By Bob Goldsborough
Special to the Tribune
December 13, 2009
In a move that will help to thin out what may be the heftiest local residential real estate portfolio of any Chicago Cubs player, starting pitcher ace Ryan Dempster has placed a 13-room mansion in Lakeview on the market for $2.25 million.
Dempster, 32, paid $1.715 million in early 2006 to buy the five-bedroom residence from its builder. He then paid $2.69 million in late 2008 for another newly-built house a few blocks away. Dempster also paid $480,000 this year for a condo in the neighborhood.
Now, Dempster has decided to unload the first mansion. Built in 2005, the three-story, 5,300-square-foot brick and limestone residence has 4 1/2 baths, four fireplaces, a master suite with a spa bath, Brazilian cherry hardwood floors, a large gourmet kitchen with a butler's pantry and breakfast nook, a party room on the top floor, a sauna, lower-level media room and a wine cellar. Outside on the 3,000-square-foot property are two cedar decks, a hot tub and a 2 1/2 -car garage.
The house came on the market Monday.
Several other Cubs also own places near Wrigley Field. Starting pitcher Ted Lilly paid $2.15 million in 2007 for a six-bedroom house just west of the ballpark, and reliever Jeff Samardzija paid $710,000 early last year for a two-bedroom condo in the Southport corridor.
Former Hawk rental
Former Blackhawks goalie Nikolai Khabibulin, who left the team as a free agent this year and now skates for the Edmonton Oilers, has rented out his three-bedroom condo in River North for $5,150 per month.
Khabibulin, 36, paid $1.76 million in 2005 for the 2,450-square-foot unit. Features in the 37th-floor condo include 3 1/2 baths, floor-to-ceiling windows, 9 1/2 -foot ceilings, a fireplace, two balconies, and a kitchen with granite counters, a Sub-Zero refrigerator and a Thermador oven.
Khabibulin placed the unit for rent on Nov. 5 for $5,250 a month and sealed a deal Monday to rent it for at least a year, said listing agent Rita Masini of Coldwell Banker.
Khabibulin's tenant will have the Cubs' Alfonso Soriano as a neighbor. Through a trust, Soriano paid $2.65 million in late 2006 to purchase a 44th-floor unit in the same building.
Lake Bluff mansion
The owner of a 17-room lakefront mansion in Lake Bluff has cut its asking price to $10.9 million from $12.5 million.
Banker George Michael, who claimed the five-bedroom residence was an Armenian church to avoid paying real estate taxes, reduced the asking price. The Tribune broke the story in 2008 of state revenue officials' preliminary ruling that exempted Michael from $80,000 in property taxes because 10 parishioners were congregating in the home. Michael's attorney told the Tribune that services at the mansion permitted his disabled wife to worship without leaving home.
In July, an independent state administrative law judge for the Illinois Department of Revenue reversed the ruling.
The mansion has 9 1/2 baths, five fireplaces, an exercise room, an indoor pool, a barbershop, a home theater, vaulted ceilings with 21 skylights, and a 10-car heated garage. The 5-acre property has 265 feet of private beach.
"I'm tired of litigation, of police officers coming to my driveway with sirens on and visitations from inspectors on a weekly basis," Michael said. "It's not in the best interest of my wife, who has become increasingly more ill. It's probably best that we don't live there anymore. I don't think they want us in Lake Bluff."
Michael said he never sought a full property-tax exemption for the estate.
"We had wanted to segregate a certain portion of the property," he said. "We were as shocked as everybody when it came back at 100 percent."
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