Friday, September 16, 2011

Rosie O'Donnell Sets Down Real Estate Roots in Chicago

BUYER: Rosie O'Donnell
PRICE: $2,50,000 (list)
SIZE: 6,000 square feet,

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: In a few weeks outspoken, sometimes controversial and occasionally abrasive multimedia personality Rosie O'Donnell will return to daytime television as the host of her own eponymous talk show on the newly created and still struggling Oprah Winfrey Network, otherwise known as OWN. Miz O'Donnell will tape her new program at Harpo Studio One, the very same studio where her new boss Miz Winfrey taped her own sensationally successful and eponymous daytime chat show for about 100 years.

Over the course of Miz O'Donnell's sometimes tumultuous 25-plus year career, the showbiz dilettante has worked it out in the public eye as a stand up comedian, television and movie star (A League of Their Own, The Flintstones), author/memoirist, magazine publisher (the short-lived and long-defunct Rosie), television and Broadway producer (Taboo, Fiddler on the Roof), blogger/video diarist, satellite radio personality, and gay vacation entrepreneur (R Family Vacations). She is probably, however, best known as a chat show host.

In the mid-1990s in to the early Noughts Miz O'Donnell hosted her own daytime tee-vee talk show (The Rosie O'Donnell Show) for which she was nominated for or won nearly a dozen Daytime Emmys. In the fall of 2006 she turned up as a co-host on that viper pit of a gabfest known at The View where her progressive/left-leaning political and social views frequently clashed explosively with those of conservative Christian co-host Elizabeth Hasselback.

Whatever one may think of Miz O'Donnell, her sometimes too brusque manner, polarizing commentary, and vehement (and vocal) opposition to conservative social and political points of view, she's a tireless and incredibly generous advocate for philanthropic causes; She has, by some reports, donated as much as or more than $100,000,000 to charitable causes that include global disaster relief, LGBT rights, and the health, education and welfare of children. No, puppies, we did not drunkenly insert an extra zero there, that's one hundred million clammers.

Back in March, when it was announced that she'd signed on to host a talk show that tapes in Chicago, she told USA Today that she planned to commute back and forth between The Windy City and her long-time residence just outside of The Big Apple, an expansive 4-crib compound on the bank of the mighty Hudson River in sleepy and affluent Nyack, NY. Presumably that choice had everything to do with her desire not to uproot the four children she co-parents with ex-wife Kelli Carpenter O'Donnell.

While Miz O'Donnell may indeed burn up the jet fuel with frequent trips home it seems she's decided to set down some real estate roots in Chicago where she can lay her head when she doesn't t feel like jumping on a plane..

According to the Chicago Tribune, Miz O'Donnell is currently in contract to purchase an approximately 6,000 square foot brick and limestone townhouse on an extra-wide lot in the Lakeview neighborhood on the north side of Chicago, just a stone's throw from Wrigley Field and the Boystown 'hood, Chicago's version of the gay-gay-gay Castro District in San Francisco and Chelsea in New York City.

Listing information shows the 3-story residence was built in 2007 and includes 5 bedroom and 5 full and 2 half bathrooms. The property was last listed with an asking price of $2,500,000 but since Miz O'Donnell has yet to signed on the deed's dotted line it's not known exactly how much moolah Miz O'Donnell has agreed to cough up for her new Chi-Town pied a terre.

The bulky 12-room residence includes an entrance hall with white-veined brown marble floor, an intimately-scaled formal living room with fireplace and 11-foot ceilings, and an adjacent formal dining room with paneled dado. A generous pass-through butler's pantry with sink, dishwasher and under-counter wine fridge connects the formal dining room to the expensively equipped open-plan kitchen and family room area with fireplace that opens through a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows and doors to the compact city-sized rear garden.

According to marketing materials Your Mama peeped, there are four upper level bedrooms including a master suite with 29-foot long bedroom, fireplace, and over-sized bathroom with double sinks, built-in vanity, soaking tub, separate shower equipped with steam, and a cozy cubby for the crapper.

There's a fifth bedroom–perfect for snoring guests or a live in domestic–on the half-submerged lower level of the house has a gigantic game/family room where the seller, an executive at Oprah's media company, has three flat-scree televisions mounted to the wall. There's also a home theater with wide screen and tiered seating.

Outdoor areas include a front stoop–who doesn't love a front stoop in an urban or semi-urban locale from which to watch the world go by?–a rear garden finished with with SYNLawn artificial grass, and a gigantic 2,000 square foot roof terrace.

A heated three car garage at the back of the property ensures that Rosie's whips will always be warm and ready even in the dead of Chicago's (in)famously bitter cold winters.

Other amenities that may have appealed to Miz O'Donnell are a heated three car garage that ensures her fancy whips will always be warm and ready even in the dead of Chicago's (in)famously bitter cold winters, a separate power generator, and top of the line audio and security systems.

Miz O'Donnell has long owned a riverfront compound in Nyack, NY that includes a 7,092 square foot Dutch Colonial main house with waterside swimming pool that property records indicate she acquired in March 2002 for $2,900,000. The O'Donnell compound also includes four more houses–two of which sit right on the water's edge–that records show she scooped up between May 2001 and January 2008 for a total of $5,705,000. Combined, as per our hardworking bejeweled abacus, Miz O'Donnell has spent $8,605,000–not counting renovation and customization costs–to put her compound together.

Since March 1999 Miz O'Donnell has owned a 13,887 square foot mansion with 6 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms on the private, exclusive and guard-gated Star Island enclave in Miami Beach, FL. Other high-profile property owners on Star Island include Gloria Estefan, Puff Diddy (or Diddle Daddy or H.R. Puff 'n Stuff or whatever the hell name Sean Combs calls himself nowadays), pharmaceutical tycoon Phillip Frost, and quirky German real estate developer Thomas Kramer.

