Wednesday, December 14, 2011

R&B Artist R. Kelly Lists Suburban Chicago Mansion

SELLER: R. Kelly
LOCATION: Olympia Fields, IL
PRICE: $1,595,000
SIZE: 22,000 square feet, 6 bedrooms, 8 full and 6 half bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Word slipped down the Chicago celebrity real estate gossip grapevine this week that native Chicagoan singer/songwriter R. Kelly–née Robert Sylvester Kelly–has officially placed his mega-mansion in suburban Olympia Fields, IL on the market as a short sale with an asking price of $1,595,000.

Our brief and entirely unscientific research on the interweb informs us that Mister Kelly has a number of notable professional accomplishments that include three Grammy awards. He has also written and/or remixed songs for a long list of music industry superstars such as Luthor Vandross, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Michael Jackson, Usher, Mary J. Blige and the Jennifers Hudson and Lopez. However, iffin Your Mama is being honest–and we always are–we'd confess to the children that we wouldn't know an R. Kelly ditty if it chewed the leg from our body and, in fact, before this morning just about the only thing we previously knew of Mister Kelly is that some years ago he was indicted on a slew of lurid charges related to a video tape that (allegedly) showed him as he fornicated with and peed on a minor female. Mister Kelly declared his innocence, the young female came out and said the activities were consensual, the case eventually went to trial, and in June 2008 a jury determined Mister Kelly was not guilty on all 14 counts. Case closed.

Anyhoo, the affluent Olympia Fields community sits about 45 minutes by car due south of downtown Chicago and a short sale, for any real estate neophytes who somehow don't already know, means Mister Kelly owes more on the property than it's currently worth.

Although Mister Kelly only recently put his big ol' crib on the market he did not just get on this-here real estate merry-go-round. Over the summer (2011) it was revealed a lender initiated foreclosure proceedings after Mister Kelly stopped making payments on a $2,900,000 mortgage he secured with his celebrity-style estate. At the time Mister Kelly it was reported the entertainer's failure to make mortgage payments was likely an executed strategy designed to induce the lender to renegotiate the loan. We're not sure if the strategy worked but as far as we can tell Mister Kelly still holds the deed on the property, which indicates the foreclosure was not finalized.

Property records and previous reports on the matter indicate Mister Kelly purchased the property in 1997 and custom-built (or custom-finished) the architecturally uncatagorizable stone, stucco and wood-accented mega-mansion. The approximately 22,000 square foot beast–the Cook County Assessor, for what it's worth, shows it as 11,140 square feet with a 2011 market value of $3,357,700–sits towards the back of six-ish fully-landscaped acres behind towering wrought iron and stone gates and 12-foot concrete-encased fencing.

Inside there are, as per listing information, all the expected formal and informal lounging and entertaining areas as well as 4 fireplaces, half a dozen bedrooms, and 8 full and 6 half bathrooms, a count that ensures Mister Kelly requires a full-time minimum wage crapper cleaner.

Listing photos that depict the mansion's vast innards are few (fuzzy and ill-framed) but we do catch a glimpse or two of a rather colossal kitchen complex with u-shaped center island/snack counter, top-grade commercial-style appliances, very ordinary beige tile floors and a soaring ceiling criss-crossed by heavy wood beams coarsely draped with hundreds if not thousands of twinkling white Christmas lights. Listing photos also show snippets of a wood-floored double-height family room with adjoining home theater space as well as a wee-looking wood-paneled room with fireplace which is probably the library but since we don't see any books (or bookshelves) we can't say for sure.

The humongous but otherwise stylistically ho-hum home's undisputed defining moment would surely be the truly troubling and  jungle-themed indoor swimming pool about which current listing agent told the Chicago Tribune, "It's not a pool room, it's a tropical experience." Bitch pleeze. What we have to say matters little–none really–but we think that indoor pool place looks like the gawdamn Pirates of Caribbean at Disneyfuckingland.

Contrary to probably popular opinion–and some of those theme-fiend designers and decorators on Extreme Home Makeover–themed day-core is almost without exception verboten in any home that aspires towards any level of sophistication or style. We are off the mind that far more often than not themed rooms destabilize delicate (and even not-so-delicate) decorative equilibriums and just plain ol' make (most) people feel light headed with awe, and not the good kind of awe. Indeed, Your Mama's Big Book of Decorating Dos and Donts addresses the issue emphatically in Rule Number 27 which reads in part, "No person of refinement and/or style shall ever ever EVER do up the day-core of any room in any house with any overt theme such as (but not limited to) Arabian Nights, Hello Kitty, Hee-Haw Hoe-Down and Sally Collects Seashells by the Seaside." We digress.

