OAK LAWN, IL – Jorge and Eleanor DeSousa were not looking for a new condominium. But one day as he was driving down 95th Street through downtown Oak Lawn, Jorge saw a sign for the Prairie Town Center condominiums that will soon be built just southwest of 95th Street and Cook Avenue.
“I thought it looked interesting, so I stopped at the sales center and picked up a brochure,” he says. “It seemed like a great opportunity. The next day, we put down our deposit.”
A six-story building of 70 condominiums, Prairie Town Center is helping drive the renaissance of new residential and retail development transforming south suburban Oak Lawn. The town’s formerly nondescript central business district is becoming a thriving, vibrant location where people can live, shop, dine and recreate.
Construction is scheduled to begin on the building this spring, with first move-ins expected in spring of 2008.
The DeSousas, a couple in their 30s, chose the “Dover” floor plan at Prairie Town Center—a two-bedroom, two full-bath design on the building’s second floor.
“We wanted something more modern and up-to-date than our current condo in Justice,” says Jorge, who moved to the Chicago area from Canada nine years ago, and works in a hospital maintenance department. “We’re looking forward to having a brand new place.”
Location was also a big draw for the DeSousas. “The area is really booming,” Jorge says. “At our current place, if I want a bag of chips I have to get in my car and drive. Now we’ll be able to walk just about everywhere we need to go.”
Prairie Town Center is a stroll away from Freshline Grocery, Starbucks Coffee, Potbelly Sandwich Works, the Vino Tinto wine bar, Cold Stone Creamery, and Hollywood Video, among other restaurants and businesses. More shopping is on the way; construction has begun on an 18,000-square-foot retail center that will accompany Prairie Town Center between the homes and 95th Street.
“Even better, we’ll have a washer and dryer in our unit,” Jorge says. “My wife likes that part. She’s really excited about our new place.”
U.S. Marine Matt McCarthy had been back from the war in Iraq less than two weeks last October when he bought his first home—a one-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bath “Buckley” design on the second floor at Prairie Town Center.
“The opportunity just fell into my lap,” says 24-year-old McCarthy, a corporal who had just completed a seven-month tour providing security for major U.S. bases in Iraq, before returning to his hometown of Oak Lawn last fall. “My parents still live here, and I knew this was the neighborhood I wanted to live in. Sales had just started at Prairie Town Center, and it was a great opportunity to buy at pre-construction prices. Being in Iraq was like having a forced savings plan, because you can’t spend dollars over there. I’m living with my parents until my new place is ready, so I’ll save even more between now and then.”
McCarthy is working as a paramedic while he trains to become a firefighter. Like the DeSousas, who will be his neighbors next year, Matt says he’s looking forward to living in a new-construction home in a convenient location. “I’m attracted to it because it’s brand new. And everything is close—the bank, the train, the stores. I won’t have to drive.”
He says he felt confident buying a home at Prairie Town Center, even though construction had yet to begin, because he had seen another condominium building developed by the same company in Oak Lawn. “When I saw the Arbor Court building a few blocks away, I could tell that the company had done a really good job with the design and construction.”
Prairie Town Center and the Arbor Court condominiums at 96th Street and 51st Avenue are joint ventures of Chicago-based builder and developer Morningside Group and Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.-based Mid-America Development Partners. Morningside Group also served as program manager for the Village of Oak Lawn in building a new Metra station just north of Arbor Court and an adjacent municipal parking structure with more than 800 spaces.
Since starting sales in September of 2006, Prairie Town Center is already more than 70 percent sold. The building will feature a brick-and-stone façade, and all residences will have private balconies. Homes range in size from 1,007 square feet to 1,461 square feet and have either one bedroom and one-and-a-half baths, or two bedrooms and two baths. Base prices for remaining residences at Prairie Town Center are from $208,900 to $319,900. One heated, indoor parking space and individual storage lockers are included. Exterior parking is also available.
Standard features at Prairie Town Center include kitchens with furniture-quality, 42-inch upper cabinets. Baths have cultured-marble tops in a variety of colors, and buyers can choose from a selection of vanity styles and finishes. Residences have nine-foot ceilings in all living spaces, per plan; and walk-in closets or dressing rooms in master bedrooms, per plan.
“It’s going to be great living in a brand new place,” McCarthy says. “I’m really excited about it.”
The Prairie Town Center Info Center is located at 5239 West 95th Street in Oak Lawn. Hours of operation are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; and Sunday, 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Closed Tuesdays. For more information, please call (708) 857-2900.
Click here to visit the Prairie Town Center website!
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