Nate Berkus lists Gold Coast condo for $2.65M

Posted Jan. 19 at 5:46 a.m.

Nate Berkus shows off his Chicago condo in a video on (People)

ELITE STREET | By Bob Goldsborough | Chicago interior designer Nate Berkus, who rose to national fame through his frequent appearances on the “Oprah Winfrey Show” and who now hosts his own eponymous and Winfrey-backed, New York-based talk show, on Tuesday placed his seven-room, full-floor Gold Coast condo on the market for $2.65 million.

Berkus, 39, has owned the 3,980-square-foot condo unit since 2003, when he bought it for $500,000. The condo is located in a small, 12-unit building that was constructed in 1928 and that “feels like a co-op building, with some of the vintage features,” said Berkus’ listing agent, Katherine Chez of Coldwell Banker.

Renovated in the 1940s by architect Samuel Marx, Berkus’ three- bedroom condo has been the subject of spreads in Elle Décor and Chicago magazine. One notable feature is its original St. Charles kitchen with metal cabinets, which Berkus has preserved.

Berkus also has retained the original fireplace and paneling that Marx had installed. Other renovations include installing new hardwood floors, fully rehabbing the master bath with a custom English tub and reconfiguring the master suite. In addition, Berkus updated the kitchen with a backsplash and new appliances, and installed a two-zone air-conditioning system and a new electrical system.

“He’s put some of the comforts into the condo, but he’s kept the things that are interesting,” Chez said.

The unit also comes with one garage parking space, which “is highly unusual for a building of this vintage,” Chez said.

Berkus has been spending more and more time in New York, and while he plans to “keep a presence” in Chicago, it’s “more sensible for him to move some of his assets to New York,” Chez said.

Public records show that Berkus paid $550,000 in 2006 for a one-bedroom, 550-square-foot co-op unit in Manhattan’s West Village neighborhood. “Its got so much natural light, and it has 10-foot ceilings,” Berkus told Winfrey’s viewers in 2008.

–Bob Goldsborough


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  1. Ray Jan. 19 at 7:54 a.m.

    How does a 32YO afford a $500,000 condo? Apologies for the cyncism, but, is that even possible?

  2. Tim Jan. 19 at 8:04 a.m.

    No, it is not possible. This guy is a likely one of many trust fund kids living on mommy and daddy’s dime.

  3. DontH8Nate Jan. 19 at 8:09 a.m.

    32yo? Some people are fortunate enough to make an honest living at a young age. That is 10 years out of college, so I’m pretty sure he worked his butt off. Don’t be jealous.

  4. Kevin Jan. 19 at 8:09 a.m.

    As a trust fund kid who was able to buy my first condo in Lincoln Park at 24, all I can say to Tim is sorry your parents weren’t able to do for you what my parents were able to do for me.

    I’m grateful for what I’ve been given and work hard, long hours like most of society. We’re not all spoiled brats so ease up on the sour grapes.

  5. joe1 Jan. 19 at 8:17 a.m.

    wonder how much the check was written to the trib to coin this as “news”

  6. nancy Jan. 19 at 8:32 a.m.

    ugh – what is so great about it that the value has gone up 4 times?

  7. tom Jan. 19 at 8:49 a.m.

    If we all had Oprah behind us we all would have million dollar condos,hello Trump.

  8. Chuckie Jan. 19 at 9:13 a.m.

    I had my first house at age 25 and my 3rd house by 33. My 3rd house was over 500K. It’s not a condo, but it was over 500K. And I’m not a trust, I just worked my *** off and got myself the things I wanted.

  9. Lucifer Lucid Jan. 19 at 9:16 a.m.

    When it comes to “Design” it’s not about what you know, but who you know. Taste is subjective. If you had Opera behind you, you’d be successful as well. Hey look at Dr. Phil, not a doctor is he? Hello people, stop being such fools to this media tool.

  10. ejhickey Jan. 19 at 9:18 a.m.

