A Much-Needed Overhaul

Wenk: A much-needed overhaul

July 22, 2010
By CHUCK WENK Contributing Columnist

The Chicago Bears stayed there several seasons during training, and apartments were put aside for emergency short stays because of fire or other nature mistakes that drove some local folks away from their homes for days or weeks.

Now, at last, the decaying Fort Sheridan Place properties in Highwood are getting a much-needed overhaul thanks to builder/contractor David Strosberg and his two rental experts, Eric Slavic and Jim Shortenhaus, all of whom gave me the royal tour of the property this week.

One of the three buildings is almost totally overhauled and the second and third properties are soon to go under the sledgehammers — and the partially finished job is a masterpiece so far.

The original owner didn’t have the cash or backing to complete this type of major repair and renovation, but Wells Fargo and Strosberg are doing a miraculous remodeling that is really a credit to the city of Highwood whose leaders should be thanking their stars for the facelift going on there. They should be grateful for the revenue that will be resparked and the attractive units that are now just about ready in the first building north.

These guys didn’t call me for a “plug” — nor did they request accolades of any type. They simply went to work and are producing much-needed, low-cost housing for residents who don’t want to leave the area and perhaps don’t want to invest in housing for the “short” term.

Highwood should be bringing these guys lunch every working day for the job they are doing.

I remember my first visit to the property with former Highwood Police Chief Forrest Grandi. I would never have imagined a workout room with full equipment, colorful carpeting, drapes, all new plumbing, etc.

I was not excited about the new apartments back then, but Strosberg’s people have done a miraculous job in making Fort Sheridan Place what will surely be a winner for Highwood, in spite of the city’s nonchalant approach to this transformation.

Not that the owner and staff complained about the city’s apparent disinterest, but I haven’t heard any talk in Highwood or Highland Park about what is going on there.

Want a tour? Need a place? Call Jim at (847) 433-5660, or Eric at (630) 518-1913 for more info.

I’m impressed, fellows, and that takes a lot when you saw what this project was recently and what it is beginning to look like now. Way to go.

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