BY BILL CUNNIFF Real Estate Reporter
Like many first-time homebuyers, George and Jennifer Conty went to their family for advice when they began searching for a home before their September 2005 wedding. George’s mother, Mary Conty, was a natural source, because she had just put her own home up for sale and was also in the market for a new home. It turned out that Mary as well as George and Jennifer decided to buy new homes — at Summit Creek, a development in Shorewood.
“George and I look were looking in the Shorewood area because homes there are so reasonably priced. And Mary wanted to move to the southern suburbs too, so we went home shopping together,” Jennifer said. “But never in a million years did I dream we’d buy in the same community.”
Lennar Chicago, the developer, plans 120 town houses. Prices begin in the $190,000s. Sizes range from 1,602 to 2,009 square feet. Units have 2 or 3 bedrooms, 2 to 3 baths and attached 2-car garages.
In January, Mary moved into her town house with her 10-year-old daughter, Amelia. “The location near Route 59 couldn’t be more convenient,” she said.
“Amelia goes to Crossroads Elementary School, just across the street from Summit Creek,” she said. “A bus even picks her up, so it’s easy for me to get her off to school in the morning before I take the Metra downtown to my job.”
For George and Jennifer, the location was also a big selling point. “George works in interior construction all around Chicago, and I work in Park Ridge, so being close to Interstates 80 and 55 was important,” Jennifer said.
The Conty family has also enjoyed Summit Creek’s proximity to the walking trails at the nearby Hammel Woods Forest Preserve. Mary and Amelia’s dog (Mason) as well as George and Jennifer’s dog (Gino) visit the nearby dog park.
Mary particularly liked that her new home included central air conditioning and General Electric appliances, including a washer and dryer. “Since I was selling my previous home, it was nice to be able to leave my old appliances there,” she said. “And as a single mom, I was glad a garage-door opener was included, so I wouldn’t have to worry about installing it myself or hiring someone to do it.”
Mary chose the 2,009-square-foot McGee floor plan, a tri-level layout with 3 bedrooms and 2oe baths. “When Amelia is upstairs in her bedroom or the computer room, I can go down to the finished lower level and have absolute peace and quiet,” Mary said. “I made that area into my reading room — it’s my own personal retreat.”
George and Jennifer chose a slightly smaller tri-level design, the 1,798-square-foot Hammel. “It’s just the right size for the two of us,” Jennifer said.
Jennifer appreciates her second-floor laundry room. “After living in an apartment and hauling laundry to a utility room in another part of the building, it’s such a luxury to have the washer and dryer right outside our bedroom door,” she said. “George teases me because I want to do laundry all the time.”
The four Contys agree that having each other nearby adds to the appeal of living at Summit Creek. “I love having my son and daughter- in-law down the street — we’ve become so close,” Mary said.
“We’re not quite next-door neighbors, but Mary is only a few homes away,” Jennifer said. “For some women, it might be too close for comfort to have their new mother-in-law in the same neighborhood, but I think it’s great.
“George and I moved into our home in May 2005, and until Mary and Amelia moved in the following January, we really missed seeing them. Now, if we get together four times a week, it’s not enough,” she said.
Summit Creek, Shorewood. Lennar Chicago, (815) 254-5724.
Seventy-five percent of 84 condominiums are under contract at Arbor Court, a development in Oak Lawn.
Remaining units are base-priced from $204,900 to $361,900. Sizes range from 878 to 1,591 square feet. Units have 1 or 2 bedrooms. The building will have heated parking.
Mid-America Development Partners and Morningside Group are nearing completion of construction work on the Oak Lawn Transit Center redevelopment project, near the intersection of 95th Street and 51st Avenue. Key components are the new Metra station and a parking deck for 750 cars; both are operational.
Mid-Am also has finished building the 22,000-square-foot commercial portion of the project, which includes the new 10,000- square-foot home of the Oak Lawn Children’s Museum. The museum is scheduled to open in December.
“We are pleased to see that the Oak Lawn redevelopment project is moving toward an on-time completion, with excellent market acceptance of both residential and retail components,” said David P. Bossy, chairman of Mid-Am. “They are bringing new vitality to the heart of Oak Lawn. The positive impact is spurring demand for both commercial and residential property nearby.”
Arbor Court, 96th Street and 51st Avenue, Oak Lawn. Mid-America Development Partners and Morningside Group, (708) 857-2900.
Click here to visit the Arbor Court website!
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