A Penthouse to Top All Penthouses? A 2-Bedroom at 600 N. Fairbanks in Streeterville

600-n-fairbanks-approved

This 2-bedroom penthouse at Helmet Jahn’s 600 N. Fairbanks in Streeterville just came on the market.

At 4500 square feet, it has 300 degree floor to ceiling views of the city and 3 covered terraces.

There are Terrazzo flooring throughout and custom black walnut millwork.

In the center of the unit is a library which is specially equipped with complete soundproofing and an exhaust system so you can smoke.

There is a condo wide entertainment systems which connects 6 cable devices to 15 television screens.

The HVAC has 7 zones.

The kitchen has Poggenpohl cabinets with an island that seats five.

There is a sunroom, an office, an exercise room and a spa.

The unit has central air and 3 garage parking spaces.

This penthouse last sold in the original closings of the building in 2008.

Is this the ultimate Streeterville penthouse?

Caryl Dillon at Baird & Warner has the listing. See the pictures here.

Unit #3901-4: 2 bedrooms, 3.5 baths, 4500 square feet

  • Sold in April 2008 for $3,085,500 (included 3 car parking)
  • Currently listed at $4.5 million (includes 3 car parking)
  • Or you can rent it at $18,000 a month
  • Assessments of $3581 a month (includes doorman, exercise room, pool, exterior maintenance and scavenger)
  • Taxes of $53,160
  • Central Air
  • Spa
  • Bedroom #1: 22×15
  • Bedroom #2: 19×15
  • Library: 15×13
  • Office: 22×10
  • Sunroom: 15×15
  • Exercise Room: 14×12
  • Laundry Room: 8×8

45 Responses to “A Penthouse to Top All Penthouses? A 2-Bedroom at 600 N. Fairbanks in Streeterville”

  1. No value here whatsoever, but this is a damn nice crib, and will make a fine and memorable first step to some baller’s eventual bankruptcy.

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  2. How is this a 300+ degree views, look at the floor plan…

    hanging your head way out over the terrace doesn’t count!

    Also why the fuck does someone need to be so attached to TV that they have one in their freaking shower (and every other room in the house it looks like)?

    Like seriously, what could this person possibly need to watch that is THAT important to have 4 TV’s in just your bathroom? I don’t get it at all

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  3. Also why the fuck are this person’s taxes so damn cheap… just goes to show you gotta be connected to a tax appeals lawyer, helps to know someone in Mike Madigan’s firm I’m sure

    this mfer should be paying at least 60k assuming no appreciation from 2008 (which we all know is horse shit in this building)

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  4. No TV in laundry room? I’ll pass.

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  5. “300 degree … views”

    ??? And the listing claims “more than 300”.

    If you have to stand in one corner, and angle your head just so, does that really count?

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  6. I was just about to comment on that Sonies. Mr. Williams must have some connections. The taxes on this place are absurdly cheap but that’s explained by the fact that it’s assessed at only a 2.7mm market value. The Tribune did a large investigation and found that the higher end properties in cook county were disproportionally taxed at lower rates/assessed values than those in lower income areas.

    “many living in the county’s wealthier and mostly white communities — including Winnetka, Glencoe, Lakeview and the Gold Coast — caught a break because property taxes weren’t based on the full value of their homes.

    As a result, people living in poorer areas tended to pay more in taxes as a percentage of their home’s value than residents in more affluent communities. Known as the effective tax rate, the percentage should be roughly the same for everyone living in a single taxing district.” – The Tax Divide – Trib

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  7. “gotta be connected to a tax appeals lawyer”

    No. I’ve been saying for *years* on here that expensive condos are routinely under assessed.

    Purchase price was 3,085,500.00 in Apr-08; current assessor’s MV is $2,738,920.

    That’s actually a lot closer than I would expect–only about 10% below acquisition cost. Compare to 340 OTP:

    https://www.redfin.com/IL/Chicago/340-E-Randolph-St-60601/unit-5603/home/39723239

    Feb-08 sale for $2,085,000.00; current assessor’s MV is $1,380,150. 1/3 lower than acquisition.

