People who want to live really close to their jobs might want to consider a move to downtown Villa Park. Developers there are turning a handsome block of defunct retail stores that once included a movie theatre and a bowling alley into condominiums that revive the old concept of living over the store. Each of the six second-floor residential units has a separate retail or office space directly beneath it on the street level.
“We saw live-work units as an opportunity to save the building,” says Tom Arndt, the division manager for New Urban Communities. The Florida-based company is developing the project, called Kenilworth Park. It includes not only the live-work condos in the Tudor structure that dates to 1928, but 36 new townhomes built on the stores’ adjacent parking lots. “It would have been easier to tear it down,” Arndt says, “but we really believe in the idea of a friendly community, and living near where you work is part of that.”
One of the six live-work units has already been sold. What remains runs from a one-bedroom, 1,186-square-foot condo above a 788-square-foot workspace ($329,990) to a three-bedroom, 1,604-square-foot condo over 965 square feet of workspace ($499,990). Occupancy is scheduled for early 2008.
Photograph: thomas nowak photography