In October 2008 the entertainment industry juggernaut that is Rosie O'Donnell paid $2,005,000 for a 1,391 square foot pied a terre at the Platinum building in the heart of the theater district just a block from New York City's Times Square. It appears to Your Mama that Miz O'Donnell–and/or her ex-wife Kelli–still owns the modestly sized city view apartment.

listing photos: Koenig & Strey


Anonymous said...

Good for her for the huge charitable giving! That said, she was for years in the closet .."MY TOMMY"(Cruise)she used to bellow on her show. Ellen paved the way for Rosie with her honesty about her life, that cost Ellen dearly at the time. Also, I feel that Ms. Odonnel has hurt gay acceptance within straight society, with her angry and often in your face style. As far as the real estate..seems like alot of sq footage for the price.

Anonymous said...

yes, big house small price! wow, very nice. I am leery of watching Rosie's new show however because she just stresses you out when she goes on that rant thing she does...and perhaps she has lost a lot of credulity with her 9-11 belief that the US government did it. All that reminds me of those things when I see her, and I feel bad. I really do not care what she does in her bedroom quite frankly.

Anonymous said...

Well you can apparently get a lot more for your money in Chicago than in Manhattan. But I guess we have always known that. I haven't paid too much attention to Rosie but I have thought well of her ever since I watched her interview Daniel Radcliffe some years back. She took pains to point out that he was not like most kid movie stars who rapidly get too big for their britches, but rather was polite and modest and very well behaved. He was and is and she deserves plaudits for appreciating it.

Grrrowler said...

Thank you for pointing out Rosie's charitable donations. When I first scanned that paragraph I thought I had read $100,000. I did a double take when I noticed the extra three zeros. As for her being outspoken about progressive causes, good for her! The noise machine on the right is endless and vitriolic. I'm glad to have someone on my side with a public platform that has no problem calling out bullshit.

GoodWillHumping said...

I think I've spent some time in this house. That is if it is one of those McCormick/Blair-family owned properties.
I'm sure you all wanted to know that. lol

Anonymous said...

It takes a strong backbone to be a pioneer and trail blazer and sometimes it takes "angry and in your face." I also think that it's small thinking on both sides to say that Ms. O'Donnell somehow reflects on or represents all lesbian and gays. Nobody elected her and she owes no one anything. I never saw her show much, but I sure admire her.

Nathan said...

You may want to look at paragraphs 13 and 14. You mentioned the garage and such twice - I'm assuming by mistake.

Anonymous said...

$100 million? Holy god....

I live Chicago, spent half the summer there this year. Great town.

I am looking to buy a house there, but in the Skokie/Lake Forest area.
Chicago is like NY, but more affordable and devoid of the people with crappy attitudes.

Rosie seems cool most of the time but kind of an a-hole too at times. My aunt who is also a lesbian is 100% exactly like her. Freaks me out sometimes.

Anonymous said...

I highly doubt that Ms. O'Donnell has ever had $100 million to donate to anything. If this were the case, she would not own the real estate that she does; instead, she would be renting like the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

She's more Berwyn or Blue Island than Lakeview.

Anonymous said...

You mention Rosie's movie roles, but left out her greatest in Exit to Eden - someday it'll be recognized as the groundbreaking classic it is!

If memory serves, in Kathy Griffin's My Life on the D-List she visits both of Rosie's current homes in various episodes.

I'm quite surprised that she allegedly picked a home such a public space; I'd have expected her to hole up in a luxe, guarded high-rise.

No need to visit Antarctica to experience freezing temperatures; I've been in Chicago when it was wind-chill 60 below, the river was frozen to unknown depths, and schools were closed because it was far too dangerous for children to be outside. It was probably too cold for penguins also.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 7:11, that figure is probably pretty close to correct.
She, like Roseanne and the Friends cast among a select group, have serious "fuck you" money. In other words, they made SO much they never have to work or worry again.
Rosie matched Cher with $500K for a VA hopital, and that was one donation.
No reason to sound bitter dear, it's not attractive.

midTN said...

This looks very comfortable.

Maybe she can flip it easily when the new show bombs and/or when her ass freezes off in the Chicago winter.

Rosie has done a LOT of charitable giving, and is to be highly commended.

I just wish she would lose that nasty attitude.


SusieQ said...

Wow, that seems such a reasonable price. Maybe I'm a jaded Californian.

angie said...

Really nice townhouse. Rosie rocks.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:07 PM "...but in the Skokie/Lake Forest area". These two areas are not in close proximity to each other and are quite different.

GoRo said...

I live in Nyack, and Rosie has certainly given a great deal of moola to the causes she believes in...Go Ro!

Anonymous said...

I love watching Rosie. I could use something else to take the place of the Oprah Show on my DVR. I'll watch Rosie's new one!

marlee said...

Which Oprah executive did Rosie by the house from?

Anonymous said...

I posted the original comment saying it was alot of home for the $$$ Marlee last posted, I just read on aol that she bought it from an Oprah affiliated seller. This makes perfect sense...sweetheart deal for Rosie by the network. Rose Bud took a page out of the Obama Chicago Tony Rezco playbook it may appear?? Favors favors favors.. At least Rosie is paying something for her benefit.

Lilithcat said...

@ Marlee: Erik Logan, president of the Oprah Winfrey Network

@ anonymous 8:55: Andersonville

Unknown said...

I love this townhouse. Good tastes Rosie!

koenigstrey said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.