    Asking price : $2.65 million. Maybe in 2006-2007, He’s dreaming if he thinks he can get that today. I would bet he doesn’t get over $1 million.

  11. Jeanne Jan. 19 at 9:36 a.m.

    How did he get a 4,000 sq ft home in the Gold Coast for only $550K in 2003? I spent $350K for a 2 bedroom 1,350 sq ft condo in Lakeview the same year – $500K would have gotten me a 3 bedroom 1,800 sq. ft place in my building. And I agree – how could his place possibly be worth 5 times what he paid for it? You know what I’d make on my place if I sold it today? Zero! The rich really do get richer…

  12. AJ Cooper Jan. 19 at 9:46 a.m.

    I have a friend who bought a 650k condo simply through hard work and smart planning. It CAN be done.

  13. Johnny Jan. 19 at 9:49 a.m.

    Ray: I’m 30 and I’m under contract to buy a $450K condo in a neighborhood close to the Loop. (The lender would probably approve me for $500K if I wanted, but I’d rather not spend the extra $10K down payment.) I didn’t get any money from Mom and Dad. I just worked hard and saved a lot!

    But I agree with Jeanne. $550K for a 4000sqft condo in 2003 seems absurdly cheap. That was probably not an arm’s-length transaction.

  14. Joseph Askins Jan. 19 at 10:13 a.m.

    Goldsborough might want to check with Chez again — public records show Berkus buying this home for $1.5 million, not $500,000.

    As for ejhickey’s suggestion that a home can’t sell at this price point, there’ve been at least 115 homes that have sold for $2 million or more in downtown Chicago’s 14 ZIP codes over the past 12 months, and homes priced at $1 million or more have sold at an average of one a day in the downtown market during that time. Given the improvements he’s made, he’s probably warranted in testing the market at its current list price.

  15. Amy Jan. 19 at 10:14 a.m.

    The article says he bought a 550 sq ft co-op in MANHATTAN’S WEST VILLAGE for $550k, not the Gold Coast.

  16. Joseph Askins Jan. 19 at 10:19 a.m.

    Look at the second graf, Amy: “Berkus, 39, has owned the 3,980-square-foot condo unit since 2003, when he bought it for $500,000.”

    Which, as we’ve pointed out, doesn’t jibe with public records.

  17. southsider Jan. 19 at 10:47 a.m.

    Kevin, If I could have helped out my kids I would have too. I am sure you appriciate the help and are working hard. My daughter bought her first home at eighteen. She started working at fourteen while a high school student.She is now in her third home. She is under thirty. She works hard and watches how she spends her money. So, I believe Nate at thirty something could have worked and purchased these homes on his own.

  18. Jennifer Jan. 19 at 10:54 a.m.

    Interesting that the apartment is featured in this month’s Chicago magazine, with him talking the place up as the home he loves to come back to! He does say he couldn’t even afford to furnish the place when he bought it so I’m guessing he stretched himself a little too thin. Even so, I doubt he’s going to get what he’s asking.

  19. BDD Jan. 19 at 12:49 pm

    My condo is on the market, can I get free advertising too?

  20. Rat the Cat Jan. 19 at 3:30 pm

    “Joseph Askins Today at 10:13 a.m. Goldsborough might want to check with Chez again — public records show Berkus buying this home for $1.5 million, not $500,000.”

    Perhaps you should check your facts Mr. Askins. I work in the title industry, and I too checked the public records. Berkus bought the property in 2003 for $500k (which is supported by the State of Illinois Transfer Stamps on the deed, which I obtained a copy of). The $1.5 million you speak of is a mortgage taken out in 2005.

  21. mike Jan. 19 at 4:16 pm

    I don’t understand why anyone would pay that much to live in this sleepy town. Chicago is corrupt, it has too many rules, regulations, fees, high taxes, crooked politicians,scared citizens and it’s just to controlled. I commend Nate on his move to New York City, the worlds greatest city. The cost of living in NYC is a bit much but you definitely get the return in quality of life, the of arts, culture, diversity and 24 hour excitement.

