CEO sells condo at luxury high-rise No. 9 Walton – Crain’s Chicago Business


The chief executive of a major locomotive-building firm sold a condominium at the luxurious Gold Coast building No. 9 Walton.

Rafael Santana, CEO of Pittsburgh-based Wabtech, and his wife, Rachel, sold the ninth-floor condo for $4.12 million on July 26.

Year-to-date, 38 homes in the Chicago area have sold for $4 million or more. In 2019, the last normal year, there were 36 sales at that level by this point.

The Santanas purchased the three-bedroom, 3,200-square foot condominium in April 2019 for $3.9 million through a legal entity they head, according to public records. Rafael Santana did not respond to a request for comment and Rachel Santana could not be reached. The agent who represented them, Susan Miner of Premier Relocation, did not respond to a request, either. 

The condo came on the market May 6 priced at $4.3 million and went under contract to a buyer 16 days later. 

The buyers are not yet identified in public records. Marla Pierson, the @properties agent who represented them, said they were people who already lived downtown. That means they’re not part of the trend Crain’s recently reported of high-net-worth people moving downtown again now that the neighborhoods are recovering from the two crises of 2020, COVID and social unrest. 

Nevertheless, it’s the 14th home sale at $4 million or more in the downtown neighborhoods so far this year, compared with 11 in all of 2020. 

Wabtech, which merged with General Electric spinoff GE Transportation in 2019, is the third largest North American manufacturer of rolling stock by volume, with about 10 percent market share in 2019.

Rafael Santana was CEO of Chicago-based GE Transportation at the time of the merger. Two years later he became CEO of Wabtech. The firm dates to 1869, when it was founded as Westinghouse Air Brake Company. In 2020, Wabtech reported sales of $7.6 billion.