Chicago’s top 10 residential deals of 2022
The Residences at St. Regis Chicago earn half the spots.
Chicago’s top residential deals of 2022 include a wide range of property classes, from an empty plot of North Side land to sky-high penthouses whose construction finished recently to those that have been completed for years.
Yet buyers of the Windy City’s priciest properties this year concentrated their spending on one lakefront tower in particular. The Residences at St. Regis not only took the top spot with the priciest sale but netted half of the ten most expensive deals as buyers within the top 10 splurged a combined $56.6 million at the tower. Formerly the Wanda Vista Tower, St. Regis Chicago is a 101-story tower completed in 2020. Located at 363 East Wacker Drive, it is the city’s third tallest building. The building’s chief architect is Jeanne Gang, head of Studio Gang Architects.
Multiple billionaires were behind the deals on the list, and one buyer has strong family ties to Sterling Bay, among the most active highrise developers in Chicago.
Overall, it was another banner year for high-end Chicago real estate considering the strong volume of deals. However, the market lost some steam from 2021’s super hot sellers’ market. Within city limits, 66 sales closed at $4 million or more last year, according to the Chicago Association of Realtors. So far this year, 58 such sales have taken place, putting 2022 slightly behind last year’s record pace, according to publicly disclosed sales. That doesn’t include any of the many luxury sales outside of city limits and any off-market deals that haven’t been recorded in Cook County property records.
Below are breakdowns of the top 10 deals for 2022. This doesn’t include any top sales outside of Chicago city limits or sales that were not closed by the final week of the year.
1) 363 East Wacker Drive #7101
Chicago’s priciest sale of the year was to a Mexican billionaire, the CEO of Grupo Mexico German Larrea, who spent $20.6 million on a two-unit combined condo on the 71st floor of St. Regis. The 10,000-square-foot, four-bedroom, the five-bathroom condo has been under contract since 2021. It was originally listed at $18.5 million by the tower’s developer, Magellan Development Group. The deal closed on September 22nd.
The buyer’s purchase price is the second most that anyone has paid for a single Chicago-area property. Citadel Chief Executive Officer Ken Griffin bought four condo units for more than $58 million in the building at 9 West Walton Street in Gold Coast in 2017, in four separate transactions. Only one was priced at more than $20 million.
2) 401 North Wabash Avenue Ph 89A
Private equity veteran Bryan Cressey and his wife, Iliana Sweis, dropped $20 million in March on an 89th-floor penthouse at Chicago’s Trump International Hotel & Tower. The deal was the priciest of the year at the time it closed.
The condo owned by Sanjay Shay, CEO of Hoffman Estates-based software maker Vistex, sold on March 7 after going under contract in mid-February. Shay bought the 14,260-square-foot full-floor penthouse for $17 million in 2014 and listed the unit for $30 million in September 2021. The five-bedroom unit features floor-to-ceiling windows, and a private access elevator and comes with four penthouse-level parking spaces, but interior finishes were never completed. Shah previously said he would finish the raw space by 2018 and move in, and he never did, though he put up walls and ceilings.
3) 9 West Walton Street
A condo sale at the exclusive 9 West Walton Street development is the Chicago area’s third priciest deal this year. The 34th-floor unit sold for $17.4 million in March, according to Cook County property records. The deal appeared to be off market, with no public listings of the property.
In November, A. Steven Crown was identified as the buyer. Crown is the general partner at Henry Crown & Company and a member of one of the wealthiest families in Chicago, as well as the father of Keating Crown, managing principal at the development firm Sterling Bay. Crown bought the property, which wasn’t publicly listed, through an opaque land trust. The unidentified sellers spent $9.91 million on the unit in 2018 when it was raw, unfinished space.
4) 11 East Walton Street #3700
In one of billionaire Ken Griffin’s parting gifts to Chicago, he sold his condo at the Waldorf Astoria for $10.2 million. After the Citadel CEO announced plans to relocate the company to Miami from Chicago, he listed several of his personal Windy City real estate assets. The condo is one of the four high-priced units the hedge fund manager listed earlier this year and its sale closed in October. The five-bedroom 7,400-square-foot condo unit on the 37th floor of the Waldorf Astoria was listed for $11.5 million, before it closed for $10.25 million, marking a loss from the $13.3 million Griffin bought it for in 2014.
