R. Kelly hasn't lived in this Lakeview mansion since 2002, but since it came back on the market last June, the 8,000-square-foot converted church has been one of the most talked-about properties in Chicago. This week, the home where Kelly filmed himself urinating on an underage girl finally went under contract. This isn't the first time a buyer has put the home under contract — several other attempted purchases have been thwarted by contingencies and lack of financing. But Coldwell Banker agent Shawn Daly says this is the real thing; closing is set for Saturday, and the buyers are planning to move in the same day.
So who will the new owners be? Daly isn't able to reveal that, but he tells Curbed that the buyer is a "very, very high-profile person in the business world who came from out of the country." This person is a "very young, very hip" CEO, he says. The sale has been under attorney review for five weeks, according to Daly.
The property in question is an 1885 church that was converted to a private residence. In 2002, Kelly sold the place for $2.5 million, and it changed hands a couple more times (including a foreclosure), before the seller, Ilene Greenblatt, bought it in 2008 for $1 million. Because the current sale hasn't closed yet, we don't know what the sale price will be, but it was most recently listed for $3.5 million. Daly says that in recent months the home was rented for $20,000 per month, but that the renters have since moved out.
After purchasing it in 2008, Greenblatt hired designer Tim Mathias to strip Kelly's Looney Tunes-themed bar and rehab the place. The wood-paneled "Colorado Room" where Kelly filmed the sex tape was kept, as was the 1,600-gallon aquarium. Mathias redid the marble fireplace, installed French doors in the living room, and added a sauna where the hot tub had been in the Colorado Room. Windows in the living room look down on an indoor lap pool and hot tub. There's also a one-way window in the master bath, which has a rain shower with a $7,000 shower head.
"It'll be a hard property not to sell anymore, because I get so many calls for it," Daly says. Last week, a film company filmed inside the home, and Daly says Forbes magazine is planning to feature the home in its next issue. Want to see more? Check out the LXTV video below: