Foxford We Know What Buyers Want. Wed, 21 Jun 2017 14:49:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Cottage living – Midwest style – comes to the area Fri, 18 Sep 2015 18:42:54 +0000

From charming front porches to enchanting surroundings, there is so much to love about cottage-style homes. And, whether looking for a single-family home, townhome or vacation home, here are three different ways Chicagoans can experience the quaint and cozy attributes of cottage-style living year-round.

The Cape Cod-style, three-story townhomes reflect traditional beachside architecture and range in size from 1,986 to 2,242 square feet. Each home comes standard with three bedrooms, two full baths and two half baths, an eat-in kitchen, dining room, family room and attached two-car garage. Homes are base-priced from $299,000 to $399,900.

“All homes include quaint front porches centered on a courtyard complete with mature landscaping, a small pond, waterfall and seating area providing a coastal charm,” said Peter Brennan, president of Foxford Communities. “Even better, most homes include views of the sparkling blue waters of Lake Zurich. You can’t beat the fact that Somerset offers affordable lakeside cottage living in a convenient walkable location.”

For more information on Somerset, contact Jeff Ohm at 847-821-9090

A Vacation Lifestyle

Cottage-style homes also have special appeal to those in the market for a vacation residence according to Tammy Barry, director of sales and marketing for Heritage Harbor Ottawa Resort, a marina resort community along the Illinois River in Starved Rock Country. “Buyers purchasing a second home typically want something that’s low-maintenance and ‘just right’ in terms of space, so the smaller footprint and efficient layout of a cottage is perfect for them,” said Barry. “Our homes at Heritage Harbor are very much a modern take on cottage design, and we dedicate the most space to the features we know are most important to vacation home owners – namely, open living space where friends and family can gather, and large bedrooms that can easily accommodate guests.”

Barry added that homes at Heritage Harbor also feature aesthetics inspired by traditional cottage design, including welcoming front porches, exterior siding in soft hues contrasted with white trim, and interior details such as oversized white baseboards and window trim, white kitchen cabinetry, bead board accents and beautiful hardwood floors. “These homes take inspiration from coastal cottages, and buyers love how that look and feel perfectly complements the waterfront lifestyle here at Heritage Harbor,” she said.

The latest cottage offerings at Heritage Harbor are the Cottages at River Row, a new pocket neighborhood that includes three cottage-style single-family homes priced from $249,000 to $299,000 and ranging from 800 to 1,250 square feet, and four 1,300-square-foot duplex residences priced from $259,000. Two of the cottage-style single-family homes feature floor plans by nationally-renowned architects Peter Brachvogel and Stella Carosso of Bainbridge Island, Wash.-based Perfect Little House Company, which is known for smaller, cottage-style home designs infused with quality and character. These homes also feature large back porches and decks overlooking a neighborhood pool.

For more information on Heritage Harbor Ottawa Resort,

Timber’s Edge, a low-maintenance community of 21 cottage-style, single-family homes in Northbrook, provides a refreshing alternative to the typical sprawling subdivisions found in the popular Chicago suburb.

At Heritage Harbor Ottawa Resort, buyers can choose from cottage-style single-family homes and duplexes in the development’s newest pocket neighborhood, the Cottages at River Row

Cottage Living Midwest Style

For those who dream of living in a cottage-style home within walking distance to town and a beach, Somerset Townhomes in Lake Zurich offers the best of both worlds.

Condos Offer Spacious, One-Level Living Tue, 02 Jun 2015 17:22:37 +0000 download

Clocktower Pointe

Clocktower Pointe, a luxury condominium development in Countryside, Ill., offers spacious floor plans and upscale finishes that makes it an easy transition for empty-nesters who still want the space of their former home – but without the stairs.

All of the Clocktower Pointe condominiums provide a large, flexible and open living area that leads to oversized private outdoor balconies or terraces that range from 165 to 1,000 square feet, providing ample space for a full-sized grill and patio furniture. According to Peter Brennan, president of Foxford Communities and developer of the community, with only four units per floor, and only two on the penthouse level, Clocktower Pointe offers homes so spacious that in some cases they rival single-family home sizes.

“It’s an ideal community for those looking to downsize from a home and enjoy maintenance-free living,” adds Brennan. Homes at Clocktower Pointe offer 1,882 to 2,267 square feet with two- to three-bedrooms and 2 to 2½ baths. Prices range from $359,900 to $550,000.

By Jennifer Goodman

Developers walk the walk in promoting healthy communities Sun, 12 Apr 2015 09:00:25 +0000 Pic 1

Margi Girdzius a resident at Medinah on the Lake condo development in Bloomingdale, walks around the path near the development. (Photo courtesy of James C. Svehla, for the Chicago Tribune)

Healthy living was never so easy for Margi Girdzius before she moved to a condo development in Bloomingdale that supports an active lifestyle.

At Medinah on the Lake, Girdzius has access to a walking path and a clubhouse with exercise equipment, a sauna and swimming pool. She also benefits from being able to step out to her balcony and enjoy fresh air and a view of pristine Lake Medinah.

Social interaction provides positive effects, too. Girdzius feels camaraderie with neighbors who wave to her from their balconies when she arrives home from work. Gathering spots include a huge fireplace and big-screen TV in the clubhouse and an outdoor pool and sun deck overlooking the beach.

“You used to find (community spirit) in the neighborhoods,” said Girdzius, who moved to Medinah on the Lake with her sister about two years ago from Buffalo Grove. “That’s what I kind of remembered when I started to get to know some of the neighbors.”

Foxford Communities in Hinsdale, which owns Medinah on the Lake, revegetated the wetlands at the site, and the man-made lake was once a quarry.

Many developers are incorporating healthy amenities in master-planned, multifamily and single-family communities, some building on land that was going to waste. These trends are a result of the housing industry trying to meet growing consumer demand for vibrant, compact communities that promote a healthy lifestyle and enhance the quality of life.

In fact, 76 percent of millennials consider walkability when they decide where to live, according to a survey by Urban Land Institute, a Washington-based non-profit. A little over half of Americans want to live in a community with public transportation, close proximity to stores, restaurants and offices, the survey found.

Access to parks and playgrounds for children, fresh food, water, good air and light quality, social engagement and pet-friendly policies are also important for a healthier lifestyle and to combat Americans’ growing obesity and chronic disease rates, according to the Urban Land Institute. ULI recently released “Building Healthy Places Toolkit: Strategies for Enhancing Health in the Built Environment,” which includes 21 recommendations for building healthy developments.

“Sprawled-out landscapes lead to increasing body mass. Americans are nowhere near meeting the requirements of physical activity and exercise, and the most prevalent disorder in America is depression,” said Dr. Richard Jackson, an advisory board member of ULI’s Building Healthy Places Initiative, which helped develop the tool kit. “One of the instigators is social isolation . . . car-development environments isolate people even more.”

Jackson, who is also a pediatrician and professor at the Fielding School of Public Health at the University of California, Los Angeles, said developers should build homes and communities that make walking a way of life.

“If we build healthy communities, ones that no longer isolate families, the elderly and children, we reduce chronic diseases and improve health,” Jackson said.

Vivian Loftness, professor and former head of the School of Architecture at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Penn., and an expert on environmental design and sustainability, said walkability is essential for housing developments.

“One thing that becomes pretty clear in a lot of the research that’s been going on is that individuals who live in walkable communities and their kids who can essentially walk to the library or school or a playing field, that there is a substantially healthier child,” she said.

“Another issue that sort of parallels that is the importance of social spaces for the emotional health of people. So if you can walk to a library, playing field or church, individuals seem to have much stronger social networks and hence are more optimistic,” Loftness said.

Via Verde in the South Bronx of New York represents a new approach to green and healthy urban living. The mixed-use project, which was developed by Phipps Houses and Jonathan Rose Cos., has 151 rental apartments for low-income households, 71 co-ops for middle-income households, retail and community space, a fitness center, green roofs, community gardens, an orchard and an outdoor area for exercise classes and social events.

The apartments have large windows, balconies, sun shades and plenty of natural light and cross ventilation. Connected green rooftops are used to harvest rainwater, grow fruits and vegetables and provide open space for residents. Other amenities include a bicycle storage area, open-air courtyards and an outdoor area for exercise classes and social events.

“Affordable housing is an essential, stable base from which low-income families can move forward, but their homes must not only be energy efficient, they also must be healthy,” said Jonathan Rose, president of Jonathan Rose Cos., in an email. “Healthy homes with little of the toxic chemicals that are often part of modern paints, carpets, glues and caulks can significantly improve the health of residents.”

Lakeshore East, a 28-acre master-planned community in downtown Chicago, offers a convenient, walk-to-work location and dining and shopping options on the premises. Residents have access to their own 6-acre park with lighted fountains, a children’s play park and a dog park. The development is surrounded by Lake Michigan, the Chicago River, Millennium Park and Maggie Daley Park.

