CHICAGO—The recession caused many developers to take plans fornew projects and put them on the shelf. But the recovery now takingshape now has many reconfiguring those old plans, updating them to reflect currentconditions and putting shovels in the ground.Chicago-based REVA Development Partners, forexample, has just broken ground on two luxury rental communities insuburban Chicago – a 231-unit luxury rental community in southsuburban Orland Park called the Residences of Orland Park Crossingand a 288-unit luxury rental community in northwest suburbanWheeling called Northgate Crossing. Phase one of Orland ParkCrossing included a 75,000-square-foot lifestyle center completedback in 2006.

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“The original plan called for a much larger retail lifestylecenter,” Matt Nix, principal of REVA, tellsGlobeSt.com. “The current plan reflects the strength of multifamilyas well as a more balanced mix of uses including retail,residential and office located around a major transit hub.”

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As reported in GlobeSt.com, REVA has also launched the development of a luxury rental community in suburbanVernon Hills. The company currently has a total of 823units under development in the three communities

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The Residences of Orland Park Crossing, a joint venture withElgin, IL-based Wanxiang America Real Estate Group, sits justadjacent to the Orland Park Crossing retail center and across thestreet from Orland Park's Main Street Triangledevelopment, a large scale public-private partnership withresidential, retail, a new Metra station and plansfor a medical office and restaurants.

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“The Orland Park Crossing retail center has been a consistentperformer and the Main Street Triangle has been gaining strongmomentum,” Nix adds. “The Residences of Orland Park Crossing willbe developed along with a new Mariano's FreshMarket, which will be an ideal complement to the towncenter area.”

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Orland Park Crossing currently includes national retailersincluding Ann Taylor, Soma andWhite House Black Market, as well as restaurantssuch as P.F. Chang's, Granite CityBrewery, Panera Bread andStarbucks.

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REVA officials say that the 12.5-acre site in Orland Park isonly the second luxury rental community to be built in the suburbin several decades. It will feature four midrise elevator buildingseach with 42 one- and two-bedroom apartments, 38 two-story rowhomesand 25 three-story townhomes. Residents of the apartments will haveaccess to attached garage parking, while two-car garages will comewith each townhome and rowhome.

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Amenities will include an approximately 7,000-square-footclubhouse with a fitness center, club room, kitchen, internet cafeand management offices. Residents will also enjoy an outdoorswimming pool, fire pit, outdoor kitchen and other amenities. Arecently completed pedestrian bridge provides access to theMetra.

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Mariano's, perhaps the most active grocer in Chicagoland,recently broke ground and will open in spring immediately adjacentto the property.

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The second community, Northgate Crossing, is located at 250Northgate Parkway in Wheeling. It is part of the village's TownCenter district which is anchored by the municipal campus, fitnessand aquatic centers, the Heritage Park redevelopment and anexisting Metra station.

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“With such a wide variety of retail, office development, parkspace, and, of course, residences within walking distance of theWheeling Metra station, the town center is sure to become adestination for people in the north suburbs to live, work andplay,” says Warren James, another REVAprincipal.

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The 20-acre Northgate Crossing development will feature ninethree-story apartment buildings and amenities similar to those atthe Orland Park site. The apartment homes will includeone-bed/one-bath and two-bed/two-bath plans measuring approximately700- to 1,200-square-feet.

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Kinzie Builders, a division of KinzieReal Estate Group, is serving as the general contractorand construction project manager for both properties. Kinzie RealEstate Group will also oversee the leasing and propertymanagement.

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Brian J. Rogal

Brian J. Rogal is a Chicago-based freelance writer with years of experience as an investigative reporter and editor, most notably at The Chicago Reporter, where he concentrated on housing issues. He also has written extensively on alternative energy and the payments card industry for national trade publications.