List Price: $1.89 million
The Property: Transforming an old Bucktown hardware store into this single-family home was a complex project, but it had at least one thing going for it. Because the existing building filled its site all the way to the lot lines, the home could be deeper and wider than new construction. The downside—no yard—is easily forgotten when you get to the third floor of this home, where a large family room is surrounded on three sides by terrace.

“It’s a pretty nice place for kids,” says the home’s seller, David Elowe, whose Urban West Group develops residential and commercial properties. “We put out the [kiddie] pool, and it’s the backyard for our kids.” What’s more, the home also has a two-level deck off the master bedroom and an enclosed area for grilling and dining adjacent to the kitchen.

Elowe and his wife, Robin, bought the old corner store in 2004, when it was a derelict property. “I had to come over at night and screw the doors closed so kids couldn’t break in,” Elowe recalls. That headache and a small zoning skirmish over adding the top floor were worth it. “This place has 1,500 [square feet per floor],” he says. “You don’t find that in new construction.”

The Elowes engaged the architect Jeff Funke to help transform the late 19th-century structure into a contemporary home with five bedrooms, four-plus bathrooms, and a big kitchen. (And as you will see in the video, the interior gets lots of daylight; “even in the moonlight, you can read in our kitchen,” Elowe says.) The switch entailed lifting the first floor off the sidewalk level, both to enhance privacy and to make the basement level a livable space. Now planning a move to the suburbs with their two young daughters, the Elowes listed the house for sale in April.

Price Points: The couple’s agent, Marty Winefield, says that recent Bucktown sales at this price point have largely been new construction. “This one is 15 to 20 percent larger than those homes for like money,” he notes.

Listing Agent: Marty Winefield of @Properties: 773-251-6860 or