“It’s good for the environment and it’s a trend in the marketplace and achieves the ends we want, to provide healthy environments for our renters or buyers,” said Joshua Taylor, vice president of marketing for Magellan Development Group, the Chicago-based developer of Lakeshore East. “We also make sure we build green buildings, which has a lot to do with how we feel about being sustainable and civically conscious.”

Rancho Sahuarita, a master-planned community south of Tucson, Ariz., incorporates a variety of healthy-living aspects in its amenities, including a clubhouse with fitness rooms, a lap pool and splash park. A major area health-care provider is also designing a health and wellness pavilion for the town center.

Peter Rummell, former Urban Land Institute chairman and an advisory board member for the organization’s Building Healthy Places Initiative, said developments should give people a reason to want to exercise, socialize and lead healthier lives.

“How do you convince 35 year olds with families and parents and grandparents if they start thinking about health now it’s going to be an easier subject than when they’re 65,” Rummell said.

Rummell is in the midst of developing a master-planned community of multifamily residences that he hopes will do just that. The development in Jacksonville, Fla., which will be on the site of a former generating plant, will include fitness amenities, garden space for planting vegetables, retail and restaurants.

“It’s going to be urban, which I think is important, but it’s going to have the same kind of, hopefully, self-contained energy and feel a resort would have,” he said.

Janice Neumann is a freelance reporter for the Chicago Tribune.

Urban Land Institute, a Washington-based nonprofit organization, offers 21 recommendations for developers to consider when building healthy homes and communities.

1. Incorporate a mix of land uses
2. Design well-connected street networks at the human scale
3. Provide sidewalks and enticing, pedestrian-oriented streetscapes
4. Provide infrastructure to support biking
5. Design visible, enticing stairs to encourage everyday use
6. Install stair prompts and signage
7. Provide high-quality spaces for multigenerational play and recreation
8. Build play spaces for children
9. Accommodate a grocery store
10. Host a farmers market
11. Promote healthy food retail
12. Support on-site gardening and farming
13. Enhance access to drinking water
14. Ban smoking
15. Use materials and products that support healthy indoor air quality
16. Facilitate proper ventilation and airflow
17. Maximize indoor lighting quality
18. Minimize noise pollution
19. Increase access to nature
20. Facilitate social engagement
21. Adopt pet-friendly policies

By Janice Neumann

Chicago Homes with Sunrooms Spring Forward Mon, 23 Mar 2015 16:08:56 +0000 While most people aren’t fans of losing an hour of sleep with Spring daylight savings time, Realtors like Christine Lutz, director of residential brokerage for Kinzie Real Estate Group, embrace the change. That’s because the longer days mean more hours of sunlight to showcase some spectacular homes – especially those with abundant windows and sunrooms.

“Homes with an abundance of windows are always in demand, but this time of year people especially appreciate them because they can enjoy the views and extra sunlight for even longer,” she said. “Homes with sunrooms are even more desirable this time of year as after our long winter, buyers want to see green grass and flowers. Sunrooms bring that feeling of Spring indoors.”

Lutz is currently the listing agent for an 8,830-square-foot home in the Nickels and Dimes community in Libertyville that features a four-season sunroom, family room with two-story windows and oversized windows throughout the rest of the home. It is listed at $1.359 million.

“This is a spectacular home in and of itself, but especially this time of year with the view from the sunroom and the sunlight from the windows streaming through the home. It’s stunning,” said Lutz.

The five-bedroom, 4.3-bath home is situated on just over an acre, offering east, west and southern exposure, maximizing the sunlight throughout the day.

For more on this home, visit

Buyers in the market for a new-construction home with a sunroom also have plenty of options to choose from at The Reserve of St. Charles, a Meritus Homes community of semi-custom single-family homes in St. Charles.

“We recently completed a home in the community where buyers added a sunroom to a 3,300-square-foot floor plan,” said Brian Brunhofer, president of Deerfield, Illinois-based Meritus Homes. “With Reserve’s large home sites, we were able to bump out the back of the home and create a 19-foot by 13-foot sunroom off the family room. The buyers love the extra windows and natural light, as well as the expanded square footage and living space.”

Because The Reserve of St. Charles is a semi-custom home community, buyers can opt to add a sunroom to many of the builder’s home designs, including ranch and two-story plans. Homes range from 2,610 to 3,918 square feet and have three to four bedrooms, 2½ to 3½ baths, full basements and attached two- or three-car garages.

“Our buyers really like being part of the design process and having the freedom to make changes to a plan, so their sunroom isn’t like anyone else’s,” said Brunhofer. “Whether it’s having the sunroom span the whole back of the home, installing radiant floors, or adding vaulted ceilings, we’re here to make sure they get it the way they want it.”

