45-acre estate sells for $3 million

The buyers paid $3 million Sept. 3 for the Woodgate Road estate, which includes a 17,000-square-foot mansion, indoor and outdoor pools, five acres of Japanese gardens, bridges and ponds and about 40 acres of natural land. The estate is 47 miles west of downtown Chicago.

Crain’s research in real estate records indicates no larger estates have sold in the Chicago area in at least the past 10 years. 

The biggest single property sold to a residential user in recent years is 23-acre Topsfield Farm in Lake Forest, sold for $3.2 million in 2018. In 2017, a development firm paid $9 million for the 47-acre Lake Forest estate Westleigh Farm, which it subdivided into more than 30 lots. 

In June, buyers paid $1.35 million for a 20-acre estate in West Dundee. 

The St. Charles property’s sellers, Jon and Missy Butcher, initially listed the home in 2012, asking $7.9 million. That price was for the mansion and 26 acres of grounds, not the entire 45 acres, which they had owned since the mid-1990s. 

The Butchers could not be reached. Their listing agent, Anne Kearns of @properties, confirmed that last week’s $3 million sale combines $2.4 million for the main property—sold for 30% of the original 2012 asking price—and $600,000 for the neighboring 19 acres. 

The buyers are not yet identified in public records. Their agent, Marcin Tendera of ReMax Professionals, confirmed that his clients are homeowners, not developers, and plan to keep the entire parcel together. He declined to comment otherwise and said his clients would not comment. 

The Butchers run several companies, including an organic coffee brand, a life skills program called Lifebook and Precious Memories, which sells collectible figurines of teardrop-eyed characters originally designed by Jon Butcher’s father, Sam.

The Butchers bought the land in the 1990s, although Kane County public records are not clear on when. The mansion was completed in 1996. 

The estate’s Japanese-inspired gates open to a driveway half a mile long. Kearns’ listing describes the setting as “a wonderland. A beautiful, secluded hideaway with gardens by renowned Japanese landscape artist Hoichi Kuisu, and grounds with more than 1,000 trees on a vast parklike expanse.” 

Inside, the house’s great room is 25 feet high and is next to the indoor pool. There are indoor gardens, walls of glass between some rooms and skylights overhead. There’s a movie theater, a wine room and six bedrooms, including the primary bedroom with a temple-like raised bed surrounded by pillars and a mirrored ceiling, with a nearby whirlpool tub decorated the same way.

Tendera declined to say whether the buyers will keep the house as is or rehab it in another style. 

In Libertyville an 84-acre estate called Windblown Hill is for sale by members of the Donnelley printing family. Priced at $5.5 million in September 2020, it’s now listed at $3.9 million.

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