Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Windy City House Jamie Dimon Can't Seem to Sell

SELLER: Jamie and Judith Dimon
PRICE: $9,500,000
SIZE: 13,500 square feet 8 bedrooms, 9 full and 2 half bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Depending on what side of the financial fence the children sit, Jamie Dimon–Chairman, President, and CEO of J.P. Morgan Chase–is either one of the smartest men to ever put on a pin striped suit or he's the devil incarnate, a Machiavellian hornet more concerned about the size of his own bank accounts than the health of the U.S. economy.

Whatever the children may think of him, he is one of the luckiest and most financially fortunate men in the world. In 2006 Fortune magazine estimated Mister Dimon's total compensation tallied up to a staggering $41,200,000 making him, shockingly, only the 19th highest paid man in America. By 2008 according to Fortune, amid the economic meltdown of the U.S. economy created in large part by the financial malfeasance of institutions such as J.P. Morgan Chase, Mister Dimon's income had dipped down–the poor lamb–to a mere $36,000,000. According to a September 2009 article on the New York Times blog Economix–which cites the Census Bureau's annual report on income, poverty, and health insurance–that was than 700 times the median household income of $50,303 for Americans in 2008.

Listen bunnies, Your Mama does not begrudge anyone wealth or creature comforts but there is something that makes our soul ache with unfairness and shame that in a country where working families can't afford decent meat or a new pair of shoes for their children bankers by the hundred are raking in far more money than they or their families will ever need. We realize that many of you will not agree and we'll probably take some heat for saying this, but when push comes to shove, a banker really doesn't work any harder than a farmer, a teacher, a small business owner or–dare we say–a writer who types their fingers to the nubbins every day to bring the children some juicy celebrity real estate gossip.

In the fall of 2000, shortly after being named CEO of the Chicago-based Bank One and relocating from his native New York City to the Windy City, Mister and his wife Judith shelled out $4,680,000 for a titanic 26-room mansion on the super swank Gold Coast. At that time the purchase price was, according to Mister Big Time, one of the highest amounts ever proferred for a private home in the history of Chicago. While the purchase of a home of this expense and consequence was an indication to some that Mister and Missus Dimon were in Chicago to stay, the well compensated financier and his wife opted not to pull up their residential roots in New York City where they hung on to a multi-million dollar Park Avenue cooperative apartment.

In 2004 Bank One was purchased by J.P. Morgan Chase and, having been appointed to the position of president of the ever expanding financial institution, Mister Dimon returned to his New York City roots where in November of 2004 he and the wife dumped $4,875,000 for an apartment immediately adjacent to the one they already owned on Park Avenue. It is said–and reported–that Mister Dimon combined the two apartments into one CEO-style spread that includes a sound proofed room where he likes to listen to Frank Sinatra at full volume.

A couple of years later, in late 2006 according to prop records and previous reports, he and the wife forked over $17,050,000 for an approximately 30 acre piece of property in the unincorporated Westchester County hamlet of Bedford Corners, NY. Your Mama doesn't know if the property then or now has a house on it, but it's not a stretch to imagine that since buying the bucolic spread Mister and Missus Dimon renovated an existing mansion or built themselves a large and wildly expensive residence commensurate with their extreme wealth and exhalted position within the Wall Street world.

All of this brings us back around, children, to Mister and Missus Dimon's dee-luxe digs in Chicago. In the spring of 2007, no longer in need of their gigantic Gold Coast townhouse, they heaved the beast on to the market with an asking price of $13,500,000. Thirteen and some million clams for a townhouse in New York ain't but a pittance, but in Chicago the Dimon's desired price made it one of the most expensive properties on the market. However and but alas, more than three years and several cyclopean price chops later, the Dimon's four floor plus a full finished basement townhouse remains on the market as one of the most expensive properties for sale in Chicago with a still sky high asking price of $9,500,000.

Listing information for the lavish family (and live in staff) friendly corner property shows that there are a total of 8 bedrooms and 9 full and 2 half poopers including a blow it out of the box full floor master suite. The imposing, dignified, and somewhat dour looking house that gives Your Mama a vague vibe of an academic building at an expensive east coast college was built in the 1890s and sits just two short blocks off Lake Michigan. Put on a sweater butter beans and try to imagine the icy winter winds that come whipping off that body of water and right up against the windows and doors of this house. A few more blocks away is the pretty and pristine Oak Street Beach, arguably Chicago's best beach particularly if you're among the city's hoity-toity like to be seen in a $200 bikini crowd.