For more information on Meritus Homes communities and available homes, visit
Of course, sunrooms and plentiful windows do more than bring in the sunshine. They also make the most of impressive views in homes that boast an especially unique or inviting setting.

For example, the historic Lansdowne mansion in Lake Bluff, Ill., designed by famed Chicago architect Benjamin Marshall and built in 1911 for the Harry Clow family, boasts breathtaking views of Lake Michigan from two four-season sunrooms. However, the sunrooms are not the only rooms with a view, as the 14,845-square-foot Georgian-style, lakefront home features large windows on every floor providing optimal views of the lake year-round. On the market for $4,000,000, the one-of-a-kind home is situated on 3.9 acres of prime North Shore property.

“When people imagine a stunning North Shore sunroom with gorgeous views of Lake Michigan, this is what they picture,” said Jeff Ohm of Premier Realty Group, which is overseeing the sale of the Lansdowne mansion. “It’s like a movie has come to life. They don’t build sunrooms like this anymore.”

For more information on the Lansdowne mansion visit

Sunrooms are popular among townhome buyers, too, according to Jerry S. James, president of Edward R. James Homes.

The builder is currently developing Brighton Mews, a new community of 29 luxury townhomes in the heart of downtown Park Ridge. Buyers have the choice of four different floor plans, which offer the option of a four-season sunroom or a screened porch, plus an 11’ x 8 ½’ deck. “Homebuyers love the feeling of being connected with the outdoors, even when they’re inside” said James. “And the great thing about these spaces is that they are easily accessible from the main living area, offering lots of natural light into the kitchen/great room area where buyers spend a lot of their time.”

Pricing for the townhomes starts in the upper $400,000s. For more information, please visit

High-End Speculative Homes In Strong Demand in Chicago’s North Suburbs Mon, 23 Mar 2015 09:00:41 +0000 “If you build it they will come” has never seemed more true than now for a handful of Chicago developers building luxury ‘spec’ homes in top north suburban locations. With luxury home sales in the Chicagoland area continuing to thrive and the North Shore posting some of the lowest inventory for homes over $1.5 million, firms such as Edward R. James Homes, Foxford Communities, Kinzie Group and Meritus Custom Builders, all have various styles of new-construction, custom-designed homes on the market in established, sought-after neighborhoods like Glenview, Lake Bluff, and Winnetka.

“While today’s time-strapped, savvy homebuyers want a home that’s been customized to suit their lifestyle, most don’t want to commit to the long time frame that comes with building a custom home from the ground up,” said Peter Brennan, president of Foxford Communities. “With a custom spec home, we can save buyers months off the home-building cycle, and still deliver the luxury home they envisioned with one-of-a-kind features such as reclaimed wood ceiling beams, intricate tile work and hand-stained wood panels, ensuring no two homes are alike.”

Here is a sample of just some of the luxury spec homes currently available in the north suburbs:

1425 Glenview Road, Glenview – Edward R. James Homes 
Designed and built by Glenview, Ill.-based Edward R. James homes, one of the North Shore’s oldest and most respected builders, this 4,300-square-foot custom residence features five bedrooms and 4.2 baths, and is nestled on a wooded ½-acre lot in southeast Glenview, just a short walk from downtown Glenview and the Metra. Listed at $1,595,000, this home’s large enclosed rear yard and deck make it a perfect fit for families looking for a lot of space and access to Glenview’s outstanding public and private schools.
The home boasts natural light, large bedrooms, a spacious mudroom with a three-car tandem garage and a finished lower level, to name just some of the elements that cater to an active family. And for the discerning buyer, finishes and design details include first-floor hardwood floors, Viking stainless steel appliances, Brookhaven by Wood-Mode cabinetry, granite countertops, arched openings, a formal dining room and butler’s pantry, and crown moldings.
“Our goal for this home was to combine the charm, elegance and craftsmanship of an older home, with the amenities and proportions that today’s modern family wants,” said Priscilla Schumacher, director of sales and marketing for E. R. James Realty. “We’ve included a large eat-in kitchen, complete with an island, family eating area, and an adjoining place to relax in front of the fireplace. Beyond those goals, we wanted to offer a great location, exceptional schools and a home that provides superior costs of ownership and lower maintenance than competing re-sales. We’re pleased to say, we think we’ve hit all of those objectives and are excited for the fortunate buyer that ends up making this their next home.”

