April 2, 2009 in Nation/World

Mobster Capone’s two-flat for sale

Listing price of $450,000 offer you can’t refuse
Joel Hood Chicago Tribune
 

CHICAGO – For sale: Six-room two-flat in Chicago’s Park Manor neighborhood; ornate tile work; impressive brick exterior; an underground cellar big enough to hide some cash or ditch a Tommy gun.

The home once owned by mobster Al Capone and his family has hit the market for a listing price of $450,000. It’s a hefty sum considering similar two-flats in that working-class South Side neighborhood are selling for $180,000 to $230,000. But no other home in Chicago can match the history of the modest brick house that has had just two owners since Capone’s mother died in 1952.

“I’m looking for people who would be interested in the historical value of this home,” said Patrice Brazil, the Coldwell Banker agent who’s listing it. “It’s an excellent home, and it’s in great shape.”

Records show the Capones bought the home for $5,500 in 1923 after moving from Brooklyn, where Al Capone’s notorious business interests began. Capone centered his bootlegging, gambling and prostitution enterprises in Cicero, Ill., and later moved them to the old Lexington Hotel in Chicago. But he was a frequent guest of his mother’s, famously barricading himself inside one December night in 1927 when police threatened to arrest him.

Since 1963, the home has belonged to Barbara Hogsette, 71, who is selling it so she can move to California to be with her son. Hogsette said she knows the home’s history might not appeal to every buyer, but charm and character count for a lot – especially in real estate.

“The time is right for me to move on and let someone else in,” she said.


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