    I’m leaving sleepy town Chicago in the summer and I cannot wait!

  22. Optimist Jan. 19 at 4:21 pm

    Good Luck to Nate on the listing!
    How is this a “breaking business” news? Some half celeb is selling his condo…
    Goldsborough should go through the MLS and create a news for every condo/house listed over $2M… Maybe Berkus’ agent is giving a cut to the author?
    Quality content = reader. Not a surprise that the publisher has been in trouble for years.
    Lame article in an unrelated category.
    My angry $0.02 :)

  23. FG Jan. 19 at 4:27 pm

    Seems to be his career is based on family connections more than talent, like that of many decorators. Tim and Lucifer have it pretty much nailed.

    I think he’s moving for sex, drugs and a reality TV career. Have fun with him at Rehab (village bar) Mike, we won’t keep a light on for ya.

  24. PJL Jan. 19 at 6:38 pm

    WOW! I can’t believe how jealous ignorant people are! 32 and $500k? What’s that? Above average? Yeah – but not that far avove. I’m glad to see other posters mentioning that they started earning (and buying) much younger than that. I bought my first home (a single family)at $112k in Milwaukee at 25 years and have bought 5 since (1 more single family and 4 condos, 2 in Chicago). Most I financed through continued appreciation and I lucked out on the market. Thankfully I slowed down and won’t be doing much anytime soon, but man – if Oprah gave me a show, I’d probably drum up some business on whatever I did well (in his case interior design), and make boatloads and buy myself a more expensive place.

    Go consumer! haha.

  25. mike Jan. 19 at 7:24 pm

    Hey FG,

    Actually, that’s one of the main reasons I’m choosing to leave Chicago. To enjoy a city that has far more to offer than pubs, Cubs and Bears. I certainly consider myself very lucky not to have any roots here in Chicago at all. I couldn’t stand to see my family, my kids, being taken advantage of the way most indigenous Chicagoans are.

    I feel that I need to be in a city where the residents actually care about where they live. I want to be in a city where the residents are passionate about their leadership, quality of life and progress. Chicagoans are not proud to be residents of the city. Chicagoans definitely do not care about their city. If they did, then they wouldn’t continue electing the kind of leadership they do. Politicians who do absolutely nothing for the city, but only their cronies. Stealing and lining their own pockets. For as much money that we pay in taxes and fees, our streets and sidewalks should be made of brick and cobble stone.

    When I say Chicago is a “sleepy town” I’m referring to the energy and the drive. It has more to do with attitude than the partying. Chicagoans are mean and angry people. This atmospheric anger is because everyone is pitted against each other and it all trickles down from the local government. Not allowing individuals to breathe on their own and the city being to controlling. I refuse to live in a city where I do not have the right to “recall” an elected official.

    Anyway, to make a long story short, Chicago is the worst dysfunctional big city in the union. If the residents did care, they’d demand real change. Every candidate in this Mayoral race is a joke and I’m not going to sit around this city for another 4 years and pay for it. I’ve had more than enough and just like many others including Nate Berkus, I MUST flee this corrupt state while I can. I truly wish all Chicagoans the best however, as long as you keep quiet and choose not to demand change, this city will always be the most stressed out and corrupt city in America.

    And you’ll be funding it with your hard earned dollars only to get taxed more in return.

  26. rich Jan. 20 at 5:54 a.m.


    This effects me


  27. Ro Jan. 20 at 11:09 a.m.

    Wish I were the listing agent!

  28. FG Jan. 21 at 1:17 pm

    Mike, you are moving to a city where people spent 13 plus hours stuck on a subway train due to snow. And I won’t go into how native New Yorkers, ya know, the ones in Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queen and the Bronx, make Chicagoans look postively top drawer (they do ya know). And the corrupt pols in NY are way worse than here, where it’s still about serving their constituents. Nuff said. Have fun, your bad attitude won’t be missed.