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RDM adds 'Modern Luxury' to 1400 Lake Shore's art deco charm
New Homes Magazine
by Dan Schuyler 1/25/06


In Chicago's hot real estate market, it seems that only an eternal optimist could search for a newly converted condo priced under $200,000. Trying to find a developer's unit at this price point in the Gold Coast, much less on Lake Shore Drive, would seem to be a fool's errand indeed if RDM Development wasn't offering condos base priced from the high $130s in its new conversion, 1400 Lake Shore Drive.

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," says Matt Garrison, of Coldwell Banker Residential, exclusive sales agent for the development. "There will never be another property in this location at these price points. And to make things even better, we've created an incredible Modern Luxury upgrade package for the remaining units." Example of sleek European cabinetry available in RDM Homes.

The kitchen and bathroom upgrades included in the new package are designed to bring modern luxury, as the package name suggests, to a building full of vintage charm.

Located on the northwest corner of Lake Shore Drive and Schiller Street, in the Gold Coast, 1400 N. Lake Shore Drive was designed for the Wrigley family in 1927 by architects Hooper & Janusch. The 22-story concrete structure, originally designed as a hotel, ended up as a co-op apartment building until the 1950s, when it was converted into luxurious rental units.

"This is just an outstanding property, and it is filled with Old World decorating," says RDM Development co-founder Robert Mosky, who points out that the building and the units have been impeccably maintained over the years. "But the time has come to introduce it to 21st century technology without taking away from the design and craftsmanship of the past."

Upgrades in the Modern Luxury package include opening up the kitchens and living areas and installing new kitchen tile flooring and cabinets, Premier black appliances, granite countertops, breakfast bars and sink fixtures.

Bathrooms will be completely renovated with tile flooring, European vanities, deluxe soaker tubs, designer lighting and new showers and shower surrounds. The units also will have new drywall, refinished hardwood floors, new electrical fixtures and multimedia wiring.

According to Mosky, each selection in the Modern Luxury package was carefully chosen to integrate seamlessly into the residences.

"For example, rather than offering the wood cabinetry that you find at so many developments, we are featuring a choice of sleek European cabinetry that relates to modern design elements from the (art deco) period," Mosky says. "It is important to remember that while this is a vintage property, the art deco movement was really one of modern design."

Garrison points out that the Modern Luxury package is a flexible plan, and that prospective buyers can customize it in a variety of ways.

And the improvements at 1400 Lake Shore Drive aren't limited to the condo interiors. RDM says it will spend around $12 million, or more than $30,000 per unit, refurbishing building mechanicals and infrastructure. The developer will replace the roof, the building's electrical and water systems, all windows, baseboard heating, air conditioners, ventilation systems, plumbing risers, unit electrical service and other mechanical elements.

"We also plan some common area improvements," Garrison says. "For example, we will be putting wood paneling and marble flooring in the elevator lobbies on each floor, and we will brighten the hallways a bit with new carpeting and lighting."

The building features an elegant hotel-like European lobby with fresco ceilings, marble floors, walnut paneling and classical furniture. Building amenities include a 24-hour fitness center, a laundry room, dry cleaning and tailor services, a salon, a convenience store, a video store and a rooftop sundeck and park.

Mosky says that RDM will expand the fitness club and purchase new equipment. He also anticipates improvements to the sundeck and hopes to entice a five-star restaurant to move into the building, a throwback to the famous CoqAuVin, which was located at 1400 N. Lake Shore Drive for many years.

The unit mix consists of "in-towns" and larger condos with one, two or three bedrooms. The homes range from 400 to 1,500 square feet. At press time, base pricing for the lakefront condos began in the high $130s. Units with Modern Luxury upgrades start in the $150s for in-towns, in the $190s for one-bedrooms, in the $270s for two-bedrooms, and in the $450s for three-bedrooms. At press time, about 40 percent of the units had been sold, according to Garrison.

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