For more information on 1425 Glenview Road, visit

29 Aberdeen Court, Bannockburn – Foxford Communities 
After selling its first spec home at Tarns of the Moor in Bannockburn within a month of starting construction, Foxford Communities has begun building a second quick-delivery home at this small enclave of elegant homes. Plans for the 6,000-square-foot, two-story home complete with finished basement, showcase five bedrooms and 5½ baths, including a lavish master suite with raised ceilings and a fireplace. With a scheduled September 2015 delivery and a listing price of $2,399,000 the home sits on 3.7 acres surrounded by mature trees, sparkling streams and picturesque ponds that provide a natural and serene setting.
570 Lansdowne Lane, Lake Bluff – Foxford Communities 
Foxford also recently started construction on a custom 7,000-square-foot quick-delivery home at the Lansdowne Estate in Lake Bluff. The French Country-style home has five bedrooms, 5½ baths and family-friendly features, including a side-loading four-car garage that connects to the home via a spacious mudroom. The two-story home boasts a finished basement as well as several outdoor entertaining areas, and is scheduled for a late 2015 delivery.

“Spectacular views of Lake Michigan are plentiful because of the home’s unbeatable location,” said Brennan. “It takes alfresco dining and watching the kids play in the yard to a whole new level with such a stunning backdrop.”
Both the Bannockburn and Lake Bluff homes feature superior finishes, including custom cabinets, hardwood floors throughout the main living area, stainless steel commercial-grade appliances, granite countertops and brick- or stone-type material on the exteriors.

Sales for Tarns of the Moor and Lansdowne Estate are being handled by Jeff Ohm of Premier Realty Group. To visit the communities, contact Ohm at 847-821-9090 or

23245 Enclave Lane, Lake Barrington – Kinzie Group 
Buyers looking for a home delivering later this spring can tour a home being built by Kinzie Group at Enclave of Heritage Estates in Lake Barrington. The early-delivery home, built from The Oaks plan, has four bedrooms, 2½ baths, and an attached three-car garage on a 1.24-acre home site. Priced at $834,000, the two-story home measures 3,600 square feet.

“The interest in Enclave has been very strong, in fact, we’re more than 60 percent sold, so we wanted to offer something for buyers who may not have time to build a home from the ground up,” said Steven Maher, managing broker for Kinzie Group. “The timing for the completion of this home is perfect for anyone wanting to make a move at the beginning of summer.”

Notable features of the home include a full brick façade; library; great room; mudroom; butler’s pantry; walk-in pantry; master suite with a tray ceiling, walk-in closet, and a deluxe bath with a separate shower and soaking tub and dual-bowl vanity; and second-level laundry.

To schedule a tour of the Enclave showcase home, visit, 
call 847-315-0896 or email

556 Hawthorn Lane, Winnetka – Meritus Custom Builders 
Available for immediate move-in is this six-bedroom, 5½-bath home located less than six blocks from Lake Michigan, Greeley Elementary School and New Trier High School. Listed at $1,725,000, the home features approximately 4,660 square feet on four levels including a 1,200-square-foot finished basement complete with a home theater area, entertaining space with wet bar, bedroom and full bath.
820 Oakwood Avenue, Wilmette – Meritus Custom Builders 
Meritus Custom Builders is also building this 5,144-square-foot custom home with an expected completion in May. The six-bedroom, 5½-bath home, which includes a 1,400-square-foot finished basement, is listed at $1,789,000 and is located just east of Green Bay Road in the highly desirable Central Elementary School District. The home is within walking distance from Metra and CTA stations, the 4th and Linden Business District and other dining and retail conveniences including Depot Nuevo and the Wilmette Theatre.

“Both of these homes exemplify what buyers want most in a North Shore location – access to great schools, charming downtown areas and, of course, proximity to the beach and Lake Michigan,” said Brian Brunhofer, president of Meritus Custom Builders. “We’ve also filled these homes with special features such as custom woodwork and carpentry, top-of-the-line chef’s kitchens, upscale mudrooms with built-in lockers and storage, and basement rec rooms fully decked-out for entertaining.”

