Gold Coast Mansion Rehabbed into Condos

This chopped-up Gold Coast mansion will be rehabbed into condos

Built in 1896 for an attorney who was a namesake for Chicago law firm Winston & Strawn, the building hasn't been polished for decades.

Crain's Chicago
December 6, 2021
Victoria Pruit

A 19th-century Gold Coast mansion, long ago sliced up into apartments and for sale for the past eight years, has been sold to a developer who plans rehab it into four condos.

Development firm ZSD on Dec. 2 bought the 10,000-square-foot Georgian-style home on North State Parkway for $2.35 million. That’s less than one-quarter of the $9.95 million that seller Sandy Shelton initially asked for the property when she put it on the market in the summer of 2013.

Zev Salomon, principal of ZSD, said he plans to rehab the building and its old alley-side coach house, which are connected on one level by a room-sized bridge, into four condominiums, all priced at $2 million or more. He said the only change to the exterior, aside from cleaning it up, will be a top-floor addition unseen from the street.

While the market for mansions priced at $5 million and up on the Gold Coast has been weak for several years, Salomon said he sees “an opportunity” for $2 million condos.

“It’s an exceptional location, with the Cardinal’s mansion, the park, and $10 million mansions on the block,” Salomon said. “The setting is bar none.”

Also working in his favor: The interior needs such extensive rehab that the product he puts on the market will be the equivalent of new construction, but inside a historical shell built in 1896.

Salomon said the only original interior feature he’s certain will be retained is the grand staircase, which will be a common element shared by the condos. There may be more vintage details unearthed as “we peel back the layers like an onion,” he said.

Sometime before Shelton and her now-deceased husband bought the property in the late 1970s, the mansion was cut up into six apartments, including the largest on the main floor, where the Sheltons lived. That unit, which extends into the rear coach house, will be the largest and highest priced, at 4,600 square feet and “the upper $2 millions,” Salomon said.

The coach house section of this unit is where the mansion's ballroom used to be, and Salomon said he may be able to restore its ceiling to the original 14-foot height. It was dropped to eight feet at some point in the past.

The other three units will be about 2,600 feet and priced from $2 million. The top-floor unit will have a rooftop deck.

The building was originally the mansion of Frederick S. Winston, an attorney who joined and later headed the Chicago law firm that his father, Frederick H. Winston, founded in 1853. F.S. Winston was the first attorney at the firm now known as Winston & Strawn to argue a case before the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Maybe we’ll call it the Winston” when rehab is complete and condos go on the market, Salomon said. He expects to start construction in about 90 days and deliver finished condos in 2023. Mike Hulett of Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty represented ZSD in the purchase.

Shelton’s asking price came down numerous times in the course of eight years and was at just under $3 million in September.

Little new rehab has been done to the once-grand home in three or four decades, listing agent D. Waveland Kendt of @properties told Crain’s last summer.

Salomon said he plans to strip away all the ivy that conceals nearly all the facade, and showcase the handsome brick facade capped by a copper cornice.



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