EDGEWATER — The first "luxury" homes going up on the former Edgewater Medical Center parking garage site are now on sale for more than $1 million each.
The homes, marketed as "Edgewater Square II," are being built by CA Development and will be sold exclusively by Colin Hebson of Dream Town Realty and the O'Connor Hebson Group.
The deal sparked controversy in January when political opponents of Ald. Pat O'Connor (40th) criticized his wife Barbara's close ties to the developer.
The alderman has been negotiating a stalled planned development for the site for years.
In 2003 and 2004, CA Development also built 27 single-family homes in its nearby Edgewater Square development on Rosehill Drive. All the homes were sold within 15 months by Barbara O'Connor.
But O'Connor, a long-time real estate broker, said again Friday she would not have anything to do with the marketing or selling of the new homes and that any profit from the sales would go exclusively to Hebson, her business partner.
The duo usually split profits, she said, but for this project she will be cut out of the deals.
"I am not making money on that project," she said. "If you look at my reputation, it’s impeccable. I win awards ... because people know I'm honest and good."
O'Connor and her husband sought the advice of the Chicago Board of Ethics, which ruled last year that his wife's involvement in the sale would be legal. But the board "strongly" advised her not to be involved with the project due to the possibility of a perceived conflict of interest, according to the official opinion published by the board.
"It is very likely that you will need to get involved in different aspects of this project over the next few years even more than you and your office already have," the board wrote to Ald. O'Connor.
Ald. O'Connor did not respond to a request for comment, but said in January that he took the opinion of the board to heart.
"We believed, as we still do, that the perception of a conflict of interest would be equally damaging to our community," he had said in a written statement.
In all, 15 single-family "luxury" homes will be built on the 1.25 acre site on the southeast corner of West Edgewater and North Hermitage avenues, according to a news release. The first three homes are on sale now, with list prices starting at $1.05 million.
The two-story homes will feature 3,600 square feet of living area and three-car detached garages.
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