$23m price tag for new Chicago penthouse

CHICAGO • When the 95-storey Vista Tower is completed in 2020, it will be the third-tallest building in Chicago, and at its very top will be a 7,000 sq ft penthouse, currently offered for US$17.1 million (S$23.2 million).

If sold, the duplex penthouse would just barely edge out an all-time record for Chicago's most expensive residential real estate.

A penthouse on the 89th floor of the Trump Tower sold for US$17 million in 2014, after its price was halved from the original listing price of US$32 million.

Given Chicago's current housing market, the penthouse's price tag might seem steep - the only comparably priced listing is a 12,000 sq ft Gold Coast mansion, according to the Trulia real estate listings site.

But consider that US$17.1 million is just 0.05 per cent of the personal net worth of Mr Wang Jianlin, the building's co-developer and, not coincidentally, Asia's richest person.

Bloomberg Billionaires estimates Mr Wang's net worth at US$31.7 billion; his corporate conglomerate, Dalian Wanda, has been on a multi-year global buying spree.


The 95-storey Vista Tower, to be completed in 2020, will be the third-tallest building in Chicago - and at its very top will be a 7,000 sq ft penthouse. PHOTO: MAGELLAN DEVELOPMENT GROUP

Dalian Wanda partnered Chicago-based Magellan Development for the Vista Tower project.

"There're a lot of downtown luxury condos being filled by empty nesters who want to sell their big homes and get a lot of equity," said Magellan's national marketing director Jim Losik. "When 2009 (global financial crisis) happened, that stopped, but now there's renewed interest."

Situated in Chicago's Lakeshore East neighbourhood, the building is designed by architect Jeanne Gang and will be nearly 366m tall. Its first 11 floors will be filled by a branch of the Wanda Vista Hotels, a luxury hotel chain owned by Dalian Wanda.

Above the hotel are the building's 406 condominiums, which will range from US$1 million for a 1,000 sq ft, one-bedroom apartment to 17 times that for the two-floor penthouse.

Twenty of the upper floors are what the developer has branded "360-degree residences", meaning that there is just one apartment per floor.

"Obviously a very wealthy person is going to buy it," said Mr Losik. "It could be someone local, it could be someone with business interests in the city, and, quite frankly, given our relationship with our Chinese partner, I wouldn't be surprised if it's an Asian buyer."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 16, 2016, with the headline '$23m price tag for new Chicago penthouse'. Print Edition | Subscribe