Monday, December 3, 2007

Chicago Tribune -- RedEye Edition

Famous Places

Bulls guard scores new home

By Bob Goldsborough for RedEye. Bob Goldsborough is a RedEye special contributor.

Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich has paid $4.4 million for a newly built French Country-style mansion in north suburban Bannockburn.


Hinrich, 26, was signed last year to a lucrative contract extension. He clearly has put his money to work with the purchase of the 9,270-square-foot mansion, which well-known north suburban homebuilder Orren Pickell constructed. Over the years, Pickell has built mansions for or sold newly built houses to many area celebrities, including retired Bulls great Scottie Pippen and NBC sports anchor Bruce Wolf.

Situated on 5.79 acres, Hinrich's new nine-bedroom home originally had been listed for $5.5 million and later was reduced to $4.795 million. Features in Hinrich's mansion include eight full baths, three half baths, four fireplaces, an elevator, a family workshop and a six-car garage with a sport court, according to listing information. Outside are an original windmill and an aerated pool with water lilies, according to listing information.

It's unclear what Hinrich will do with his previous Chicago-area home, a 4,022-square-foot house in nearby Deerfield that he purchased new in the summer of 2004 for $906,500. That house is not on the market.

Hinrich also owns a vacation house on Green Lake in Elkhorn, Wis., according to public records.

Anchor now a homeowner

NBC weekend morning news anchor and general assignment reporter Rob Elgas has paid $324,000 for a five-room penthouse condominium unit in a gut-rehabbed graystone building in West Town.

A Crystal Lake native, Elgas returned to the Chicago area in 2002 from El Paso when he joined NBC.

With his new condo, Elgas becomes a first-time homeowner.

"I'd been renting before in Bucktown, and this [new condo] is pretty close to it," Elgas told RedEye. "I wanted to stay in the city for work. And while high-rise living can be great, I just love the feel and charm of a Chicago neighborhood."

Originally listed for $329,000 and billed as an "urban-chic" penthouse, Elgas' unit has two bedrooms, one bath, hardwood floors, an open layout, exposed brick walls, brushed steel railings, a master suite with a whirlpool, a private deck and a kitchen with an island, granite countertops and stainless-steel appliances, according to listing information. The unit also has nearly exclusive use of the building's roof deck, according to listing information.

"The unit is in a 125-year-old graystone that was built 10 years after the Chicago Fire," Elgas said. "They did a great job on it, and it's treated me really well.

"It's fricking cool," he said.