Brunhofer noted the homes are designed to complement the high-end housing stock of their established neighborhoods. “These homes have raised the bar for what people consider a spec home in the area,” he said. “In fact, response has been so favorable we’ll be starting construction on three more North Shore spec homes this spring.”
For more information on Meritus Custom Builders and available homes, call Brian Brunhofer at (847) 707-7307 or visit

Historic Home Renovation Tue, 03 Mar 2015 16:07:03 +0000 Foxford Communities has announced it will start construction this month on a custom 7,000-square-foot quick-delivery home at the Lansdowne Estate in Lake Bluff, Ill. Foxford is also making renovations to the historic Lansdowne mansion on the property Brooklyn Daily Eagle Gone Baby Gone. A Crown Heights North house was demolished recently in an area that has been calendared for consideration as a historic district, but not designated. It was part of the historic fabric of the neighborhood — and worth But to those mourning its loss, the Samuel McLellan House was so much more: historic, dignified “He was really impressed (by the renovations) He said, ‘Oh, it’s just like a city house’.” The house also had a bit of a reputation But to those mourning its loss, the Samuel McLellan House was so much more: historic, dignified “He was really impressed (by the renovations) He said, ‘Oh, it’s just like a city house.’” The house also had a bit of a reputation .

Foxford Begins Construction on Quick-Delivery Home at Lansdowne Estate in Lake Bluff, Renovates Lansdowne Mansion Tue, 17 Feb 2015 15:58:20 +0000 Foxford Communities has started construction of a 7,000-square-foot custom-designed home at Lansdowne Estates in Lake Bluff.

Foxford Communities has announced it will start construction this month on a custom 7,000-square-foot quick-delivery home at the Lansdowne Estate in Lake Bluff, Ill. Foxford is also making renovations to the historic Lansdowne mansion on the property, which was designed and built in 1911 by the famed Chicago architect Benjamin Marshall. With the renovations comes a new listing price of $4,000,000 for the three-story, 14,845-square-foot Georgian-style, lakefront home.

“Today’s savvy home buyers like the option of selecting their finishes like paint colors, flooring and fixtures, but they don’t necessarily want to go through the entire home-building cycle,” said Peter Brennan, president of Foxford Communities. “At Lansdowne, we’ve already taken care of the time-consuming parts like applying for permits and application fees. It’s about making the experience of building an elegant home as easy and enjoyable as possible for our buyers.”

With beautiful views that overlook Lake Michigan, Lansdowne Estate is located just off of East Sheridan Road. Once the site of the first Midwest polo match where General George Patton was said to have played, the 21-acre estate has now been divided into seven lots – including the mansion – that vary in size from 1.5 to 3.1 acres. To date, Foxford has sold two lots, one of which is already under construction.

Home prices at Lansdowne range from $2,500,000 to $5,000,000, with the announced quick-delivery home listed at a pre-construction price of $2,999,900.

The 7,000-square-foot French country-style home includes five bedrooms, 5½ baths and family-friendly features including a side-loading four-car garage that connects to the home via a spacious mudroom. Additionally, there is plenty of access to outdoor space with three covered porches off of the kitchen – perfect for alfresco dining – the mudroom and the front entrance of the home.

“Spectacular views of Lake Michigan are plentiful because of the home’s unbeatable location,” said Brennan. “It takes alfresco dining and watching the kids play in the yard to a whole new level with such a stunning backdrop.”

Upstairs, the home offers a tranquil retreat with a lavish master suite featuring raised ceilings, a fireplace and a spa-influenced master bath with separate vanities, an oversized soaking tub and separate shower. The master suite also showcases a spacious dressing area that leads into his-and-her walk-in closets. Three generous bedrooms that each include private baths and walk-in closets are also located upstairs, along with a bonus room that can be used as a media room, playroom, home office or gym.

On the main floor, the gourmet kitchen provides a convenient layout for entertaining with a large kitchen island, breakfast area, walk-in pantry and butler pantry that also connects to a formal dining room. Branching out from the kitchen is the home’s hearth room, family room and library, each with its own gas fireplace and custom-crafted details such as beamed ceilings. In addition to the numerous main living spaces, the first floor also includes a guest suite with a private bath and walk-in closet.

Designed by Capital Custom Homes, the home features superior finishes, including custom cabinets, hardwood floors throughout the main living area, stainless steel commercial-grade appliances, granite countertops and a brick and stone exterior.

“We are very excited to start construction on this home as it will really help showcase the character of the overall Lansdowne development,” said Brennan. “All of the enhancements we have made to the property, including renovations to the mansion and clearing some of the estate’s land, have been done in a way that maintains the property’s historic charm yet provides a more modern, livable environment.”

Renovations to the Lansdowne mansion’s top floor will focus on converting four small bedrooms and a living area into a studio apartment suite and great room. According to Brennan, the changes made to the third floor make the space more livable and could accommodate a college student, an au pair, or a playroom/media room for growing kids.