The landscaped estate backs up to the Olympia Fields Country Club and includes a gated circular drive with secondary motor court, acres of flat lawns dotted with mature shade trees, an outdoor tennis/basketball court with adjacent pavilion, a murky-looking private lake-pond equipped with a fountain shoots water into the air like it's Las Vegas, a detached multi-car garage, and a tented structure (of unknown purpose) surrounded by various entertainment terraces. At the front of the property, just inside the electronically operated wrought iron gates, a log-cabin style shed acts as a private security center for the property.

As far as we can tell from a rapid pass through a few property records databases Mister Kelly does not currently own any other private residences and we haven't any idea what Mister Kelly's real estate plans may be once he unloads his white elephant in Olympia Fields. At least one earlier report suggest Mister Kelly leases a high-floor spread at the Trump International Hotel & Tower in downtown Chicago.

listing photos: Century 21 Pro Team


midTN said...


Looks like a big ol' dump to me.


Anonymous said...


I couldn't agree more with you about overtly-themed decorative schemes! My second ex-husband, Sidney, "decorated" our rumpus room with his Betty Boop collection: lamps, clocks, barware, and even Betty Boop drapery and upholstery fabric. Thank goodness that all left with him to his new condo in West Palm with his business partner, Gordon.

My new partner, Studley, redecorated in an unpretentious and may I say heterosexual style congruent to his orientation, with black leather couches, art deco chairs, a stainless steel bar, white flokati rug, and vintage black and white fashion photography.

Rabbi LaTess

Anonymous said...

Dayum Gurl! This is a mess of a pile! This is crass not class! Dayum! Bargain Basement per square foot! Perhaps a few hundred clams could transform the house... Some cheap decorator could also take some room and board furniture and make it some what presentable! Dayum!

Anonymous said...

Hilarious commentary as usual, Mama. But a correction is needed; that listing agent's quote came from a story in the Chicago Tribune, not the "Chicago Times." (No such publication exists. There is the "Chicago Sun-Times," but is has no celeb real estate column.

Also, why no credit or link to the "Elite Street" column in which this story broke? You used to give props often to its author -- who is also the Interweb's Mr. Big Time Real Estate.

Carry on!
Flyover Flora

Anonymous said...

i do love me some fast editing fixes, Mama. Thanks!

Also, I so love you more than ever for introducing the word "Disneyfuckingland" into my lexicon.

Carry On!

Doug said...

I once saw pictures of the inside of a very wealthy person's home - one who could swing a 8,000+ sf house with no problems. The house was perfecto except for the kitchen which hadn't seen anything save cleaning and maintenance since the 40's. The reason was simple, they never went into the kitchen and probably only knew its general direction from observing which way the butler came and went while serving. So, if you are really all that and more, why spend so much on cabinets, counter tops, and decorating in a room you never see and your guests wouldn't recognize if it were shown to them. Really, it you have the bucks and the food is good, a couple of Costa Rican women with a water jug and a fire pit could be "kitchen" for all you care. This just always makes me wonder when I see a big McMansion.

Rosco Mare said...

Serioulsy Mama, regarding the pool: I think the nice gay or otherwise decorator was more than inpired by "Gilligan's Island," which I would have totally appreciated when I was in the 5th grade and watching the re-runs after school.

Anonymous said...

Not a bad house for the price, the size of the home and the land. I prefer the northern suburbs of Chicago though.

Calgary Realtors said... it's not the prettiest place, but holy crap...the price per sq ft is amazing. Huge potential in this place...although it's taking more than a few hundred grand to 'spruce up' 22,000 sq ft.

Bobby said...

Would've expected more. Regardless of the vile things he may have done, he's rich enough to have afforded some decent interior designers..

DD said...

Consider the source mama! Trust your baby...I know. Love you always!

Debbie Does Not said...

Gee thanks, Mama. Now I can't get that pool room out of my mind and will surely have nightmares. That is a truly frightening room.

Anonymous said...

The problem with this property is that it is located in an area that has been on the decline for years. In others words, it is a hop, skip, and carjacking away from THE HOOD. What was he thinking? No, wait.