Anyhoo, The fully renovated and lavishly if not particularly excitingly decorated Dimon digs maintain a fairly typical townhouse layout with utilities mostly lined up along the back wall, formal public rooms on the lower floor, family quarters on the upper floors, and staff and services down in the basement. Before y'all get a'beefin' and a'tryin' to school Your Mama on how townhouses traditionally had staff quarters shoved up into their low-ceilinged top floors, we know. However it is our non-scientific assessment that in order to take advantage of the best light and air available to tightly packed townhouse properties, many if not most newer or newly renovated townhouses keep the top floor for private use and stick the staff quarters downstairs.

The children will note that the Dimon's townhouse is not equipped with an elevator which means LaVeda the Laudress spent many an hour haul and heaving the laundry and linens up and down 4 damn flights of stairs. We don't dare breathe a word about the lack of an elevator to our sassy and demanding house gurl Svetlana lest she start hollerin' and hysterically turning cartwheels of furry and indignation in solidarity with LaVeda's stair climbing misfortune that makes her little more than a damn beast of burden.

The main floor has a large foyer that steps up to a "reception hall" fitted with a gently curving staircase, powder pooper, elaborate moldings and plaster ceiling details, and flooring that is probably some kind of rare and hideously expensive wood but looks in the listing photo like the sort of cah-cuh colored linoleum Your Mama's step-father's step-mother had in the kitchen of her triple wide back in the 1970s.

The reception hall is flanked by the 30-foot long formal living room on one side and the 29-foot long formal dining room painted an unusual but pleasant shade of pumpkin on the other. The living room has a wood burning fireplace which is nice for those severely nippy winter days and nights Chicago is famous for, and both rooms have heavily detailed moldings and curved walls with huge windows that look out on to the street. On the far wall of the dining room are a pair of symmetrically aligned doors. One opens into a library with leaded glass windows and built in bookshelves and the other opens into a hallway that connects to the eat-in kitchen and service areas of the house including an attached two garage. A stair hall off the kitchen serves as a staff and delivery entrance that opens directly onto the street and also allows the staff to discreetly climb from the the basement to the third floor without having to be seen by the high-fallutin' occupants and/or their tony guests.

The master suite sprawls across the entire second floor and consists of a huge, 600 square foot bedroom with sitting area and fireplace, separate paneled sitting room, a half bathroom just off the bedroom plus a lavish pooper with double sinks and a private compartment for the terlit, a long and wide hallway where the two main walk in closets are located, an office with built-ins, and finally a large room with private pooper at the back that can, technically, be closed off from the master suite. However, were the room to be closed off from the master suite, it would only be accessible by traipsing through the master suite or via the back stairway. Iffin anyone were to ask Your Mama–which of course no one did–it's rather coarse for a person wealthy enough to own a home of this magnitude to expect their guests to schlep through the kitchen and up the staff stairs in order to get to their overnight accommodations so our meaningless recommendation is that the homeowner retain that room and pooper for private use.

The third floor family and guest accommodations comprise three bedrooms each with walk-in closet, built-in cabinetry, and en-suite pooper. A fourth, smaller bedroom requires its occupant to wander down the long hallway in order to access terliting and bathing facilities. Two generously sized walk-in closets and a study niche complete the floor. Upstairs on the fourth floor we find a 600+ square foot media room that opens onto the roof terrace, an exercise room and pooper, and a room with a massive built in wet bar. Listen puppies, no one likes to tip back a gin & tonic or four more than Your Mama but even still we always find these vast rooms in private homes devoted to mixing and imbibing booze to be unnecessary and, yes, a bit unseemly. They're sort of like advertisements that you are a drunk.

Down in the basement–which thankfully has a fair amount of windows–there is a discotheque, a wine room, mechanical and service areas, laundry facilities, and a couple of storage rooms. We're going to look beyond and move right past the vexing silliness and utter absurdity of having a "discotheque" in one's home. There are are also two staff bedrooms each with private pooper and a windowless staff kitchen large enough for a good sized dining room table. Your Mama thinks shuffling the live-in staff off to dark basement accommodations is, generally speaking, an ugly and embarrassing practice that too easily and not surprisingly festers a roiling resentment. That said, these two staff rooms in the Dimon townhouse are in fact exceedingly generous in size, particularly compared to the cell-sized holes many rich folks relegate their live in staff members about whom they'll disingenuously tell people are like family members.

