One of Chicago's best views is for sale as restaurant Cité plans to sell its space and shut down

Ryan Ori, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Business News

CHICAGO -- One of Chicago's highest-altitude restaurants is for sale, offering the rare opportunity for another restaurant -- or a resident -- to take over the top of the only high-rise east of Lake Shore Drive.

The owner of Cite wants to sell the circular 70th-floor space atop Lake Point Tower and close the fine dining restaurant that has operated there for decades.

The top floor is being marketed for sale to restaurant groups and wealthy individuals interested in converting it to a penthouse condo overlooking Lake Michigan, said broker Rick Scardino, who represents restaurant owner Evangeline Gouletas in the sale.

"The term 'once-in-a-lifetime' is overused in my industry, but one can make the argument that this truly is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," Scardino said. "It's the only commercial building east of Lake Shore Drive, with a 360-degree view of the city."

There is no list price, and Scardino declined to estimate its value, but the unique space is likely to attract offers of several million dollars.

A restaurant operator also could buy space on the roof atop the 69th floor from the building's condo association and create outdoor seating, said Scardino, a principal at Lee & Associates Commercial Real Estate Services. Other potential uses for the longtime Cite space include event space or a boutique office, he said.


The dark, three-winged Lake Point Tower is the only high-rise east of Lake Shore Drive, creating panoramic views of the lake and the city's skyline. It was designed by architects George Schipporeit and John Heinrich, who studied under Ludwig Mies van der Rohe at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

The building, at 505 N. Lake Shore Drive, opened as apartments in 1968, and construction of the entire structure was completed the following year.

The Gouletas family's development firm, American Invsco, converted the building to 875 condo units in 1988. There are now 758 homes, after some condos were combined.

Lake Point Tower's owners last year enacted new bylaws designed to make it harder for an investor to buy up blocks of condos and turn the building back into rental apartments, a process known as a deconversion. They said the defensive maneuver came after Evangeline Gouletas' brother, Nick, made overtures to buy 100 to 200 condos in the building.


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