Homeowner of the Year
The award goes to the anonymous couple that own this Batman-themed swimming pool in Hinsdale. Apparently they painted the pool like that two decades ago, but the world discovered it this fall.
Celebrity of the Year
There are probably plenty of people who lost more money on Chicago real estate purchases in the past year, but few did it so spectacularly (and so publicly) as Rex Grossman. The former Bears QB lost nearly $700,000 in January on a 2BD condo he purchased in Trump Tower in 2008. Then, four months later, he unloaded his Lake Forest townhouse for nearly $50,000 less than he paid for it in 2005.
Agents of the Year
#1. Did you know that Kiss 103.5 fired Drex in the Morning?! Or that Oprah has bunions on her feet? If you read agent Britta Rivera's blog you would. One day she'll write about a suburban sex scandal; the next, she's telling you there's never been a better time to buy.
#2. Agent Eric Rojas, who has been a frequent commenter on Curbed, has written some excellent posts on his Chicago Real Estate Local blog this year, digging in to the details of the city's neighborhood micro-markets.
Developer of the Year
Their Webster Square plans are fine, but we're giving the award to Sandz Development for their persistence, and for thumbing their nose at Ald. Vi Daley and presenting their development to the Plan Commission despite her resistance.
Worst Developer of the Year
He's been out of the game for a little while and his whereabouts are still unknown, but we'll take a minute to wag our finger one more time at Salman Ibrahim of Sunrise Development for running a ponzi scheme and screwing over dozens of Chicagoans.
Architects of the Year
#1. She had a quieter year in 2010, finishing a Media Production Center at Columbia and a pavilion in Lincoln Park, but Chicago still has a skyscraper-size crush on Jeanne Gang. And it's beginning to sound like Solstice on the Park might get built after all.
#2. The French-born architect took a public flogging for his Elysian design, and over the summer his firm filed for chapter 11, but Lucien Lagrange will have the last laugh: his Ritz-Carlton Residences and Lincoln Park 2520 will be 2 of the only high-rises completed next year.
Renter of the Year
"It's not a joke," said Rob Halpin of his mayoral bid, which was indeed a joke. "This has nothing to do with Rahm Emanuel," he said, even though it had everything to do with Rahm. The only reason Rahm's renter gets this award is because he demanded $100,000 to move out of the home, fulfilling every renter's dream.
There's something in the genes of the Gouletas clan that enables them to do things that other real estate pros would never dream of. Earlier this year, the Nicholas V. (the younger) short sold a condo in a building his father built. Meanwhile, Nicholas S. (the elder) is encouraging 200 North Dearborn buyers to "give us your worst offer."