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$19.5 million house likely sets record for Chicago area home sales

The North Shore mansion of a top deputy to billionaire investor Sam Zell sold in August for $19.5 million, likely the most expensive home ever sold in the Chicago area.

The home at 50 Glade Road in Glencoe was owned by David Helfand, who is co-president of billionaire investor Sam Zell’s Equity Group Investments.

The 10,606 square-foot home has a tennis court, swimming pool, about 300 feet of private beach and a three-car garage.

A real estate broker with knowledge of luxury home sales who asked not to be named said it was the most expensive home ever sold in the Chicago area.

In 2002, architect Marvin Herman knocked down about half the home — originally built in 1917 — and built an entire new wing. The entire home was redesigned at the time. He also built new retaining walls extending the bluff overlooking Lake Michigan by 15 feet to make way for a grassy area and the pool, Herman said.

The two-story stucco structure has five full bathrooms and four fire places, according to public records.

“It’s a lovely, lovely structure,” Herman said Thursday.

“I’m very proud of it. The Helfands were very involved with the entire redesign. It was largely a collaboration with them, Lelsie Jones Interior Design and my office,” he said.

Public records are unclear on who is behind the company that bought the home and the four acre property.

“It’s a lot of money, but it’s a lot of land in a wonderful area to justify that price, and I think the house had that much money put into it,” Herman said.

Helfand, 50, graduated from Northwestern University and received an MBA from the University of Chicago.

He is married to Leslie Bluhm, whose father is billionaire Chicago real estate magnate Neil Bluhm.

Messages left for Helfand, who, according to Crain’s Chicago Business, bought the house for $6.8 million in 2002, were not returned Thursday.