This is not the first time the Lansdowne mansion has undergone interior renovations. Several years ago, noted architect Orren Pickell modernized the home with a new gourmet eat-in kitchen and updated bathrooms and closets. In all, the home boasts 22 rooms including 6 bedrooms, 10 full baths, two half baths, a sun room, exercise room, grand foyer with a double staircase, three fireplaces, a wine cellar, a finished basement with sauna and whirlpool, 12-foot ceilings, and floor-to-ceiling windows with stunning views of Lake Michigan and the entire estate.

Sales for Lansdowne Estate and mansion are being handled by Jeff Ohm of Premier Realty Group. To visit the available home sites, contact Ohm at 847-821-9090 or visit

By Community Contributor Taylor Johnson

Foxford Starts Construction on Second Custom Quick-Delivery Home at Tarns of the Moor in Bannockburn, IL Thu, 08 Jan 2015 09:00:41 +0000 Picture

Hinsdale, Ill.- based Foxford Communities has announced that it has started construction on a second custom quick- delivery home at Tarns of the Moor, a small enclave of elegant homes on 2- to 4-acre lots in Bannockburn, Ill.

The first quick-delivery home Foxford built at Tarns of the Moor in the fall of 2014 sold within a month of starting construction.

“Buyers might not realize it, but winter is actually a good time to start construction on a new home,” said Peter Brennan, president of Foxford Communities. “A winter construction schedule ensures that the home will be completed by summer, allowing homeowners to settle in before the school year starts.”

Located off of Telegraph Road, just south of Half Day Road, Tarns of the Moor is a charming community made up of 10 2- to 4-acre lots surrounded by mature trees, sparkling streams and picturesque ponds that provide a natural and serene setting.

Five of the lots have already been developed by North Shore luxury builder Orren Pickell. 

Foxford purchased the five remaining lots in 2013 and has already sold two. The three remaining lots are among the only approved home sites for new-construction available in Bannockburn.

Will a Price Cut Sell this Lake Bluff Mansion? Thu, 08 Jan 2015 09:00:25 +0000 More than three years after scoring a bargain on the 21-acre Lansdowne estate, Peter Brennan is doing some price cutting of his own.

The developer has slashed the price of the unsold Georgian-style mansion on the lakefront property to $4.0 million, down from its most recent price of nearly $4.5 million. Brennan, who finished the subdivision’s roads and landscaping after buying it, also has shifted his strategy for the four remaining unsold lots on the site, deciding to build “spec” homes one at a time on the vacant parcels rather than waiting for buyers to show up and build their own. The spec homes will be priced from $2.5 million to $5 million.

Brennan picked up Lansdowne on the cheap in 2011, about when the residential market hit bottom, buying it for $7.5 million in a so-called short sale. The property turned out to be a disastrous investment for the seller, high-end builder Orren Pickell, who paid $16 million for it in 2007 and planned to develop the property as a subdivision of luxury homes but got caught by the crash.

The market for high-end homes has rebounded since then, and Brennan, principal of Hinsdale-based Foxford Communities, is still confident his investment will pay off. He said he originally expected the project to sell out in three to five years.

“We’re not worried,” he said. “You have to make adjustments and meet the market and that’s what we did.”


Designed by Chicago architect Benjamin Marshall, the home was built in 1911 for Rand McNally president Harry Clow. The property, right off Sheridan Road and just north of the Lake Forest border, is said to hosted one of the Midwest’s first polo matches and General George Patton. Pickell once sought almost $10 million for the mansion alone, and Foxford originally listed it for almost $6.5 million in 2011.

After buying the estate, Foxford finished the roads and completed landscaping and renovations to the home’s interiors. More recently, the developer removed a swimming pool and demolished a coach and pool house. Brennan declined to say how much he’s spent on the property beyond the acquisition price.

Though the high-end market has come back, the price cut and repositioning is the latest sign that buyers are still in the driver’s seat. A wide array of luxury historic homes is on the market in the North Shore region, said Eileen Campbell, a broker at Berkshire Hathaway Home Services KoenigRubloff.

“It comes down to there are other options in that price point all along the (North) Shore,” she said.

Some prospective buyers also might have been put off by the uncertainty over how neighboring lots on the estate would be developed, she said.


Foxford has sold two of the seven lots for $800,000 and $850,000 apiece. The buyer, Adrian I. Peace, a vice president at W.W. Grainger in Lake Forest, is building a 6,400-square-foot home on one of the lots and plans to move in late February. Peace said he bought two lots in part because he was concerned about what the neighboring homes would look like. But he said he thinks the activity on the property, with his home and a spec home being built, will bring more buyers, and he is confident the character of the Lansdowne development will remain.