Your Mama would bet a dozen donuts that after three-plus long years on the market Mister and Missus Dimon are eager to unload their Chicago townhouse. However, in the event they are not able to sell the house at an acceptable price that will pocket them a few million bucks they do not need, Mister and Missus Dimon unquestionably have the resources and luxury to own and maintain their real estate white elephant from now until the end of time. Like Your Mama said , he's one of the luckiest and most financially fortunate beehawtchas on the planet.

listing photos and floor plan Sudler Sotheby's International Realty


Anonymous said...

Demon, What an apropriate name.

Village said...

Awwwwwww. My real estate porn fix. I needed that.

Anonymous said...

Mama, No mention of the pot rack, the size of a towncar. I did notice the biedermeier in the dining room, which is amazing.

Anonymous said...

$35 million is 700 times, not 70 times the average medium income.

Anonymous said...

700x the median US household income.

Your Mama said...

You right darlin's.

You know, with our boozy double vision we saw a zero where there was not actually a zero.

Anonymous said...

Something this large with 5 floors could really use an elevator. Maybe that's why it's not selling?

Anonymous said...

It's a little too eclectic on the inside for my taste

Anonymous said...

An in-home discotheque without an adjacent powder room is the epitome of narishkeit (Yiddish, ask your bubie).

And a master bedroom with seating for five, and an adjoining sitting/dressing room with seating for three more, is ideal for the kind of serial client hospitality offered by Hedda, that nafka (Yiddish, definitely don't ask your bubie)when Studly is away from Trenton on government business.

And our word verification, which by the way we were the first to begin quoting, was "cattie."

Patty O. and Verandah

Anonymous said...

If you are gonna make an issue of his salary at least be fair and do it for just about every person who has a home featured on this site.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 4.59PM - Why would the salaries of the other featured celebrities need to be mentioned? The other persons on this site are primarily movie stars, musicians, producers, etc. I wasn't aware that their greed and excesses had resulted in the collapse of the world's financial markets and economies?!

angie said...

I agree with your musings regarding the obscene salaries some top executives make, especially when it's never been clearer that they just aren't aren't worth it. For those with short memories, you need not look any further than the current Gulf Oil spill and how BP's CEO is 'handling' things. Oh wait, I forgot. The company has taken the matter out of his hands. If I wasn't so relieved about that decision, I could go on for hours about him.

We're at a point where the top earning 1% in the USA take home nearly 34% of the country's income. That's almost exactly where things stood at the time the Great Depression occurred. And now we're living through the Great Recession. Coincidence? More like history repeating itself in the form of unfettered greed, and the consequences for everyone not among that uber exclusive top 1%.

@ anon 2:47 PM, my thought exactly. No elevator in a house with this many floors at the price their asking is definitely a big buyer deterrent imo.

lil' gay boy said...

I'm with Village, Mama; thanks for the real-estate porn!

Ah, Chicago; wonder why Orca, um, I mean Oprah, hadn't snapped it up. Home of the modern skyscraper, as well as FLLW and other architects, I'm all for preserving structures whenever posssible, however...

Seeing that this is neither a significant nor landmark structure, not to mention how it is so tragically hemmed-in by anonymous high-rises, I can't imagine why someone hasn't torn this one down a long time ago.

Not that I'm in any way advocating it's destruction, especially as it has a certain Richardsonian charm, but I think the real estate clock has run out on this one.

I agree with the last two posters re: comments on salaries; but I will still defend Anon 4:59's right to dissent.

StPaulSnowman said...

Being hemmed in, as LGB observes, certainly takes something away from the exterior setting of a grand house but, as Chicago's incomparably magnificent Richard Driehaus Museum demonstrates, does not justify its razing. Great bones and interiors can turn back the real estate clock. I hope this building, which I do think is significant, will survive............ preferably.without the disco.

Anonymous said...

1. I'd be happy to live there if I had enough income to hire the needed help.
2. You are right in spades about the obscene amounts sucked up from everybody else by those at the top of the economic heap. But the US stopped being a democracy long ago and is now a plutocracy in all but name.
3. As long as the government can be bought by the rich there isn't much anyone can do about it, except wish for bad things to happen to the pigs that rule over us.

matt j said...

for those who haven't been keepin up why Miss Oprah the "Billionairess" nee Orca hasen't purchased this...She is so out of Chi-Chi.. with the Discovery Channel puttin a ring on her a hand in marriage now Miss OWN network is in LaLa land where she can stay warm, work less days and not climb stairs...besides maybe just maybe a certain President might want to take it since they put their other home on the market there. They are young and nimble enuf to climb stairs

Anonymous said...

