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Gwen Stefani, Matt Lauer and Jon Bon Jovi among celebrities selling homes

• Mar 22, 2018 at 9:00 PM

In the early days of architecture when labor and materials were relatively inexpensive, even city utility buildings were dressed in the latest style.

Today, new utility installations are bid out and the lowest bid accepted with no regard for the aesthetics of the installation but instead based on price and function alone. As the population increased so did the need for larger, more functional utilities, which needs rapidly outgrew the buildings in which they were formerly housed. The electrical substations today, made up of huge open coils, transformers, pipes and wiring on fenced-in concrete pads create a public eyesore in comparison to the lovely Art Deco era when they were encased inside building walls that were carefully decorated in the architectural style of the day, making them a welcome addition to their respective neighborhoods.

No longer a simple operation, there are three types of these open air facilities; one to increase voltage, one to decrease voltage and the third to distribute the correct amount of voltage to the places where needed.

With the changing needs incurred by population growth, the original architect-designed utility buildings were left empty. Realizing the architectural value by developers, the cities began selling these now unwanted buildings to contractors, business owners and potential homeowners for repurposing. Such is the case with this former electric substation in downtown Chicago whose residential buyer retained the fine Art Deco facades and turned the building into a contemporary mansion.

Now one of the city’s most expensive and glamorous homes, the 15,000-square-foot building is cutting-edge contemporary with its original Art Deco facade incorporated into the design. With wide open interior spaces, beautiful views and lots of sunlight, the six-bedroom, seven-bath home has light wells, terraces, atria, a large front lawn, swimming pool and patio. At over four stories, it has an elevator, a rooftop greenhouse, two kitchens, a fitness space, large wine cellar tasting room and a four-car garage.

Chicago’s Prairie style Art Deco former electric company substation turned elegant urban contemporary has been reduced to $9.99 million. Listing agent is Emily Sachs Wong with @properties in Chicago.

Here is a roundup of the latest real estate news items involving celebrity homes is featured at TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

Matt Lauer's Hamptons Bargain

Former 'Today Show' host Matt Lauer has reduced the asking price on one of his Hamptons homes for the third time – now at $12.75 million. Matt and his estranged wife, Annette Roque, bought the 8,000-square-foot home with eight bedrooms on 25 acres in 2004. Lauer first put the Sag Harbor home on the market at $18 million in 2016 after purchasing Richard Gere's former Hamptons home, Strongheart Manor, in North Haven for $36.5 million.

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Housing Prices Surge Over 8% In February

Median U.S. home prices increased 8.8% between March 2017 and February 2018 to a median price of $285,700. The data was compiled by the real estate website service Redfin for markets that they service. The leading gainer was San Jose, California with median prices up 34.1% to a $1,100,000 and Detroit next with an increase of 19.8%. The supply of housing dipped in the past year by 11.4% - making 29 consecutive months of inventory reductions.

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Miami Luxury Condos Going To Wrecking Ball

Despite an over supply of expensive condos in Miami, a Russian developer has spent $48 million to buy out the owners of 25 Bay Tower, a 1970's Miami condo building and will soon start construction of a brand new project. The developer spent a year negotiating buyouts of the 61 owners in the building with Biscayne Bay views paying about double the value of the units. OKO Group will soon demolish 25 Bay Tower and replace it with a 47-story highrise. Prices are expected to range from about $1 million to over $5 million.

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Gwen Stefani Asks $35 Million

Having ended her 13-year marriage to hard-rock musician Gavin Rossdale in 2016, Gwen Stefani is selling her ultra-contemporary Beverly Hills compound with art-filled and faux-painted walls, guest house with large gym, room-sized closet, tennis court, pool and spa and comfy media room. Fenced, gated and very private with stunning views, the property is accessed via a long driveway. Overall accommodations include seven bedrooms and eleven baths. She paid $13.25 million for the home in 2006.

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Frank Lloyd Wright's New York Usonian

After World War II, Frank Lloyd Wright knew returning soldiers would need affordable homes, so he developed a new concept that people could build mostly by themselves with a minimum of help and expense. He named them Usonian and started a development north of New York City in the hope of meeting the demand for homes for the returning GIs. He called the community Usonia - an acronym for United States of North America. One of Wright's Usonian homes is now for sale at $1.5 million.

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Florida Dominates Top 10 Beach List

A Florida town on the Gulf of Mexico has won TripAdvisor’s 2018 Travelers’ Choice Award for having the most beautiful white sand beach in the United States. This year’s winner, Clearwater Beach, is a wide, beautifully groomed expanse of powder sand dotted with royal blue beach chairs and umbrellas in view a long fishing pier and nearby shops. Florida beach towns took six of the top ten spots in the TripAdvisor survey.

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Jon Bon Jovi's New Oceanfront Home

It's been a good month for Jon Bon Jovi with his hit album 'This House Is Not For Sale' in the top spot on the Billboard charts and his iHeartRadio Icon Award, Jon also bought a $10 million beach house in Palm Beach. The five-bedroom home was built in 1985 and needs work. No word on whether Jon will update the home or tear it down and build something new.

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Charlie Sheen's Mansion For Sale

Charlie Sheen is asking $9,999,999 for his seven-bedroom Beverly Hills home. Also included in the mansion are a game room, screening room, bar and cigarette machine. Charlie bought the home for $7.2 million in 2006 - about the time of his third marriage.

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Cool Phoenix Home Has Hot Past

A Phoenix home featured in USA Today is the quintessential example of a mid-century modern design with glass walls, open spaces and clean lines. When it was learned that the sellers were 'adult entertainers,' the potential buyers discovered they had been running a thriving pornography website with 367,000 followers since 1998 using the house and its rooms as the background.

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Dick Cavett's Central Park Apartment

Dick Cavett is selling his Central Park co-op that he has owned since 2009. Oozing Old World charm, it is filled with pre-war details such as decorative fireplaces, original quarter-sawn flame oak paneling in the dining room, custom built-ins and carved moldings, original doors and leaded glass windows. Bedrooms are in one wing with a large master suite and the kitchen is 21st century but with character black and white square tile floors.

Visit TopTenRealEstateDeals.com for more historic, spectacular and celebrity homes and real estate news.

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