Nostalgia Nation
Developers of Rainbo Village pay homage to the site’s sentimental past

Illustration: courtesy of
Metropolitan Development Enterprise

From $256,900 to $752,900

Developers of the five contemporary buildings going up at Clark Street and Lawrence Avenue have christened the project Rainbo Village-not because of the structures’ colorful exteriors, but in tribute to the Rainbo Roller Rink, which stood on the site until last year. Although the new complex of 127 condos, townhouses, and lofts has a forward-looking design, it also acknowledges the site’s storied past. According to Nellie Donovan, the marketing director for Metropolitan Development Enterprises, the project’s loft section is called Kinetic Lofts, after the 1960s-era Kinetic Playground, where the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin once performed. The condos will be called Rouge Gardens-honoring the Moulin Rouge Gardens picnic grove and tavern that stood on the site in the 1890s-and the roller rink’s brick and limestone entrance has been reworked as a gazebo in the center of the courtyard. Designed by Pappageorge Haymes, the complex has an array of floor plans and prices in the 65 available units. At the low end, $256,900 buys a one-bedroom condo (about 830 square feet); at the upper end, a 2,848-square-foot, three-bedroom townhouse (with a two-car garage and a rooftop deck) goes for $752,900.


The Fairmont Hotel’s condo units offer part-time city dwellers a chance to walk to everything in town

Photograph: courtesy of
The Fairmont Chicago
Lakeshore East
From $299,500 for condo-hotel units
From $125,000 to $275,000 for fractional ownership

When the Fairmont Hotel went up in 1987 in the area east of Michigan Avenue and north of Randolph Street, it was a good location. Now, with the opening of Millennium Park to the south and the quieter but dramatic Lakeshore East Park to the east, upgrade that to great. “The neighborhood has blossomed,” says Cory Warning of Strategic Hotels and Resorts, the company that bought the hotel (at 200 North Columbus Drive) a year ago. Following a renovation, there will be 88 hotel-condo units on four of the Fairmont’s 37 floors (buyers own a hotel-condo unit and put it into a rental pool when they aren’t using it). Warning said those units would start at about $299,500 and encompass approximately 450 square feet, including a kitchenette. Forty-four fractional units offer one- and two-bedroom floor plans, all with full kitchens. (A fractional-ownership resembles a traditional time-share: the buyer purchases a one-eighth interest, and can then use the room or suite one-eighth of the year.) Shares in the one-bedroom units, says Waring, should start at $125,000; two-bedroom units will likely start at $170,000.


Eye for Style
Bucktown’s slick new spot

Illustration: courtesy of
Attila Demeter Architects

From $599,900 to $1.125 million

At 1915 North Damen Avenue-just a few blocks north of the Milwaukee-North-Damen intersection-architect and developer Attila Demeter has built a stylish new condo building with an eye-shaped courtyard. The ocular enclosure serves dual purposes: it provides natural light for the condos as well as a serene communal space for the building’s future residents, scheduled to move in September.

Aspen 6-named for the aspen trees around the building-is a five-story, six-unit brick structure with twin barrel-vaulted roofs. Inside, a pair of two-story, 2,700-square-foot penthouses ($1.095 million and $1.125 million) feature three bedrooms and a family room on the fourth floor. On the top floor, a long gallery space connects the living room in the front to the kitchen, dining room, and rooftop deck in back. Four 1550-square-foot two-bedroom condos spread across the two lower floors. At press time, three remain for sale, ranging in price from $599,900 to $629,900.

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