Spring is a remarkable season, when everything receives an invitation to live, to grow and thrive. Here in Chicago, it seems spring of 2012 is giving rise to more than tulips and trees. In the historic southern neighborhood of Kenwood–known for breathtaking mansions, ornate Italiante structures and even Frank Lloyd Wright-designed homes–a steadfast builder has brought new life to a vintage-inspired condominium that suffered deep neglect after the housing bubble burst.
Lewis Korompilas, president and CEO of Premium Builders LTD, has a reputation for reviving unkempt, forgotten properties, particularly in southern neighborhoods like Kenwood. He tends toward structures that reflect an antique grandeur in their materials, layout and construction style.
That’s why the fallen condominium project at 4351 South Lake Park Avenue captured his attention. Grandly constructed with brick and limestone, the property echoes that magnificence that defined this neighborhood some 100 years ago.
When the condo was originally planned, and when it was first underway, the real estate market was still booming. But as the story goes for so many, the builder didn’t get beyond pouring a foundation when things started to fall apart and work was halted. Years later, Korompilas saw opportunity and purchased the property at a steep discount.
As expected, when the time came to begin remodeling, Korompilas was conscientious to maintain the property’s Old World feel inside and out. Throughout the interior, he relied heavily on classic features like wainscoting, towering cathedral ceilings and crown molding; inside the individual units, he complemented the look with diagonally laid hardwood floors and natural stone in the bathrooms, ensuring that the building’s lavish atmosphere carried beyond its façade and common areas.
A further look into residential units, of which there are ten, reveals both single and two-story units that contain from two to four bedrooms. The rather extraordinary two-story units include either a lofted area atop a grand cathedral ceiling or a formal library enclosed on three sides by additional wainscoting. Two of these units also lead directly to the rooftop deck, which is shared by all residents.
Perhaps the most surprising element to these classy condos is their price, which ranges from $199,000 to $369,000. If this sounds like your idea of home, then get ready to close in–while two of the units are already under contract, the remainder will be ready for move-in by May.