An affordably-priced 3-bedroom condo in Park Ridge

Bristol Court, Park Ridge, IL. Microsoft Bing Aerial

When Bristol Court was converted to condos in the late 1970s, a partner and I bought two 2-bedroom, 2-bath units there at prices in the low $40s, with 110% unsecured bank financing. We put them on the market immediately after closing and flipped them “as is” in a matter of weeks, one in the low $50s, the other in the mid-$50s. Those were the days!

Bristol Court was being converted by a legal client who’d successfully blown out 1,000s of units at 3950 N Lake Shore Dr and Commonwealth Plaza in the city, and half a dozen other city and suburban projects whose names and locations are lost to my memory. His last conversion before the market collapse of the late 70s / early 80s was Ford City, on the southwest side of Chicago.

My partner (a fellow attorney at the same law firm) and I were trying to buy two dozen units at Bristol Court, but our client literally had buyers willing to take 20 units for every one he had available to sell. We got two only because my partner had been a classmate of the developer’s daughter at Highland Park High School and she was a part of the sales team. We set foot in the units only once – and that was after closing, when we took our Realtor through.

Our closing was delayed several months while the developer worked out problems with Park Ridge and the tenants’ association that had formed at Bristol Court.

The original developer of the project in 1969-70, if I recall correctly, was Sellergren Construction, a major builder that has since gone out of business. It turned out that Sellergren had built the number of units / buildings it had originally requested zoning for. That, alas, was one building and 32(?) units more than Park Ridge had approved. The “contractor error” didn’t come to light until the time of the conversion, and it provided Park Ridge and the tenants some significant leverage with our firm’s client, the converter.

Bristol Court has a great location, at the intersection of Talcott and Dee Roads (aerial view, above), just south of Touhy Ave, nearly surrounded by Cook County Forest Preserve. It was a well-built project with relatively large units and generously-sized rooms. One drawback, for a suburban location, was and is the lack of private outdoor spaces.

I was able to find only 3 units currently for sale of the 100s at Bristol Court. One, a 3-bedroom, 3-bath, 1,655 square foot home with a deeded underground parking space at 2500 Windsor Mall Dr, is priced at $174,900. That seems an affordable way for a young family to gain a foothold in Park Ridge, which has generally good schools, including Maine South High School.

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