“I think it’s going to take off,” Peace said of the project.

Now, instead of selling the four remaining vacant lots, Brennan plans to build homes there on spec, or without lining up buyers in advance.

“In today’s environment, people are interested in something that’s ready to move in and don’t want to wait 10 to 14 months,” he said. “There’s been a shift.”

Foxford also is spending $150,000 renovating the mansion’s top floor, converting several former servant bedrooms there into a studio apartment suite and great room. Potential buyers had trouble envisioning how they would put the bedrooms to use, Ohm said. The renovation will reduce the home’s bedroom count to six from 10.

“We’re really excited that we can help them see the property in a different way,” said the project’s listing broker, Jeff Ohm of Premier Realty Group in Vernon Hills.

Limited-Time Pricing – Early-bird Buyers Can Save on Condos At Clocktower Pointe Thu, 01 Jan 2015 09:00:51 +0000 Chi Sun_logoHinsdale, Ill.-based Foxford Communities announced the start of sales at Clocktower Pointe, a 108-unit luxury condominium development in Countryside, Ill. Clocktower Pointe is one of the only new-construction condominiums in the area to offer buyers two-bedroom homes with up to 2,267 square feet and luxury finishes such as Bosch appliances. The grand opening for sales at Clocktower Pointe will be on Saturday, May 31, and will include a tour of a newly decorated model home.

Located at the intersection of Joliet Road and Willow Springs Road, the luxury condominium development is just minutes from Interstates 55 and 294, providing easy access to the city and surrounding suburbs for commuters.

Originally started in 2009 by another developer, Clocktower Pointe came to a halt due to the recession after the first of six planned buildings was completed. Foxford purchased Clocktower Pointe in the fall of 2013 and began construction on a second building, which will be move-in ready this fall.

“Revitalizing stalled residential real estate projects is what we do,” said Peter Brennan, president of Foxford Communities. “When we looked at Clocktower Pointe we saw great potential. Not only is it one of the only luxury condominium developments in the area, but it’s also in one of the best locations in Countryside with access to just about any type of shopping and restaurant a homeowner would enjoy.”

Each six-story, 18-unit building will include a combination of brick, limestone and stucco exterior. The two-bedroom homes have 2 to 2½ baths with select plans offering an option to include a third bedroom. Homes are priced from $359,900 to $550,000, with approximately 1,882 to 2,267 square feet.

With only four units to a floor, each building offers optimum privacy as each home encapsulates a corner unit. This layout also means windows wrap around on two sides of each residence to let in natural light. Additionally, all of the Clocktower Pointe condominiums provide a large, flexible and open living area that leads to oversized private outdoor balconies and/or terraces that range from 165 to 1,000 square feet, providing ample space for a full-sized grill and patio furniture.

“The combined indoor and outdoor living area makes it a perfect space for entertaining,” said Brennan. “Terraces on the penthouse suites even offer expansive views of the city skyline and include access from both the living room and master bedroom, which can help optimize traffic flow when entertaining.”

Homes at Clocktower Pointe feature upscale, eat-in gourmet kitchens with quartz countertops, Bosch stainless steel appliances and custom kitchen cabinets. Additionally, each home includes a master suite featuring a walk-in closet and master bath with a soaking tub, walk-in shower and a quartz-topped double-bowl vanity. Residences also include a large laundry room complete with a full-capacity side-by-side, top-load washer and dryer.

“With only four plans per floor, and only two on the penthouse level, Clocktower Pointe offers homes so spacious that in some cases they rival single-family home sizes,” said Brennan. “It’s an ideal community for those looking to downsize from a home and enjoy maintenance-free living.

And, when you combine the homes generous space and high end features with such a convenient location, it’s also a smart home for professionals looking to commute downtown.”

Additional standard features in Clocktower Pointe condominiums include nine-foot ceilings that create a spacious feel along with crown molding and hard wood floors in the kitchen, living and dining room areas. Each building also includes an elevator and a secured heated parking garage with extra storage space.

Nestled in the bustling Countryside community, Clocktower Pointe is part of the highly regarded Lyons Township High School district and minutes away from shopping, dining, theaters and recreational activities provided by the surrounding country clubs and golf courses. Conveniently located for commuters, the condominium complex is only 30 minutes away from downtown Chicago. Its close proximity to Interstates 55 and 294, not only offers easy access to the city and neighboring suburbs, but to Chicago’s Midway and O’Hare airports as well.

Clocktower Pointe’s on-site sales center and decorated model will be open Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. For more information or to make an appointment to visit Clocktower Pointe, visit or call 708.579.2222.