the $58.75 million Ken Griffin spent on the top four floors in No. 9 Walton in 2017 and the more recent $20.56 million sale of a four-bedroom duplex condo on the 71st floor of the Residences at the St. Regis Tower, the buyers of which have yet to be identified.

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Victoria Pruitt