Chicago Trump Tower’s $32 million penthouse (unit 89A) is a rip-off by $20 million

The highest home in the western hemisphere can be yours for a mere $32 million.  It’s 14,000 square feet of raw unfinished space, includes five parking spaces, and is a floor unto itself with 360 degree views of the city in Chicago’s Trump International Hotel and Tower .  The Homeowners’ Association (HOA) fees alone are $12,000/month, and property taxes on a $32 million home in River North would be approximately $480,000/year.  That means that once you plunk down the $32 million, it would still cost approximately $52,000/month just to live there.

However here’s the real reason it’s a rip-off.  The pricing of a comparable unit on any of the high floors demonstrates how the penthouse is priced at least $20 million too high.  Unit 63E is 2,700 square feet and was last listed for $2.2 million.  Unit 58E is also 2,700 square feet and last sold for $2.25 million.  Both equate to an approximate price of $833 per square foot. The $32 million price tag for Unit 89A, however, equates to $2,285 per unfinished square foot, which is almost triple the finished square footage price of units just slightly below.  If 89A was priced proportionally to units on the lower floors, it would be listed for $12 million.

It can be assumed that the prices for non-penthouse units already include a “Trump” premium.  Unit 89A includes a “Trump” premium plus an outlandish $20 million “highest home in the world” premium.

Another way to slice it is by examining Homeowners’ Association (HOA) fees.  The HOA fees for Unit 63E are approximately $2,000/month.  The HOA fees for 89A are approximately $12,000/month, higher by a factor of six. Six times the list price of 63E would place 89A at $13.2 million.  Any way you slice it, unit 89A isn’t worth its list price of $32 million.

UPDATE: Penthouse unit 89A sold in December of 2014 for $17M. Read about it here. (I still think the buyer overpaid by $5 million.)

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