Ex-Chicago Bull's Real Estate Foul

Former Chicago Bull Tyson Chandler is trying his damnedest to get out of the Village of Northfield in Illinois, a suburb northwest of the Loop in Chicago. Northwestern University football coach Pat Fitzgerald, on the other hand, has successfully moved on up into a lavish abode in the same village.

Chandler, who played for the Bulls from 2001 to 2006 and now "plays" for the Charlotte Bobcats (the injury-prone center has now missed 21 consecutive games with a foot injury), recently put his 20-room, three-story mansion on the market for $3.395 million. He paid $4 million for it back in the spring of 2006, just a few weeks before he was dealt to what was then the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets. Since then, he has failed multiple times to sell the six-bedroom home.

In 2007, Chandler listed the mansion for $4.9 million, subsequently cutting the price to $4.5 million, $4.3 million and $3.75 million before taking it off the market in May 2009. It seems that the 27-year-old has accepted the fact that he'll have to sell it at a rather large loss. He placed it back on the market on Jan. 15.

"Custom-built in 2004 and containing about 11,000 square feet of living space, the mansion sits on a 0.91-acre lot and has six full baths, two half-baths, three fireplaces, a two-story great room, custom travertine and walnut floors, a chef's kitchen with a large breakfast room, a wine cellar, a home theater, an exercise room, a spa, a mud room, a four-car garage and a first-floor master suite with a large onyx bath," writes Bob Goldsborough for the Chicago Tribune.

While Chandler attempts to pull out of Northfield, football coach Fitzgerald recently moved into a brand new, six-bedroom mansion there. He closed on the 1.02-acre property on Nov. 30, paying $2.3 million for a home that was originally listed in May 2007 for $3.4 million, then $2.65 million in June.

Fitzgerald's mansion, which includes "six full baths, two half baths, six fireplaces, a first-floor in-law suite, a heated four-car garage and a detached barn," according to Goldsborough, seems to have been a prescient reward for the former Wildcats linebacker-turned head coach for the university's football program, which experienced some success this season. The team ended with an 8-5 record after losing a wild overtime game to the Auburn Tigers in the Outback Bowl on New Year's Day.

According to Trulia, a San Francisco-based real estate search engine, the average listing price in Northfield for the week ending Jan. 20 was $826,352, down 1.1 percent, or $9,137 from the previous week. At the end of 2009, the average listing price was approximately $862,000. The median sales price from September through November was $425,000, down 45.9 percent, or $360,000 from the same period in the previous year.

Fitzgerald, 35, is now trying to sell his Evanston home for $599,000. He purchased the three-bedroom home for $730,000 in 2006, and first listed it for $745,000 in February 2009.

Evanston recently received an $18 million grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to purchase foreclosed properties and turn them into affordable housing units for ownership and rental. "The city had also proposed to construct about 100 units of new affordable housing on the vacant Bishop-Freeman property north of Emerson Street and west of Ashland Avenue as part of its grant application," writes Bill Smith of Evanston Now.
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