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  • snitzoid

Some billionaire bought three contiguous lakefront homes for $40 million(Winnetka). I'm jealous!

Honestly, I can't think of anywhere on planet earth that I'd rather build SanSnitzion than along the beach in Winnetka, next to maybe someplace in the Himalayas.

I realize the taxes will be about $1 million per year, but that's a small price to pay to live in Shangri F-cking La. Besides helping Cook County is helping promote diversity. Boy, am I for that. Especially along Winnetka's lakefront.

Billionaire Justin Ishbia begins demolishing 3 lakefront homes in Winnetka as private estate is assembled

By Bob Goldsborough. Chicago Tribune

Mar 31, 2023 at 10:08 am

The home at 203 Sheridan Road has been partially demolished as Justin Ishbia moves forward with assembling a private estate.

Billionaire Justin Ishbia and his wife, Kristen, who have spent $39.9 million since 2020 buying four separate houses on Lake Michigan in Winnetka, where they are assembling a private estate, have begun demolishing three of the homes.

For more than two years, the Ishbias have been working with officials from the Winnetka Park District to try to come to terms on a potential land swap that would involve the Ishbias deeding one of the lakefront houses they own on Sheridan Road — 261 Sheridan Road, which they purchased for $6.2 million in 2020 — to the park district. That would enable the district to achieve its longtime goal of bringing together two lakefront parks.

In exchange, the park district would give the Ishbias a comparably sized, 0.67-acre portion of Centennial Park with the same, 71-foot width. The couple then would combine that 0.67-acre portion of Centennial Park with the three properties they own to the south to create a homesite.

Now, the Ishbias are moving forward with clearing the three properties to the south. Demolition fencing recently was installed around the properties that contain the three homes. One home — a mid-century house immediately south of Centennial Park that Ishbia bought in 2020 for $8.2 million — already has been demolished, and a second home — a vintage house that they purchased in 2020 for $9.5 million — is about half demolished.

Next, backhoes and bulldozers will demolish a 9,958-square-foot mansion that the couple bought through a trust in July for $16 million. The mansion was built in 2015 by Heritage Luxury Homes.

In a brief phone call with Elite Street, Justin Ishbia confirmed that he and his wife are moving forward with demolishing the three homes.

Winnetka’s Village Council voted unanimously in December to allow the couple to consolidate the land on which the three homes sat into one 3.7-acre lot, paving the way for them to proceed with construction of a home. At that December meeting, Kristen Ishbia told the council that they had to postpone moving to Winnetka due to delays regarding the site, and that they “just want to give my children a safe and loving place to grow up.”

Still to be determined: the size and cost of the home that the couple plan to build on the 3.7-acre site. Ishbia said that his representatives are continuing to work on plans for the new house.

Meanwhile, the Ishbias and the district remain in negotiations regarding the possible land swap. Complicating matters is an ongoing lawsuit filed against the park district by a resident who is arguing that the state’s land trust doctrine bars the park district from giving up any of its land. However, both Justin Ishbia and the park district have confirmed that negotiations are continuing.

“There’s no new news” on the subject of the land swap, Ishbia said.

The Ishbias’ combined property tax bill for the four lakefront properties was $568,272 in 2021.

The Ishbias also own an 8,229-square-foot mansion in Lincoln Park that they purchased in 2021 for $12.5 million, and they own a 30th-floor condo in a Near North Side building that they purchased in 2018 for $5.57 million.

Goldsborough is a freelance reporter.

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