Thursday, November 17, 2011

Oprah Wants To Lease Never Lived In Chicago Co-op

OWNER: Oprah Winfrey
PRICE: $15,000/month
SIZE: 4,607 square feet, 2 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: This afternoon we happily ride on the coat tails of reporter (and venerable real estate gossip) Bob Goldsborough at the Chicago Tribune who discovered and revealed this week that billionaire chat show host turned magazine tycoon turned television network owning mega-mogul Oprah Winfrey recently put a swank Chicago, IL co-operative apartment she owns up for lease at $15,000 per month.

Miz Winfrey reportedly purchased the posh apartment in the urban-upscale Streeterville neighborhood in 2006 for $5,600,000. Despite securing the approval of the co-op board with a promise to make it her full-time residence, Miz Winfrey quickly had a real estate change of heart and never moved in to the 4,607 square foot apartment. From June 2008 until January 2009 Miz Winfrey had the mansion-sized apartment on the market for $6,000,000 but it did not, as far as we can tell, sell.
Entered though a private elevator landing and a series of squeezy vestibules, the chunky floor-through apartment cleaves dramatically along a central spine, an enfilade that extends more than 80 feet from the bowed bay window in the lake-view formal living room clan through the reception gallery, formal dining room and solarium at the rear of the residence.

The living room opens into a cozy wood-paneled and wood-floored library with fireplace wide bank of windows that afford of view through the tree tops to Lake Michigan and the popular Oak Street Beach. Extensive service quarters, tucked discreetly behind the elevator and formal dining room, include a well-equipped, galley style kitchen with antiqued white cabinetry, granite counter tops and breakfast area, separate laundry room, access to the service elevator, and a kitchen-size butler's pantry with dark cabinets and granite counter tops. There's also an oddly shaped home office with built-in desk and a separate wine/booze storage room with brick walls, floor-to-ceiling built-in bottle racks and a full height wine refrigerator.

A guest suite has an enviably large walk-in closet, fireplace, private bathroom with window, and French doors access to a small terrace shared with the master bedroom. The approximately 1,300 square foot master suite wraps around the guest suite and stretches from the front of the apartment clear through to the back. In addition to three walk-in closets there are additional built-in storage cabinets and a substantial entertainment unit. The master includes not just one or even two but 2.5 bathrooms. Up front there is both a full bath–well, a three-quarter bathroom anyway–plus a completely separate bedside half bathroom. At the rear of the house-sized suite, in an area that was probably originally designed as a third bedroom with private bathroom, there's another and significantly larger bathroom with jetted tub for two, separate party-sized steam shower for two or more, a private cubby for the crapper, double sinks and–harumph!–gold-plated fixtures. French doors open out to the small terrace shared with the guest suite.

As far as we know, when in the Windy City, Miz Winfrey continues to occupy in her 15,000(-ish) square foot 4-unit combination duplex condominium at the mixed-use Water Tower Place complex in downtown Chicago where she's lived since, well, we don't know but a long time.

Since she closed up shop on her long-running, hugely-successful and frighteningly-influential talk show–the eponymous Oprah Winfrey Show–Miz Winfrey has all but permanently relocated to the West Coast where her also eponymous Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) offices are located. Of course we don't know a turnip truck from a fire hose but we none-the-less presume the still busy businesswoman and philanthropist now spends a considerable amount of time at her manicured 42-acre estate in the low key but eye-poppingly affluent coastal resort community of Montecito, CA.

The OWN offices are located in Los Angeles Miracle Mile district, far to far to comfortably commute on a daily basis even by helicopter. We recently had lunch at the SoHo House in West Hollywood with gabby tattletale we'll call Knelly Knowsathingortwo who swore to Your Mama on her seared Ahi tuna salad that Miz Winfrey is actively on the hunt for a bolt hole in Tinseltown. We have no specific intel but it makes sense. Iffin we were the betting type–and we're not–we'd wager our long-bodied bitches Linda and Beverly she'll gravitate towards a multi-million dollar condominium. She has a long history of owning apartments in urban and semi-urban locations, after all, but has she considered Ellen Degeneres' house nestled privately into the rugged mountains above Beverly Hills? Just a thought.

listing photos and floor plan:VHT Studios for  Prudential Realty / Rubloff Properties


Anonymous said...

