Kanye West may own several properties as part of his billion-dollar empire, but one holds sentimental value: his childhood home in Chicago.
West’s business, Donda Services, is the current owner of the home. Last year, at the release of West’s album, Donda, the home was prominently featured at his album release concert. The home was purchased in 2018 for $225,000, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The West is a staple in popular culture. Considered one of the most influential producers and artists in hip-hop music, West is a 21-time Grammy winner. His collaborations with brands such as Adidas and Gap and other entrepreneurial endeavors such as his music label Good Music have helped him earn a net worth of $6.6 billion.
West was raised in Chicago and became interested in hip-hop music at an early age. In the early 2000s, West began working as a producer with Roc-A-Fella Records and released his debut album, “College Dropout.” In 2004, he launched his own record label featuring artists such as John Legend, Common and Pusha T.
A Look At West’s Childhood Home
The tan house, located at 7815 South Shore Drive, was home to West and his late mother Donda for several years during his childhood. Donda West, an English professor at Chicago State University, purchased the home in 1981, for $40,000.
Built in 1905, the home sits on a 7,000- square-foot lot. There are three bedrooms and one bathroom, a basement and upstairs crawl space. While Donda West owned the home, she made several improvements to the property, including adding insulation, replacing windows and a new set of stairs.
The family moved to a more suburban area after other children threatened to steal West’s bike in a local park. Just before West released “College Dropout” in 2004, Donda sold the property for $121,000. The property changed hands several times before going into foreclosure and remaining boarded for several years.
West launched the nonprofit organization Donda’s House in 2013 with co-founder and fellow musician RhymeFest. In 2016, the organization purchased the home with the hopes of turning it into a community arts incubator. However, within a year, it was revealed that the home needed to be demolished as it had suffered from structural damage. The following year, West purchased the home through Donda Services.
Although West now owns the property, there is much work to be done.
In 2018, the city of Chicago issued a report finding roof damage, missing siding, dilapidated stairs and other issues. As a result, the city filed a demolition court complaint in January 2019, according to the New York Post.
A work permit was granted in October 2019 to replace the roof. The following month, another permit was approved to fix the electrical wiring.
By April 2020, West was given permission to renovate the property, according to The Chicago Tribune; this came after the city issued a stop-work order alleging plaster had been removed without a building permit.
Throughout the pandemic, workers at West’s childhood home continued to push through renovations.