How naive and disappointing. People who have no financial-world literacy or experience have no place casting judgement on 'what a banker does all day' or 'how hard they work.'In actual fact, a lot of banking acquaintances work their butt off all week long, and weekends too. They are people of brain and instinct and they have qualities, drive and tenacity that few others offer so don't attempt to suggest that 'anyone can do their job' because they bloody well can't.

As much as the crisis was a fault of 'repackaging' dodgy mortgages, it was about dotted-line salary invention on behalf of millions of Americans and the absurdly debt laden public who believe they have a right to 'borrow' the American dream. They have no right to borrow it, only earn it. If they want to borrow, they have to pay for it. There are enough people in the fastest growing economies in the world who are prepared to EARN it and not simply take on unmanageable-but-tempting debt after unmanageable-but-tempting debt. If there is ANYONE who has unjustly escaped scrutiny in this mess it is them.

Secondly, Dimon's salary fluctuates due to the profitability of the bank - the more successful, the more the salary. Do you have any idea how much corporation tax merely the ENGLISH trading arm of JP Morgan pays in London alone? No. Because your tiny brains never consider the HUGE tax contributions that not only super-rich people make, but super-rich organisations. Nor do they consider that such organisations reward intelligence and that many, many people are given a financially beneficial job from which they can support a family properly. And that the strength of financial services, and the wealth within it, provides work for the lawyers and the accountants, and through their wealth creation they provide work for the realtors and on and on, down the chain. That is why numbskulls the rest of the country is always screwed when Wall Street is fingered.

It's the same old story of 'ignore how much the banks contribute to the world economy when times are good, just slam them down when times are bad.' You cannot have your cake and eat it. I am sick to death of this bank bashing.

Any scrutiny of Tom Cruise? Or other millionaire Hollywood producers? They effectively 'bet' on movies with production money, largely financed by the banks you bash. They make their own tidy piles out of the production profits , buy a house in the Hills and everyone coos about how wonderful they are. Pathetic. PATHETIC.

Anonymous said...

Give me a little beach house at Pensacola Beach or Destin, FL and a little boat, and the rest of you can have this place. I don't see anything comfortable or inviting about this big old house, and I sure ain't climbing stairs all day either.

Italian citrus said...

You are a fantastic writer with strong opinions that make sense to me. And I love your reviews and opinions about all of these beautiful homes, good, bad and ugly.

Italian citrus said...

LOL @ matt j.

Italian citrus said...

Wow, just read the typical bankster defense @ 6:51. Joseph Stiglitz, Paul Volcker, Bill Black and Simon Johnson (the book 13 Bankers is excellent, btw) have all said that what Dimon-types and the shadow banking industry have accomplished is legalized theft, fraud and systematic fleecing of the middle class, with the cooperation of our government.

Nobody believes that "finance is too "advanced" for regular folks to understand" stuff. That doesn't work anymore. I can identify that I've been fleeced and I know who did the fleecing. It's a perpetual cycle of rent-seeking behavior and it continues to this day.

If these guys were so brilliant and advanced, pushing paper all day long and manipulating numbers in the computer, they wouldn't need to beg for welfare from the government to the tune of TRILLIONS, financed by working class people.

Celebrities and wealthy entertainers did NOT cause this widespread misery.

lil' gay boy said...

Hear, hear, italian citrus.

Whenever I hear anyone wail about how unfairly banks & bankers are viewed, I sense that they or a family member are either in the industry themselves or have the (ir)rational hope that they themselves might someday achieve the same.

I used to be in banking but left thankfully years ago; too much pressure for what I wanted in my life at the time. I understand that there can be tremendous pressure even for the majority of folks in the industry who are, for the most part, the working schlubs who do the grunt work; my "misgiving" is the total disproportion of compensation for what a certain few do, especially when you consider the risks involved.

If they were risking their own personal wealth I'd be the first to say "...fine; the sky's the limit". But to essentially play online poker with other peoples' money, and only have, at best, a slap on the wrist & a lower bonus (not to mention the coffers refilled & go at it again) is insane; look at what happened with Jerome Kerviel & Societe Generale ––– billions in losses and they just shake their heads & call him a "rogue trader?" No sir, uh, uh. It's almost analogous to those fighting a modern war; nothing more than a video game to them as they sit thousands of miles away, make a tiny error that causes untold damage, and all you get is "ooops"...

Where's the sense of proportion?

