541 West Cornelia meets the neighbors

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In the same street as Harvey House, in Lakeview, is JDL Development Corporation‘s upcoming 541 West Cornelia, a fairly bland-looking new-construction high-rise slated for a vacant lot previously occupied by a vintage single-family home (see photo). The masonry high-rise (see rendering) will feature one unit per floor, reminiscent of 50 E Chestnut. We don’t have prices or unit sizes for 541 West Cornelia yet, but don’t think for a minute that you can do a zero-down loan on this baby.

Features aren’t the most lavish we’ve seen, but they’re Ok. They include crown moldings, engineered hardwood floors, 9.5-foot ceiling heights, Toto faucets, oversized jet tubs, gas fireplaces with marble surrounds, south-facing terraces and heated indoor parking pull-out spray faucets (anyone know what this is? a quick way to wash your car?) The developer is going for a boutique-feel, so the building doesn’t have any whizz-bang amenities, from what we can see.

Last word to Sheila, an elderly lady who will be your neighbor if you buy a home at 541 West Cornelia. Yo’s truly had a chin-wag with Sheila this morning as she stood gazing up at JDL’s advertising sign out at the site. Sheila, who didn’t want to give up her last name, tells us she was renting an apartment in a high-rise along Lake Shore Drive when it went condo during the conversion boom of 1979. She says she was “forced to buy” because she didn’t want to move out of the neighborhood.

Lately, Sheila has noticed that a lot of families and elderly people on fixed incomes are moving out of her neighborhood because they can’t afford the rent or the hike in property taxes. She fears her neighborhood is losing its interesting mix of people and its roots as a community. What does Sheila think of the upwardly mobile residents who’ll be moving into 541 West Cornelia?

“Yuppies?” she says. “Oh, well they’re really stable, aren’t they?”

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