“The opportunity to build a high-rise in East Lakeview is very rare,” said Jim Letchinger, president of JDL Development Corporation. The developer, whose company built Maple Tower and Elm Tower in the Gold Coast, seized the chance to build a 24-story boutique high-rise with 22 full-floor condos at 541 W. Cornelia Ave. The goal: bring the space and privacy of a single-family home to those who want the convenience of a condo and the Lakeview East location.
“Most single-family homes being built today are very, very large — bigger than many people need — and very expensive,” Letchinger said. “Especially in the Lake View and East Lakeview area, to buy a new single-family home is a major commitment. There are a lot of families and couples that want to live in this area. They want the feeling of being on their own and having their own space, and this really fills that niche.
“The buyers, I think, are going to include families with school age children taking advantage of the schools that are located very close to there,” Letchinger said. “You’ll also have young couples. I think it’s a wonderful location for a gay buyer.”
JDL, which also builds custom single-family homes, is giving buyers at 541 West Cornelia many of the same options they would find in a single-family home. Packages for both contemporary and traditional finishes are available, and buyers can mix and match between the two. Traditional finishes include three-piece crown moldings, picture moldings and dark wood paneling while a more contemporary aesthetic might include high-gloss lacquered woods, stainless steel backsplashes and glass tiles.
The building itself, designed in-house by JDL, is intended to ease unobtrusively into its small footprint (only a single-family home stood on the site before). “We’re trying to really make it a building to fit into the neighborhood,” Letchinger said.
The front faÃ§ade is brick and stone with the kind of traditional detailing on the first floor that you’d see in many turn-of-the-century buildings. “The back side of the building,” Letchinger said, “will have pretty much a glass faÃ§ade, which is both designed to make the building feel lighter and take advantage of great views to the south and tremendous light.” Every unit has a south-facing balcony.
All 22 condos at 541 West Cornelia have three bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms and an average of 2,750 square feet. The duplex penthouse has 4,200 square feet and a terrace overlooking the lake, and there’s a common garden and dog park on the third floor. Prices range from $1.1 million to $2.6 million, and garage parking is available for $40,000. Letchinger said JDL hopes to break ground late this fall, and first occupancy is slated for late 2008 or early 2009.