    My AV is about 5% below a ’01 acquisition price. That’s pretty consistent with AV for other properties nearby us that have traded since ’00.

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  8. All those windows and views. Do people living in high-rises actually keep their blinds/curtains open? I could only see myself opening my blinds if I were living in a unit facing the lake w/ no other buildings directly across. Otherwise, I would not be too keen on having my neighbors with telescopes/binoculars checking me out as I sleep, eat, watch tv, etc…

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  9. ” The taxes on this place are absurdly cheap but that’s explained by the fact that it’s assessed at only a 2.7mm market value.”

    Guys, he paid $3m for it. He’s *asking* $4.5m for it, but I could do the same thing; doesn’t mean that is the real value, that one should be taxed on.

    If assessments were based on MLS listed priced, everyone would list their homes for absurdly low prices, but with onerous non-economic terms, and then present that as the “evidence” that the property is worth very little.

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  10. BAND PRACTICE SPACE? CHECK.
    KEGGER SPACE? CHECK.
    ENOUGH SCREENS TO NOT MISS THE CUBS PLAY? CHECK
    EASILY CLEANED UP BLOOD STAINS ON ALL SURFACES? CHECK
    LET’S PARTY!!!!!! LOLS!!!!
    GO CUBBIES!!!!!!!!!!!!
    http://i.qkme.me/3telm5.jpg

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  11. Perfect bachelor pad. Looks like it is currently being used as a bachelor pad too. As usually the case with these high end places, owned by someone previously/currently? involved in the finance industry.

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  12. “Like seriously, what could this person possibly need to watch that is THAT important to have 4 TV’s in just your bathroom? I don’t get it at all”

    If you have enough money to pay this much for a home, how do you have enough time to watch that much TV? Do something better with your life. TV is for people who are too poor to do other things.

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  13. Exactly, this guy supposedly works in finance, is obviously successful and watches infotainment garbage like CNBC? wtf

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  14. Other than corruption, I’ve yet to hear a good explanation why the assessor’s Market Value figure should ever lower than the sales price of recently sold properties.

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  15. “Exactly, this guy supposedly works in finance, is obviously successful and watches infotainment garbage like CNBC? wtf”

    It appears seller was involved in finance, but then made good money after selling out around the time of the purchase of this condo. Seller probably had plenty of free time to watch Fox Business all day while formulating next business venture.

    You would be surprised, a lot of these successful business owner types who sell at the top of their game find themselves really unhappy after selling even though they have millions in the bank. For example, I’m familiar with a patriarch, who as CEO and 50% of a very successful company, sold out to a multinational for tens of millions, but was not able to remain involved as a condition of the sale. A friend of that family joked to me that one Friday afternoon the patriarch was CEO and then the following Monday morning his wife was nagging him to take out the garbage. That abrupt of a change is difficult, and it’s difficult to achieve that level of success twice. All of his ventures after that failed miserably. But they had a lake house (more like a mansion) up north on a popular lake.

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  16. “TV is for people who are too poor to do other things.”

    You’re totally wrong about that Jenny, the times we live in now truly are the golden age of television. TV has never been so good with so many choices of quality on demand entertainment. Shows like Game of Thrones is some of the best entertainment you will find on television, ever. Granted medieval fantasy as a genre is not for everyone, but for anyone who can appreciate quality television, the best time in the history of television is certainly now.

    “Watch it while it lasts: our golden age of television”

    https://www.ft.com/content/68309b3a-1f02-11e7-a454-ab04428977f9?mhq5j=e1

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  17. I pretty much watch zero TV as its all shallow obvious tripe, and Chicago sports teams have been total garbage lately

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  18. “Other than corruption, I’ve yet to hear a good explanation why the assessor’s Market Value figure should ever lower than the sales price of recently sold properties.”

    Well, there is always incompetence, too.

    There is some smoothing that goes on, bc there is the policy that similar properties are assessed similarly, and that puts a drag on the top-end properties.