Griffin’s other listings included an 8,000-square-foot full-floor condominium on the 66th floor of Park Tower asking $13.25 million, a 9,250-square-foot full-floor unit on Park Tower’s top floor asking $15.75 million, and the Waldorf Astoria unit. A few weeks later he listed his fourth condo, a 7,085-square-foot unfinished unit on the 35th floor of the building at 9 West Walton Street. The combined $54.5 million in listings don’t include all of Griffin’s high-priced residential real estate in Chicago. He still hasn’t listed his unfinished space on the top three floors of the building at 9 West Walton. He paid $58.75 million in four separate transactions for the 35th through 38th floors of the building in 2017. It’s unclear what his plans are for the space, but he never moved in or completed the units.
5) 11 East Walton Street #5500
Scott Saldana, the founder of an options trading platform, and his wife, plastic surgeon Elyssa Saldana, come in at the fifth most expensive sale of 2022, getting $9.4 million for their full-floor Waldorf Astoria condo. The Saldana's took 15 months and trimmed their initial asking price by more than a third to reach a deal with the buyer, who hasn’t yet been identified, in October. The couple first listed the 6,400-square-foot, 55th-floor condo in June 2021 for $15 million in what was viewed as a sign of the downtown luxury market’s rebound amid the pandemic.
The condo was removed from the market and then re-listed in May at $12.5 million. While the deal closed at a 37 percent markdown from last year’s initial listing price, it still provided the Saldana's with a gain over their 2010 purchase price of $6.3 million.
6) 363 East Wacker Drive #9101
In June, a $9.2 million sale at the St. Regis tower was the highest-priced deal to close at the development before Gerrea’s purchase at the development later took the top spot. The 91st-floor unit includes the entire floor and has panoramic views of the city and Lake Michigan. The 5,700-square-foot condo has four bedrooms, five bathrooms, and two balconies.
The privacy and views attracted the buyers, who initially considered the building for several investment property units. The price tag didn’t include finishes and it's estimated the buyers will move in after another year of construction finishing the apartment.
7) 1909 North Orchard Street
The sale of a property at 1909 North Orchard in Lincoln Park is an anomaly on the list, as the $9 million sale broke records despite not having a home on the property. The property is a combined four lots that were sold as part of a custom design project by BGD&C Homes. The sale is somewhat of a formality given a new home will be designed for the client, at a price likely exceeding the land cost to make it one of the city’s most expensive single-family residential properties.
The deal appears to be a record in Lincoln Park for the cost of land alone. Other properties in the area that have exceeded $9 million have included a home. BGD&C previously told The Real Deal that the home will probably be one of the more specialized designs the company has done, given the amount of space. He expects to complete the project in two to three years. It’s not yet known how much the home itself will cost, but it will likely be at least equal to the land costs, totaling $18 million.
8) 363 E Wacker Dr #8701
In late April, another St. Regis condo set a record for the tower at the time at $8.97 million. The 6,200-square-foot condo topped an $8.93 million sale in March. The buyers, who weren’t disclosed in public records, put the property under contract in January 2021. It was originally listed at $9.8 million. The sale closed on April 29. The unit is on the 87th floor and has four bedrooms and five bathrooms.
9) 363 East Wacker Drive #7401
Also at St. Regis, a four-bedroom condo on the 74th floor of the building sold for $8.93 million in March. The buyers put the 5,600-square-foot condo under contract in 2018. At the time, it was also a record-setting price for St. Regis.
10) 363 East Wacker Drive, #8001
St. Regis also notched the 10th priciest sale in 2022. The condo, on the 80th floor of the building, sold for $8.85 million in February. The 6,400-square-foot property sold on Feb. 24. It was the highest-priced sale on record in the tower at the time, though it came below the developer’s initial ask. The developer was seeking $9.56 million for the unit.