Gold Coast mansion sells despite area’s languid pace

Cedar Street home has been on and off the market since 2021

Compass' Joanne Nemerovski and @properties' Carrie Mccormick with 21 East Cedar Street
Compass' Joanne Nemerovski and @properties' Carrie Mccormick with 21 East Cedar Street (Joanne Sells Chicago, Carrie McCormick Group, Google Maps, Getty)

A Gold Coast property that has been on and off the market for two years finally drew a buyer, extending the trend of sellers having to persist for long periods to come out ahead of their past purchasing costs.

The nearly 8,000-square-foot home at 21 East Cedar Street closed this week for $5.1 million. It was most recently listed for $5.9 million, marking a 15 percent cut from its asking price. 

The six-bedroom, six-bathroom home was built in 2010. The seller was local entrepreneur and author Steven M. Kaplan, who purchased the home for $4.8 million in 2014 from former Broadway Bank Chairman George Giannoulias, according to previous reports. Kaplan’s purchase came at a discount from Giannoulias’ initial listing price of $7.5 million when he put the property on the market in 2012.

The home is only the fourth property at or over $4 million to sell in the affluent Gold Coast this year. Others include the mansion being sold by the estate of the late financial guru Richard Driehaus, and seen in the movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” The buyer of that property paid $5.65 million for the five-bedroom, 8,650-square-foot home.

Known as one of the original epicenters of wealth in the city, the neighborhood faced challenges during and after the pandemic, as buyers sought more room in the suburbs and outer neighborhoods.

Joanne Nemerovski with Compass represented the sellers and Carrie Mccormick with @properties Christie’s International Real Estate represented the buyers. Nemerovski did not return a request for comment.

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McCormick said the area was a great fit for her buyers, who are not yet disclosed in public records, but wanted to be in proximity to downtown. The property also has a connected garage, which is uncommon in the Gold Coast.

“My clients appreciate Chicago architecture, and I think the Gold Coast has some of the best Chicago homes and architecture and details and history,” she said. “It’s just so classic Chicago, and the location is phenomenal for those who have to work downtown.”

In February, another home in the area, at 1421 North Astor Street sold for $3.94 million, less half its initial listing price of nearly $9 million when it hit the market five years ago. The final sale price was less than the amount chopped from the asking price across five separate cuts over the years.

There are currently 13 single-family homes or condos listed for sale for $4 million or more in the Gold Coast, according to public listings. Of those, six have been on the market for 90 days or more, and three have been on the market for a year or more. That includes the second-priciest listing in the city, a 20,000-square-foot home on 3 West Burton Place asking $18.75 million since it hit the market in 2020.

“[The Gold Coast] really did take a hit during COVID, but it’s a very resilient neighborhood in Chicago,” McCormick said.

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