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Triple threat
New Homes Magazine
by Dan Schuyler 4/17/05

RDM's Trio optimizes location, pricing, design in 1 cool complex
RDM Development’s Robert Mosky always has shied away from becoming a signature developer. From the traditional look of the Gables townhomes in Old Irving Park and the Deer Creek, a condo complex in Gurnee, to the continental flare of highrises like the Neapolitan and the Venetian in Old Town, his projects cover an immense amount of ground in terms of architecture, product type and location.

Mosky is hard to classify, and so is his latest project, simply called “Trio." The ultra-contemporary 209-unit condo complex, at 650 W. Wayman in the West Loop, comprises two seven-story mid-rises and a 22-story tower separated by landscaped courtyards with water features and reflecting pools.

Architects Hartshorne & Plunkard designed the three buildings that form Trio almost completely of glass and steel, with floor-to-ceiling windows all around. The look is distinctly urban, fitting in this formerly industrial corner of the West Loop, and all that glass will make for terrific views and light. The buildings’ clean lines and simple geometry beautifully integrate these structures, which as the development name implies, are three harmonious components of one project. But Hartshorne & Plunkard’s careful proportions and friendly touches break up the scale and keep the complex from seeming overwhelming.

“We have given all of the buildings a warm residential scale and flavor by adding irregular cuts of buff limestone, fieldstone and other materials to the base of each structure, creating kind of a prairie feel," says Plunkard. “And we have carried the stone finish upward to some degree by leaving some exposed concrete between floors for definition."

The planned-unit development where Trio is located, on former railroad land in the West Loop, is slated for up to 1,500 more residential units, retail development including a new Jewel grocery store and parks that will include tennis courts and a swimming pool. Trio residents will reap the benefits of this growth and the current benefits of the location, a short walk from the East Bank Club, Starbucks and Loop offices.

Trio’s design allows buyers to live in this central location next door to the Loop in a contextual, street-friendly complex and yet provide buyers with a sense of sanctuary, Mosky says.

“Trio is not a gated community. The intent was to build it out there for all to see, yet give the residents the feeling that they are leaving the city behind when they enter their building," Mosky says. “That’s why we put most of the parking and all of the commercial off to the side, so to speak, keeping the main buildings strictly residential, yet still providing the convenience of easy access to the parking and commercial space."

In addition to the two mid-rises – one of 53 units and the other 56 – the first phase of Trio includes a four-story structure to the north with three levels of parking and one level containing 10,000 square feet of retail space. This structure will have a landscaped roof with a community center and fitness facility.

The 100-unit tower will be constructed in phase II. In addition to the landscaped courtyards between the Trio buildings, the city will build a three-acre park on land donated by RDM just west of the tower.

Condos at Trio have one or two bedrooms and one to two baths, and some have dens. Features include hardwood floors in living areas, bedroom carpeting, 10-foot ceilings throughout, floor-to-ceiling windows, state-of-the-art kitchen and bath appliances, granite countertops, multi-media pre-wiring and large terraces.

Prices that start under $200,000 have been a big draw, according to Matt Garrison, of Coldwell Banker, exclusive marketing agent for Trio. One-bedrooms are priced from the $180s, two-bedrooms from the low $200s and two-bedrooms with dens from the low $300s. Parking is $35,000 per spot.

“The unit interiors are really terrific," says Plunkard. “Most of the bedrooms are on outside walls, and we have used some partial walls to add to the open, airy feeling provided by the large windows."

At press time, more than 75 percent of the mid-rise units had been sold, according to Garrison. “Obviously, location and design have been big factors in attracting buyers," Garrison says. “But surprisingly, one of the big deals has been the inclusion of two full baths in the two-bedroom units."

Other current projects being developed by RDM, www.RDMHomes.com and sold by Garrison offer vastly different product types and locations, but appear to be selling equally well. The Gables, 3702 N. Kostner, is an intimate development of extra-wide townhouses that have nearly 3,200 square feet of space, four bedrooms on one level, gourmet kitchens and attached two-car garages in a city location with a “suburban feel," according to Garrison, while Deer Creek, a 198-unit condo conversion priced from the low to mid-$100s, offers an actual suburban location, in Gurnee.

West Gate offers chic new low-rise condos in West Ridge, at 2815 W. Howard. Each unit has two bedrooms with a den, hardwood floors, granite counters, fireplaces, balconies and parking. At press time, only a handful of units were left at the Venetian, 222 W. Division, a 16-story condo building in the heart of Old Town. And as if that wasn’t enough variety, RDM is hard at work on a deal in Las Vegas, although details were not available at press time.

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