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U. of C. president, wife buy $3.25 million Near North Side condo

University of Chicago President Robert Zimmer.
University of Chicago President Robert Zimmer. (Bonnie Trafelet / Chicago Tribune)

University of Chicago President Robert J. Zimmer and his wife, U. of C. classics professor Shadi Bartsch-Zimmer, last month paid $3.25 million for a four-bedroom, 4,350-square-foot duplex condominium unit on the 37th floor of a tower on Chicago's Near North Side.

Zimmer, 68, has been the U. of C.'s president since 2006. And with the purchase of his new condo, he appears to be looking toward life after his time as president comes to an end.

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"President Zimmer purchased a property downtown that he plans to live in only after he is no longer president," U. of C. spokesman Jeremy Manier confirmed to Elite Street in a statement. "He will continue to use the president's house on campus throughout his presidency. He plans to continue serving the University of Chicago community for many more years."

Public records show that DBA Assoc. LLC, an Illinois limited liability company that is owned by Zimmer and Bartsch-Zimmer, bought the unit April 14.

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Zimmer is not the only high-level U. of C. administrator to own a unit in the building. U. of C. Booth School of Business Dean Sunil Kumar paid $1.85 million in May 2011 for a four-bedroom, 3,450-square-foot unit on the 16th floor.

Zimmer and Bartsch-Zimmer also can count some nonacademic celebrities as neighbors in their high-rise, which was built in 2004. WLS-Ch. 7 10 p.m. news anchor Ron Magers, whose final day on the air is Wednesday, paid $1.104 million in 2004 for a 39th-floor unit in the building, while Chicago Cubs TV broadcaster Jim Deshaies in 2014 paid $1.35 million for a two-bedroom, 2,212-square-foot unit on the building's 40th floor.

Features in the U. of C. couple's new unit include 5-1/2 baths, city and lake views, a media room, a windowed kitchen with Sub-Zero, Viking and Miele appliances, a separate butler's pantry, a double-sided fireplace between the living room and the dining room, hardwood floors throughout, two balconies, designer lighting, cedar closets and a master suite with a fireplace, a custom walk-in closet and a windowed spa bath with a soaking tub and a separate shower.

In Zimmer and Bartsch-Zimmer's new purchase, real estate agent Margaret Baczkowski represented both the buyers and the sellers but said she was unaware that the couple were the unit's buyers.

"I don't know anything about that," she told Elite Street.

Bob Goldsborough is a freelance reporter.



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