Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Oakwood Shores Tops Good Neighbor Awards

Eleven condo developments, led by Oakwood Shores, were among the 30 winners of the 2008 Good Neighbor Awards presented recently by the Chicago Association of Realtors.

Excerpts from Celeste Busk's report in the Chicago Sun-Times:

The annual awards honor rehabilitation and new construction efforts by local homeowners and developers in the city who have made a positive impact on a neighborhood. The awards also acknowledge sweat equity, vision, courage to tackle stigmatized buildings and efforts to salvage historical properties or rescue architecturally significant buildings from the wrecking ball.

"We want to recognize people who have revitalized and reshaped Chicago neighborhoods," said Michael P. Golden, CAR president and co-founder of @properties. "It's also fabulous to see people stepping up to do things, not just to make money, but to better a neighborhood."

The top honor, named the Bruce Abrams Award, was given to the developers of Oakwood Shores, a mixed-income development that is helping to revitalize the Kenwood area. Oakwood Shores is a 94-acre development replacing the 127-building public housing developments that formerly occupied the site along Oakwood Boulevard (39th Street) between Langley and Cottage Grove.

Developed by Granite Development, MB Real Estate and UJIMA Venture, Oakwood Shores replaces a deteriorating and crime-ridden area with a mixed-income, mixed-use neighborhood. Plans include 1,000 market-rate condos, 1,000 affordable condos and 1,000 Chicago Housing Development Authority rental apartments.

Residences in Oakwood Shores' first two phases are priced from $179,900 to $700,000. Pre-construction sales also are under way for the 83-unit Grove Place, a seven-story mid-rise condo where prices start at $179,900. For more information, call (773) 538-0001; or visit oakwoodshoreschicago.com.

Other winning condos include:

340 on the Park, 340 E. Randolph: This premiere green building by Related Midwest is at the edge of Millennium Park and is the first residential tower in the Midwest to receive a Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The glassy 62-story building has 344 condos.

627 West Buckingham Place, 627 W. Buckingham: LakePointe Development received the award for transforming a run-down three-flat in Lakeview into a four-unit condo building that blends peacefully with the neighborhood's vintage architecture. The brick Victorian's facade boasts a stack of Old World-style open porches across the front.

2663 N. Ashland: When LakePointe Development first approached the owners of this West DePaul neighborhood property, the 68-foot-wide lot housed a single two-flat. Working with an architect, attorney and local alderman, LakePointe created eight wide, spacious condos. The four-story building has elements of the Prairie School of Architecture and features front and rear balconies and deck space.

Clybourn Point at Larrabee, 1322 N. Clybourn: This four-story, modern, glass-and-brick mixed-use building is now one of the most prominent buildings in the changing area of Cabrini Green. The unique, eco-friend building developed by RADA Architects and RADA Development has six residential condos, with a parking garage and commercial space.

University Commons, 1000 W. 15th (left): An Enterprise Companies project, built within the historic walls of Chicago's South Water Market, University Commons is a 926-unit loft conversion featuring six former warehouses.

3816 N. Fremont: Ronan Investors maintained the historical graystone facade with new construction that included two levels and rear addition. The four-story building now contains three simplexes and one duplex condo.

3946-48 N. Marshfield: Originally built in 1896, the vintage brick building was rumored to have once been used as a horse barn. Chicago Properties & Investments purchased the property in 1995 when it contained four two-bed, one-bath apartments with a vacant attic and basement. Today, the four-story brick building has four condos.

Deming Place, 466-468 W. Deming: With curved bay windows, stained-glass elements and a private brick entry, these four condos reflect their historical context with a new, contemporary twist on the inside. The section consists of four duplex condos by the 460-462 W. Deming Building Corp.

Converge Condominiums, 744 W. Fullerton: After closing in 2005, the Parkway Tavern was left vacant and dirty. PEAK Development purchased the property, and with the help of Hartshorne and Plunkard, developed the five-story, modern, brick-and-glass building featuring 16 condos.

4154 W. Berteau: An old Catholic church reincarnated into two luxury condos was the award-winning criteria for Zbigniew and Beata Banas. The couple bought the 8,000-square-foot church in the Old Irving Park neighborhood. Today, the church contains 10,000 square feet of living space within two three-level condos. The couple incorporated the 25-foot-tall cathedral ceiling, and the church's belfry tower, its bell intact, was fitted with skylights. The Banas plan to sell or rent one of the units and live in the other.

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