    Look at the info that the assessor considers–everything that’s on the assessment page–(1) property class (ie, condo, sfh, general size, age), (2) land area, (3) number of units, if a multi, (4) exterior construction, if not a condo, (5) No. of baths, (6) whether there is a basement or attic or central air (NOTE: 340 OTP supposedly doesn’t have central air), (7) how many fireplaces (seriously!), (8) garage, and (9) building sq.ft. (for non-condos), and finally, the “neighborhood”.

    So, the comparison is to all properties that have similarities on those various fronts, with a goal of having similar properties similarly assessed. The fault is largely in the criteria, and the criteria remain the same out of some combination of inertia, corruption and ineptitude.

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  19. ” Shows like Game of Thrones is some of the best entertainment you will find on television, ever. ”

    Serious question. I watched the first episode of GoT and hated it. Is it worth trying again?

    I’m not a big fan of TV. It ends up depressing me. I rarely watch TV, but every so often a show gets such glowing recommendations from friends that I will watch it.

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  20. The seller owned a trading firm, so the explains the TVs in every room (and while there is a fair share of swill on the tube these days, there are other finance related stations other than CNBC) – who knows maybe he was streaming videos with his employees while in the sauna?

    Based on the Crain’s article published last week, I’d venture to say he is/was very well connected throughout the Chicago political landscape (to the comments on taxes, etc).

    Agree that it’s a perfect bachelor pad and slightly masculine/uber minimalist furnishings…that plus effectively being a 2-3bdrm means a very limited prospective clientele at a 4.5 ask…

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  21. Jenny, shows like GoT require you to not only watch, but also listen to the dialogue intently. The acting and writing is phenomenal. Once you get the basics of the characters and story lines it is very addictive. The first few episodes are tough because they do kind of gloss over a few key background items that are important throughout the entire series. You may have to watch a few times to pick up on themes and character relationships initially.

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  22. Or just read the books which are pretty good after 80% of the first one (which is basically like 90% character creation and introductions)

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  23. Strange nobody is talking about the pot smoking / torture room “library”.

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  24. I might give GoT another try. I need a fun way to escape.

    Is there incest every show? I don’t consider myself to be particularly sensitive, but it made my stomach turn. I’m totally OK with fetuses being stabbed, but incest, not so much…

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  25. Yeah, I wonder how many would consider the novelty / use of the dungeon limiting?

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  26. Condo buildings are generally valued per square foot and the values increase as height increases but there is no major jump for the penthouses or other very special units so if the building is averaging $600/sqft then the penthouse might be assessed at $700 even if they could get $1,000 on the open market.

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  27. I honestly think this unit is beautiful. And I really like this building. The location is give or take, depending on what you want.

    Would I spend 4 mil for this place? Hell no. I’d spend less on a place i’d consider equivalent and pocket the rest ( And if i was the kind of person who had this much money, probably spend the rest on my winter pad down in LA, miami, etc, wherever)

    Here’s a place i’d rather live in :

    https://www.urbanrealestate.com/property/50-E-Chestnut-Unit-3001-CHICAGO-IL-60611-6WqFkWqsjSXu.html

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  28. And although i’m not a huge fan of the building itself, the location is pretty similar on this unit, which i kind of like:

    https://www.urbanrealestate.com/property/550-N-St-Clair-Unit-2502-CHICAGO-IL-60611-6WqFkaVokSqt.html

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  29. do you have domestic help coming over every day at this price point?

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  30. The one on St. Clair is amusing. Why not just leave the beer fridge empty?

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  31. lol @ jenny,

    they LOVE coors, apparently.

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  32. I just hate Streeterville. It’s all high rises, hospitals and chain restaurants. I expected to be wowed with this unit and I was bored. As far as being rich is concerned, I read an article that after you make about $70k, which can get you a nice place to live, feed your kids, making more than that doesn’t make you happier.

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  33. “Why not just leave the beer fridge empty?”

    Looks like that’s the fridge-fridge. Otherwise, why the drawers under the shelves?

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  34. “I read an article that after you make about $70k, which can get you a nice place to live, feed your kids, making more than that doesn’t make you happier.”

