Astor. Goethe. East Lake Shore Drive. Some residential Chicago streets immediately evoke a sense of prestige. In Lincoln Park, no address is more esteemed than one on Burling Street, where vintage graystones and brownstones mingle with super-sized stone mansions that span several lots and herald a new Gilded Age.
With big money and high-end homeowners marking the street, new condo developments must appeal to the most discerning of buyers. Mario Greco, broker of Rubloff Residential Properties’ Mario Greco Group, thinks Burling Place, a new-construction condo building at the corner of Burling and Willow streets, fits right in on the awe-inspiring street.
“It’s one of the oldest established parts of Lincoln Park,” Greco said. “Burling itself is probably the most expensive street in the city, maybe even in the Midwest. It has a very active community association that keeps the aesthetic of the neighborhood up. They don’t let anyone build just anything in the neighborhood.”
Spearhead Development, best known for building custom single-family homes in Lake View and Roscoe Village, fought to get the address of the lot switched from Willow to Burling Street, Greco said, to boost the development’s cachet. A church on the site – “not a pretty church, like a pink stucco church,” Greco noted – was torn down to make way for the five-story, classically influenced building by architect Sullivan Goulette Ltd.
“They tried to put a building there that looks like it belongs in the neighborhood,” Greco said. “It was inspired by some buildings in London.”
And it shows. The concrete and steel construction is fronted with dark brick, and spires and patterns made from Renaissance stone add a Gothic quality. It soars above its neighbors – affording buyers fantastic views, Greco said – but setbacks on the top two floors keep its scale in check. Part of the roof is synthetic slate, and shiny copper downspouts and gutters trace the building. Greco said there are also copper inserts on the roof designed to break ice as it slides off the slate. “I’ve never seen that before on a condo building,” he said.
To get zoning concessions and permission to build additional square footage, Spearhead agreed to preserve and incorporate a copper-topped church rectory, which Greco said predates the Chicago Fire of 1871, into Burling Place. The blonde brick building will serve as the builder’s new office.
Interior finishes in each of the six condos at Burling Place will echo the classical exterior architecture and include crown molding, wainscoting, quarter-sawn white oak floors, stone bathrooms and full-height stone backsplashes in the kitchen. Units have two to four bedrooms, two or three bathrooms, private terraces and 1,394 to 3,166 square feet. The fourth-floor and penthouse units also have a 14-foot by 15-foot library, a private elevator entrance and roof rights, Greco said. Each home includes an indoor parking space, and the top two units include two spaces.
After two weeks on the market, one two-bedroom condo at Burling Place has sold, according to Greco, and remaining units are priced from the $740s to $2.3 million. The building has been topped off, and Greco said deliveries will begin the first week of November.