I'd rather see, for example, cops, soldiers, doctors & teachers paid more ––– and yes, I know it's a dangerous game to compare the worth of what someone does against another; we ALL contribute in some way. But you cannot deny that some are underpaid & others are overpaid. Common sense is hard to define but the concept isn't. Using personal risk as a yardstick might be a good place to start.

I honestly don't know what the solution is, but total deregulation obviously didn't work –––– like asking the wolves to guard the sheep, as long as they don't eat too many of them. It became a frenzy. But some common sense should be employed; just as the courts ruled on identifying pornography with the concept "...we may not be able to define it, but we know it when we see it..." the brakes need to be put on unfettered compensation without consequences.


Snowman, I too find some of this house lovely & would like to see it saved; I'm especially enamored with the details in the dining room. Perhaps, like Betsey Whitney did with the Greentree Foundation, the Dimons could turn it over for use as a retreat for the betterment of man?

Anonymous said...

@ lil gay boy: Orca comment was really mature. Jealous much?
@ Bankster lover: IF the organizations & their CEOs contributed their actual fair share of taxes, which they don't via accounting acrobatics, it still would not excuse financial "instruments" that have destroyed our economy.

StPaulSnowman said...

Anonymous 10:51. I am sure LGB made a mistake in his comment........he wrote Orca when he meant to write Beluga. I doubt his jealousy extends further than Ms. Winfrey's relationship with Mr. Cruise.

lil' gay boy said...

Aw thanks, Snowman...

Not jealous, just a bad habit (like picking your nose in traffic); I'm sure Anon 10:51 just has a short memory and forgot my last comment about her, and does make a good point about CEOs, et al. Besides, I prefer sevruga to beluga ––– unless, of course, you're referring to whales, not sturgeon.

Now as for Mr. Cruise –––– ew.

I hear the poor little tike's latest effort, Knight and Day, was a disappointment; Mr. Clooney on the other hand...I'd pay to hear him read the phone book ––– backwards.

Does anyone know the provenance on this townhouse? I haven't found anything about the architect, client, etc., yet.

Anonymous said...

6:51 I think 99% of Americans (maybe only 98%) would be happy to "work their butts off" for 40 million a year, year after year, or maybe for even just a paltry 20 million that the Wall Street poor have to endure. Not to mention the many more millions in bonuses and stock options, etc., etc. You should be ashamed.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Manhattan banker who works on Wall Street....and I'm not afraid to say that I'm RICH. I love Wall Street!

I'm so sick of you poors, sitting home in your boxers, begrudging the wealth of us productive members of society.

It is not bankers or the banks fault Americans are so stupid and overreached with things they could not afford (homes, for instance)

It's Darwinism. 95% of people will always be stupid poors and the rest of were destined to be winners.

Now please leave Wall Street alone and go back to yapping about stupid (usually poor) "celebrities" in uneducated and third world "LaLa Land" and leave the real wealth to us.

You all know nothing about anything. Just do us a favor an stay off of Park Avenue and get back to talking Britney.

StPaulSnowman said...

I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that Wall Street bankers are really high in mercury.

angie said...

Wow, "tiny brains", "numbskulls", "begrudging poors" verses the "intelligence" of "productive members of society". Well, you sure have edumacated us schmucks. I guess this is a turning point "pay no attention to that man behind the curtain" Wizard Of Oz moment for us. At least the Wizard was grateful for his bailout. What's your excuse.

To Matt, Italian citrus, lil' gay boy, Snowman, and the not so arrogant anons, rock on ;)

Anonymous said...

This man is a thief, plain and simple.
He and his scum brethren have destroyed this country, perhaps irreparably.
My father can take your heart out and put another in and he makes a pittance compared to these financial felons.
Mind you, he and his colleagues can save your life, you know the think you can't get back when it is gone. The most important thing you have.
Yet they are called overpaid doctors.
Hell, my next door neighbor makes $15 million a year for tossing around a basketball.

This country has some seriously messed up values that have doomed it.

My word is psycha.

Mama'sBoy said...

Excellent post 'Ma. I don't really know how people with this much money and means and wealth live with themselves while some of the people below starve and freeze to death. I make a rather modest income (by choice--mo $ mo Probz I say) and I often wonder--how am I any better than them when the ratio of money and/or time that I give to charity is probably less than their's...ah well, the point stands--the irony and the audacity of referring to the Svetlana's and LaQuandrie's as "just like family"...a sickening display of selfawarelessness.

Anonymous said...

I don't begrudge anyone their earned fortune (if indeed it was earned), but seriously he get's a 'relocation' package too. He can't pony up his own dime to move home?