    I’m much happier now making far more than that, that’s not going to go very far in the city of Chicago these days, maybe double that would be comfortable living in the green zone

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  35. This article was about the whole United States, so maybe $70k was the mean. But the point of the article was after you get your basic needs met, food, shelter, etc., whether that is $25k in an Alabama Trailer Park or $150k in a Chicago green zone, after that, more money doesn’t make you happier.

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  36. makes sense

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  37. “I read an article that after you make about $70k … making more than that doesn’t make you happier”

    But see:

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2015/04/14/money_and_happiness_when_does_an_extra_dollar_stop_making_us_more_content.html

    Depends on the definition of “happy”.

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  38. Riz, those places are bargains. You have plenty of upside!

    In NYC, something similar around 3500 sqft would set you back about $10.5 million or more.

    https://www.corcoran.com/nyc/Listings/Display/5172857?utm_source=criteo&utm_medium=cpc&utm_content=display&utm_campaign=lower_funnel

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  39. Russ, bargains? Ehhhh maybe in the current market. I have a hard time stomaching spending more than 2 mil on a home. But hey maybe if I had the money I would, who knows.

    Strongly disagree with the 70k thing. Maybe in bumblef**k Ohio where rent is 500 bucks a month.

    I can say that I’m no happier than I was making 300k. I have more stuff and can buy more but not happier.

    I think household income of 200 is more appropriate. At that level you’re not typically stressing out to pay the mortgage and bills, and you’re not in a high enough income bracket to be stressed out about keeping up with the joneses / having the latest Range Rover / vacationing in south of Europe and showing off on instagram to your friends.

    Of all my friends in varying income brackets those making 2-250 per year seem the most content. Those lower than that are still stressing about the mortgage and kids college loans, saving for a vacation etc. those in the 500 + range are not satisfied and always want more more more to be like the 1 mil + income crowd.

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  40. What’s a bargain across different real estate markets is very broad and subjective…this goes back to GoneFinishing’s comment about hating SV…unfortunately, most of Chicago is full of chain stores and I think SV is a great bargain for instance relative to GC, especially considering it’s proximity to downtown, the lake and basically everything in Chicago proper. Does it compare to the cultural/demographic/venue options in more cosmopolitan cities like NY or Paris, no – but the real estate market reflects that. I was torn between buying a place here or in NY…but as Riz & Russ pointed out, what I can get here for 1M would cost 3M+ in Manhattan or Brooklyn…is it worth it? If I had the funds to buy a comparable place in NY then yes, I think so (again, subjective :)

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  41. I actually considered continuing to rent in NY when I left a decade ago but looking at the rental (and purchase) prices now, I’m glad I relocated…it takes a lot more to buy in Manhattan and the rent controlled apts are being increasingly rare, so not something to bank on. Also, unforts the housing costs are outpacing inflation and are not offset by cost of living adjustments.

    Chicago is a great city but honestly it all comes down to priorities and value judgments, to each their own!

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  42. PS: while more cash means more material goods and a higher comfort level/standard of living, what about all of the experiences it can provide? I’d say having the funds to travel internationally and experience other corners of the world a few times a year certainly makes me happy, not to mention provides valuable perspective, among other things…but where is the tipping point?

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  43. I think happiness and money boils down to how much of your time can be spent at leisure. I sure as hell couldn’t work the hours Riz works. Despite the money, I would be very unhappy. On the other hand, I am fairly happy with making about $90k and working about 45 hours a week. If I had the option to work 30 hours a week and earn $60k, I might be happier. I do worry a lot about money though and can’t imagine having kids on my income, but I can afford to take a foreign vacation each year in the off season. I have a a reliable low-end luxury car and as much as I complain, I can afford to pay for my dogs’ medical bills. My puppy is going to need braces, but I will suck it up and get them for her even if it means that I may have to skip a vacation this year.

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  44. Jenny, despite all my babble you make a good and valid point. Who wants to be a slave to “corporate america” and spend their lives toiling away without being able to enjoy the finer but basic things in life such as time with family & friends – or just have the flexibility to live a modest but leisurely life (like many Europeans tend to do)…that might very well trump the most exotic vacations and material goods.

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  45. This is what a penthouse should look like (note to all of the ads that call a unit a “penthouse” when it’s the third floor of a Lakeview graystone).

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