Commercial real estate is transformative. The land we develop and the buildings we construct play a role in shaping cities.
We understand the brevity of our work and the importance of delivering what we promised for clients and communities interacting with our buildings. We call it certainty of outcome and some projects require more finesse, relationship building and experience than others. One such project was Uptown La Grange.
Completed in 2017, Uptown La Grange is in the Village of La Grange, Ill., a commercial center 17 miles west of Chicago that was named a top transit-oriented suburb by the Chaddick Institute. The five-story, 450,000-square-foot, luxury multifamily complex has 254 units and an impressive array of shared amenities like a rooftop terrace deck, dog run, fitness center, bike repair area, club room, full demonstration kitchen, outdoor pool and more. It is the first upscale apartment building of its kind in the area and is located on one of the most visible corners in the village, just two blocks from a 20-minute express train to downtown Chicago, as well as many restaurants and retailers. But that's not all that makes Uptown La Grange unique.
Developing on a Beloved Community Site
For almost 60 years, the Rich Port YMCA occupied the corner property. For decades it was a vibrant community center were people of all ages gathered to play sports, workout and enjoy dining together. It also had 200+ residential housing units, so over the years it was home for thousands of residents while getting their lives back on track.
The YMCA's history runs deep in the community and many residents have fond memories tied to it. However, when the YMCA closed its doors in 2007 and the building was unoccupied for three years, it became disheveled and was demolished in 2010. By that time, city leaders and most residents were ready for a change, but the property remained vacant for several years – until Opus entered the picture.
Developing iconic real estate of this kind requires a developer that respects the community's wishes and listens closely to their concerns. Amidst a significant playing field of interested developers, we were ultimately awarded the opportunity to purchase and develop the corner. The site consists of prime land that, for many reasons, is highly valued by the community. Naturally, the developer selection process was intense. Being awarded the project required a tremendous amount of expertise convincing the Village Board and overall public that redeveloping the YMCA into an apartment building was a good fit.
Ultimately, our integrated one-team approach, our deep experience in the multifamily sector, and three years of continuous collaboration with the Village of La Grange sealed the deal, enabling us to deliver a quality product that will benefit the community for years to come. Other contributing factors included a close relationship with the broker representing the YMCA, and a tremendous effort by our property management partner, Greystar, to collaborate with local businesses and connect residents.
Commemorating the Site's History in Shaping the Community
To commemorate the spirit of stewardship and the YMCA's role in shaping the community, we dedicated the Uptown La Grange resident library to honor Rich Port, past chairman, benefactor and namesake of the Rich Port YMCA. He was an entrepreneur, successful realtor, businessman and philanthropist, as well as a WWII and National Guard veteran. A photograph of Rich Port is prominently displayed in a section of the library dedicated to his story of philanthropy, service and community. (The library's dedication to Rich Port was announced at the grand opening as shown in image 2 above.)
As part of the project, we also constructed public car parking for Gordon Park, which is adjacent to Uptown La Grange, making enjoying the park more convenient.
At Opus, we have a strong track record of delivering certainty of outcome and consistently meeting our promises for high-quality buildings – made possible by our fully-integrated team's ability to control the building, schedule and cost.
Learn more about our fully-integrated, in-house expertise.