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The Lure of Urban Living
Buyers in southwest suburb appreciate combination of shops and condos

Burr Ridge Development

Illustration: David Walker/Opus North

Burr Ridge
From $315,900
to $1.5 million

The developers of Burr Ridge Village Center have learned that homebuyers in that southwest suburb are as eager as their Chicago cousins to live in urban-style condo-and-shopping clusters.

That lesson was hammered home this past fall when the 113 condos in the project’s first two residential buildings sold out in 60 days. The developers then decided to add three levels of condos above what was to have been a one-story retail building. That puts the second phase of condos, still awaiting construction, at 83 units instead of 59, says Matt Nix, senior real-estate director at Opus North, the project’s developer. The complex-on Burr Ridge Parkway on the southeast corner of the intersection of County Line Road and I-55-will ultimately include eight buildings.

Two- and three-bedroom units, from 1,450 to about 4,000 square feet, range in price from $315,900 to $1.5 million. The most lavish of the condo buildings will have an eco-friendly green roof; retail amenities will include clothing stores, restaurants, and a proposed new Kohler Waters Spa and fixtures show room. Nix expects the second batch of condos to be ready for occupancy in fall 2008.


Wet and Wild
Jeanne Gang’s flowing design for Aqua shakes up staid riverfront development

Illustration: Image Fiction

Lakeshore East
From $647,127
to $2,175,000

“This is the only building I’ve ever been involved with where it doesn’t matter if the contractor can’t make a straight edge,” says James Loewenberg, a co-CEO of the Magellan Development Group. He is referring to Aqua, his company’s latest project-a radically different 81-story lakefront high-rise with a deeply veined exterior.

Loewenberg and his partner, Joel Carlins, tapped the architect Jeanne Gang to bring some different thinking to Lakeshore East, the thicket of mostly conventional towers south of the Chicago River between Columbus and Lake Shore drives. Gang’s design evokes the striated look of a sandstone outcropping over a river; she achieves this effect in part by varying the depths of the balconies, whose undulating outer rims appear to have been shaped by falling water.

Aqua will have 210 hotel units on the lower floors and 474 rental apartments on floors 19 to 52. The upper floors will house 264 condos; 85 percent of those have been sold. The remaining units range from a 1,209-square-foot one-bedroom condo on the 58th floor ($647,127) to a 3,592-square-foot three-bedroom condo on the 80th floor ($2,175,000). Aqua is scheduled for occupancy in 2009.


Church Conversion
Developer transforms Our Lady of Good Counsel into 13 condos

Illustration: Proteus Group

Ukrainian Village
From $299,000
to $599,000

Romeo Kapudija seems to relish a challenge-even one as taxing as transforming a defunct, decades-old Catholic church, rectory, and school into a contemporary condo complex.

Kapudija accomplished a similar miracle a few years ago when he converted an old Ukrainian Village factory (which had once manufactured Boy Scout merit badges) into an attractive residential complex. Now his company, Urban View Development Group, plans to work its magic on the former Our Lady of Good Counsel’s buildings (at Western Avenue and West Walton Street), reshaping them to house 13 condos. The process involves building another level atop the modest old sanctuary and adding a new wing to the school.

While most of the development’s condos will have glass-fronted balconies, the labyrinthine layout of the original buildings means that no two units in the development will look alike. For instance, one condo will have a dining area in the old choir loft; another will have its own street entrance, beneath a lintel carved with the words “Good Counsel.”

Prices range from $299,000 for a 1,200-square-foot two-bedroom condo to $599,000 for a 2,950-square-foot condo with three bedrooms. The first units should be ready for occupancy in fall 2007, Kapudija says.