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Venetian nights
New Homes Magazine
by Dan Schuyler 7/17/04

RDM brings taste of Italy to Old Town in 2nd condo tower
The Venetian After RDM Development’s Robert Mosky brought a little bit of Italy to the corner of Clark and Division with the Neapolitan, a condominium highrise at 1212 N. Wells, in Old Town, the cry went up for more.

“I kept getting calls asking if there were any units left at the Neapolitan," Mosky says. “And since I love Italian, I decided that maybe more is better."

Presto! The Venetian, RDM’s new 16-story condominium building at 222 W. Division, just around the corner from the Neapolitan, is nearing completion, with only 18 of the 88 residences available at press time.

Designed by architects Hartshorne & Plunkard, the Venetian, www.RDMhomes.com, continues the Italian theme introduced to Old Town by the Neapolitan, though the new building is hard to fit into a particular category.

“There really is no single style which defines the Venetian," says Hartshorne & Plunkard architect Paul Alessandro. “It’s very modern, but it responds to a lot of Venetian and classic Italian details in a mish-mosh fashion, so that the Italian influence is ever present but not overbearing."

A sales center for the Venetian currently is open at the Neapolitan, 1212 N. Wells. Buyers can explore finishes and floor plans there before heading around the corner to a model condo at the Venetian, where RDM has been closing units.

The close connection between the buildings might not stop at the sales and design efforts. RDM and its architects planned the Venetian so that it can easily be connected to the Neapolitan if the two condo associations wish, in order to share some services, amenities and facilities, potentially cutting costs and boosting benefits.

The centerpiece of the Venetian is a private, secured lobby, designed with 14-foot ceilings, marble floors and dramatic archways. The ground level also houses 5,000 square feet of space reserved for commercial tenants who will cater to the needs of the residents. The retail spaces have their own entrances, separate from the lobby, and around 30 dedicated parking spaces in the four-story garage that forms the base of the structure.

The building has some unusual features, including, atop the garage, a secluded fifth-floor garden where residents can go to relax. Other common area amenities include a rooftop deck, a large workout room and an all-glass party room with four-way views.

And in keeping with the boutique feel of its nearby cousin, the Venetian was created with just eight residences per floor over the four-story base. Many of the condos benefit from a series of setbacks on the ends of the highrise, a design that makes six of eight apartments on each floor corner units. All have large balconies and more than half of the condos have a north and south view.

The condos have one to three bedrooms and one to three baths. Features include hardwood floors, marble master baths, granite countertops, fireplaces, cherry and maple cabinetry and paneling, 10-foot ceilings, in-unit laundry and balconies or terraces. The high level of standard finishes rises even higher in the three duplex penthouses, according to Coldwell Banker’s Matt Garrison, exclusive sales agent for the project.

“While there are not a lot of unsold residences, we still have available a fairly representative sample of all of the various types of units," Garrison says. “And we’ve held firm on the pricing in an effort to leave the value out there for the prospective buyers."

Prices range from the $270s to the $650s, and indoor parking is $35,000 per space, with tandem spots available for $55,000. Delivery typically takes about six to eight weeks.

“It’s a phenomenal Old Town location," Garrison says. “You can’t beat the price point, and the views are spectacular because there are no tall buildings to the south. If you go two blocks east, there are no views at all for buildings of this size."

This area of Old Town is rapidly responding to the influx of new residents, Garrison says, noting the proximity of the retail strip two blocks west, which has a massive Dominick’s as well as a Starbucks, a Blockbuster and other convenience stores.

“I’m very pleased with the way the Venetian has followed in the footsteps of the Neapolitan," Mosky says. “In addition to being a little bit of Italy, these buildings are in an area that feels like a neighborhood, with lots of restaurants and other merchants. This gives our buyers a feeling of comfort and security."

The large Old Town Village development is just a short distance from the Venetian. Mosky welcomes this project and all of the other residential development in the neighborhood. “Projects like that are what I call good competition," he says. “Buyers feel comfortable knowing that they are moving to a popular neighborhood."

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