I used to see her carrying her own groceries to the Ritz back from the corner market. Sweat suit, no makeup, little bitty thing. That was years, dollars and up and down pounds...ago. Used to love her, now she's an intolerable caricature.

angie said...

That IS a juicy and intriguing bit of inside info re Oprah Mama, thanks. You may be right about her potentially choosing a luxe condo. If not, I place my bet on a home somewhere in Brentwood where her good pal Maria Shriver is probably putting the finishing touches on her new home.

Anonymous said...

And being located on the coast makes it that much easier to jet over to her funky little mountainside retreat on Maui. I wonder how much she misses the Chicago winters these days?

Anonymous said...

I have to say this unit is completely "brokedown" inside and in need of a major rehab... major stuck in the 80s/90s and prior. Interesting Lacking of Natural Lighting in key rooms and narrow rooms at that! Lordy! This will be hard to sell!

Yes, I can see Oprah in the Century or the new uber lux highrise overlooking Wilshire Country Club called Beverly West

Anonymous said...

I am surpised that Rosie didn't want to live here. Seeing that she is now at Harpo Studios. Instead, she bought a place in Wrigleyville. Interesting. I've driven past that house on Grace Street, and although it is very nice, I am suprised that Rosie bought that. I was wondering also if Oprah still owned the units in Water Tower Place? I remember Mama's blog way back when it was a little baby and did a post about a big tree in Water Tower Place. (Yes, I am one of the older poodles who have followed this blog since it's inception.) Thanks for the tidbits Mama!

Anonymous said...

Confidential to Anonymous, Anonymous, and Anonymous:

Anonymous: Please don't talk trash about my galpal Oprah, who was raised in poverty, continues to work hard, donates millions to charity, and deserves all of the accolades given to her. Ms. Winfrey is not a caricature.

Anonymous: I agree that this unit is stuck in an 80s - 90s time warp; however, it receives sufficient light, is in an elegant building, and has potential to either be brought back to its former glory, or remuddled again into something more contemporary for the 2010s.

Anonymous: I also remember Mama's prehistoric blog entry about the big tree in the apartment! Thank goodness that as a religious person I don't believe in dinosaurs; otherwise, I would be one.

Rabbi Hedda LaTess
Trenton NJ

StPaulSnowman said...

The width of that galley kitchen answers all of my questions.

Anonymous said...




Anonymous said...

"I wonder how much she misses the Chicago winters these days?"

I think id rather deal with the winters than deal with the sprawling, generally poor, uneducated and weirdo bastion that is LA!

*flips hair*

Anonymous said...

Seems hard to imagine her security didnt caution her from buying this..they probably did and she didnt listen. Maybe Steadman could live there.

Anonymous said...

" Ms. Winfrey is not a caricature."
oh, she is too!

Anonymous said...

$15,000 a month for an almost $6 million place, that is a good deal.

Lilithcat said...

Why on god's green earth anyone would want to live in Water Tower Place when they could be on East Lake Shore Drive is completely beyond me.

Anonymous said...

I know that building. It has a quirk - the elevator does not open into a private vestibule. Rather, with two apartments to a floor, the elevator landing is shared with the rich people across the hall. The landing, though, is MINISCULE. Like two people feel in danger of tumbling down the stairs (which are right there) small. And the elevator that serves it is even smaller. Kinda weird for such a grand building.

Kelsey said...

This is so beautiful! I love it! Too bad I don't have $15k/month to pay for rent!

Anonymous said...

Love the comment about Ellen's place. Mama, you could end up being a real estate yenta!

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