RE/MAX Broker Hasani Steele Joins Development Team to Restore 19th Century Brownstone Rowhouse on Chicago’s South Lakefront
December 11, 2013 // Franchising.com // CHICAGO – A gutted and restored 19th century Victorian brownstone rowhouse at 4058 S. Lake Park Ave., originally built in 1882, is an outstanding example of how historical elegance and state-of-the-art finishes can be blended to create a remarkable residence. The project was a two-year effort involving Hasani Steele, a broker with RE/MAX Premier Properties of Chicago and CEO of Steele Consulting Group, and co-developers Teton Tack and Feed LLC and Bumblebee Development LLC.
Following restoration work on the facade of reddish-brown sandstone, the interior was entirely rebuilt to meet the needs of 21st century urban living and completed a few weeks ago shortly after Steele listed the home for sale at $685,500.
The exterior of the five-bedroom, 4½- bath home, located in the North Kenwood/Oakland area along Chicago’s south lakefront, was restored according to standards set by the City of Chicago’s Historic Preservation Division. The development team set out to recapture a sense of the grandeur that the 4,500 square-foot mansion once possessed. Its front facade is distinguished by distinctive gabled trim.
Created as a single-family residence, the home had at one point been divided into four rental units. The development team restored the property as a single-family residence but gave it a contemporary open floor plan. The original wrought iron fence also was restored. In accordance with the original layout of the home, the developer recaptured 30 inches on the north side, restoring the full front yard and allowing for a walkway to the landscaped backyard.
"This is a fully restored home with a modern floor plan, completed with legal permits and with all new components to the house," said Tim Volk, the managing partner of Teton Tack and Feed. "It’s a rare opportunity to find a historic home fully renovated on comparable level with a new construction home."
The roof was re-tiled and new decks have been installed on the first and second floors of the home. A 2½-car masonry garage has been constructed behind the back yard with full alley access.
Complementing the restored façade of the home is its refurbished interior. After the shell of the home had been reworked, the development team laid the foundations for a new floor plan by demolishing most interior walls. The existing flooring was removed and replaced.
The first floor boasts stained oak floors, a 12-foot ceiling and a 30-foot living room. Recessed lights have been installed in the living room’s tray ceiling. A marble fireplace and wet bar with an under-the-counter refrigerator in the living room contribute to the home’s modern design. On the same floor is a full chef’s kitchen with stainless steel appliances.
On the second floor are junior master suites, each with bath and walk-in-closets. Steele consulted on the design of the third-floor master suite, which shares a 42-foot deck offering a gorgeous view of downtown Chicago. As a real estate consultant, Steele works with clients on concept, design, and the selection of finishes.
Recessed ceiling speakers have been installed in the dining room, living room and kitchen and are connected to a state-of-the-art wireless Sonos controller system. The entire home is wired with structured cabling to provide easy access for phone, Internet and TV. The basement, once unfinished, has been transformed into an entertainment center with a five-channel digital speaker system and HDMI widescreen plasma television. Full-height windows at the rear of the house illuminate the room.
Because the cost of a gut-rehab project that meets historic standards is always substantial, most homes like this in the city sell at a much higher price, according to Jola Whipple of Bumblebee Development, who has developed homes across the Chicago area.
The home is among several recently rehabilitated landmark homes in the 4th ward, Volk said, whose company purchased the foreclosed home in 2011 and wanted this project to set a high bar for future restorations in the area.
"Demand for real estate is moving north from Hyde Park to Oakland; properties including foreclosed homes have become a hot commodity," Volk said. The industry reports a 12 percent increase in the median price of detached single-family homes in the Oakland neighborhood over the last 12 months alone.
Areas immediately adjacent to the North Kenwood/Oakland neighborhood have been attracting new commercial development. In Bronzeville, Roundy’s Supermarket Inc. and Wal-Mart plan to open retail locations within 1.5 miles of 4058 Lake Park Ave. The lakefront property is located directly across from Burnham Park, which connects to 26 miles of walking trails, bike paths, a yacht club and beaches.
"This home offers top quality finishes, ample space, historic charm and a lakefront location at a great price. It is a great value for the size of the house and the quality of construction," Whipple said.
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