Belle Plaine Commons

FROM $194,990
TO $298,990

Two small parks totaling three-quarters of an acre weave between, surround, and unify the trio of new buildings at an innovative campus of senior-citizen housing in the North Center neighborhood.

Two of the buildings in the one-square-block compound (which also includes an Advocate medical office) contain rental apartments. The third, completed in June 2008 at 2335 West Belle Plaine Avenue, has 92 condos, of which 19 are still for sale. They are a mix of market-rate condos and affordable units. Potential households must have one member over age 55 and may have at most two members (the other must be over 48). Prices for the market-rate units begin at $194,990 for an 848-square-foot one-bedroom and go up to $298,990 for a 1,155-square-foot two-bedroom.

With a handsome brick and stone façade capped by a strong cornice, the building, Belle Plaine Commons, fits agreeably in the neighborhood that surrounds it. That’s appropriate, considering that the majority of its buyers so far have come from the vicinity, downsizing themselves out of their longtime homes, according to Rena Appel, the development coordinator for North Center Associates LLC, which built the complex.

The product of a decade-long effort by community leaders to provide affordable senior homes, Belle Plaine Commons and its neighbors benefit from the great location that has been drawing a younger crowd: Shopping, dining, transportation, and parks are all close by.

Each condo comes with one outdoor parking space included in the purchase price; for an indoor space, the cost is $15,900.

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Photograph: Aimee Debat/Debatmedia