The Transformers
Norwood Builders makes significant contributions to makeover of village’s downtown

Mount Prospect
From $254,900 to $499,900

A new condominium building, The Emerson at Village Centre, is rising on the site of Mount Prospect’s old village hall, part of the ongoing renaissance of that northwest suburb’s downtown. Situated near Mount Prospect’s new village hall, library, and shopping district, The Emerson will consist of 52 condos spread across four floors. (The ground floor will contain 14,000 square feet of retail space.) It is the fourth central-area condo project in Mount Prospect by Norwood Builders. “We have been working hand in hand with the village since they decided to redevelop their downtown” in the late 1990s, says Christine Kutt-Zolt, Norwood Builders’ director of sales and marketing.

Designed by DLK Architects (which also created Mount Prospect’s new village hall), The Emerson features a central tower flanked by two long brick wings. The condos start at $254,900 for a one-bedroom, one-bath floor plan with 886 square feet. The upper end is $499,900 for a 1,932-square-foot unit on two floors with two bedrooms and two and a half baths. Each unit includes an indoor, heated parking space. Additional parking starts at $20,000; $18,000 buys a lift that allows a double-decker, two-car arrangement.

At press time, 8 of the 52 condos had been sold. Occupancy is scheduled for this fall.

River View
Condos rise on scenic site

Photography: Eddie Hernández
From $216,500 to $349,500

For almost a century, a cren-elated tower was the only place in west suburban Lyons that took advantage of the pretty view across a broad bend in the Des Plaines River. Now the town and a developer are planning to maximize that view with a river walk and two condo buildings.

“There really isn’t any other site left between downtown Chicago and Naperville where you can get this kind of riverfront setting,” says Jim Stillo, a principal in SKS Partners, the developers of the condominium proj-ect, which is called The Riverwalk.

The 30 units in The Riverwalk’s first building sold out last year. In the second building, all 30 condos have a two-bedroom, two-bath floor plan. They range in price from $216,500 (for a 1,067-square-foot unit) to $349,500 for a 1,405-square-foot corner unit that faces the river. At press time, 12 units in the second building had been sold. Residents will start moving in during September, Stillo says.

When “Raphael” Becomes “Raffaello”
Subtle name change signals transformation of defunct Chicago hotel

Courtesy of Crescent Heights
From $200,000 to
about $1 million

The 18-story home of the now-defunct Raphael Hotel is undergoing extensive renovations on its way to reopening as the Raffaello Condominium Hotel. Inside the 77-year-old building (at 201 East Delaware Place), many vintage details are still in place, including beamed ceilings, heavily textured stucco walls, and carved crown moldings. “We’re keeping all these features that make this place so special,” says Andrew Romanosky, the sales manager for the hotel’s developer, Crescent Heights.

The developer is also updating the building, with new windows, fire sprinklers, Wi-Fi capability, and a contemporary brown palette. Except for a large penthouse, the suites are sized from 300 to 800 square feet. They are intended not as full-time homes, but as temporary in-town residences for their owners, who can put their rooms into a hotel rental pool when not using them. Prices range from $200,000 to $660,000. (The penthouse will be priced at about $1 million.)

At press time, buyers had taken 40 of the 175 suites in the building. The new owners are scheduled to begin occupying the suites on the first five floors this summer, followed later in the year by floors 11 to 18.