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Zoom in: Lincoln Park

Currently under construction, the Morningstar Mansion can make a case for its own zip code.


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City living doesn't often allow for the sheer vastness of a 7,200-square-foot mansion. But for Joe Mansueto it does. Founder of investment research firm Morningstar, Inc., and himself an investor in Wrapports LLC—the group that bought the Sun-Times in 2011 and the Reader in 2012—Mansueto is about a year and a half into the construction of a new castle that will undoubtedly be one of even Lincoln Park's most impressive. The Chicago billionaire is relocating because, as he puts it, his family outgrew their two-bedroom condo on Michigan Avenue.

"We're a bedroom short. We have three kids and two bedrooms, so we wanted an extra bedroom," he told Shia Kapos of Crain's Chicago Business back in October. And it's safe to say he's getting more than an additional bedroom with this behemoth on West Saint James Place.

The Morningstar Mansion, as it's been nicknamed, will stretch over seven lots that were originally slated to be townhomes. According to the Chicago Architecture Blog, those were approved for a height of just over 51 feet tall—about five stories high, which gives you an idea of the mansion's vertical possibilities.

Though it could house a small village, the home is considered a single-family residence, making it exempt from the Lakefront Protection Ordinance. Construction began in the fall of 2012, but neighbors might not be too fazed by the giant project (or the noise that comes along with it). The property sits just behind Lincoln Park 2550, the 39-story luxury high-rise at Lakeview and Saint James that was completed only recently.

Mansueto joked with Crain's about the bargaining that went into relocating his family a few miles north, saying, "The deal was if we get a new house we can get a dog. So this was an expensive pet."

Have an unusual observation or favorite oddity about a neighborhood? zoomin@chicagoreader.com.

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