Lake Geneva’s “Aloha Lodge” hitting market at $35M
Listing price is $1M shy of record in ritzy Chicagoland getaway
A prized Lake Geneva mansion is about to hit the market, and its price point is scratching record-breaking territory.
The 12-acre estate, dubbed Aloha Lodge, will be listed Thursday and carry a hefty ask of $35 million, which is $1 million shy of the most expensive mansion sale ever in the area, Crain’s reported. Brandie Malay Siavelis, of @properties Christie’s International Real Estate, is marketing the property.
The $36 million record was set in January 2022, when billionaire J. Christopher Reyes and his wife, Anne, bought Richard Driehaus’ 12-bedroom, 14,145-square-foot Georgian-style home. The Driehaus mansion was originally listed at $39.25 million.
Built in 1901, the Aloha estate was owned by Tracy Drake, who later built Chicago’s well-known Drake Hotel, until 1936. Harold Byron Smith, founder of Northern Trust bank and the Illinois Tool Works conglomerate, owned it from 1998 until his death last October. Smith’s estate is the seller. The Drakes named the property Aloha Lodge to honor their friend, Hawaiian Queen Lili’uokalani, who passed away in 1917.
It’s tough to determine how much Aloha Lodge will sell for given the turbulence of today’s market. On one hand, Chicagoland’s single-family market has cooled considerably since the housing boom peaked around last summer, amid higher interest rates and fears of a recession. Yet, low inventory levels are forcing buyers to make offers far beyond initial asking prices.
In addition, the Chicago area’s second-home market is uber competitive for buyers with historically few listings being offered for sale, with Lake Geneva serving as a prime example as affluent buyers across the Midwest look to take advantage of remote-work flexibility. Lakefront properties, specifically, are in high demand.
Last quarter, the average sale price for properties along a 20-mile stretch of Lake Michigan’s shoreline from the Indiana state line to Bridgman, Michigan, increased by 21 percent year-over-year.
Aloha Lodge, meanwhile, stretches across 368 feet of shoreline. In addition to the main house, the property contains a three-bedroom guest house and an 1,800-square-foot building that now holds an elaborate model railroad.
— Quinn Donoghue
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