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Half-Finished Condo Building on Belmont Coming Back to Life

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Construction is set to resume on one of the largest stalled condo developments from the recent real estate bust. Work began on North River Court at 2609 W. Belmont in 2006, but it ground to a halt before windows and roofs were installed, leaving it open to the elements for several years. "In terms of magnitude, it's about the worst we've seen," said 1st Ward Chief of Staff Raymond Valadez, quoted in a 2010 Chicago magazine story. The 46-unit development later went into receivership, and it was purchased about three months ago by Premium Builders, LTD, which plans to resume construction within the next 45 days. Lewis Korompilas, the company's president, says he'll be making some changes to architect Fred Frank's original plan (including some bigger windows), but the general design will remain intact.

The Chicago mag story noted some rusting on exposed steel beams, but Korompilas says that won't be a problem; rust will be sanded off the beams, and they'll be resealed. "They're too large, and too strong to rust through," he says, adding that it isn't like a '72 Chevy where the rust goes through the door. "I've already had a structural engineer go through it, and he was amazed" at how well the building withstood the weather, Korompilas says.

MC Development obtained construction permits in 2006 for the development, which was designed as a "contemporary take on a medieval hill town," according to Chicago mag, but for years construction moved along at a snail's pace, before stopping altogether. Korompilas estimates that it'll take about a year to complete the building, and he still hasn't decided whether the homes will be condos or rental apartments. "At that time, I will revisit the look of the landscape, in terms of what the area is demanding," Korompilas says. "If I do it in condos, it'll sell," he adds with aplomb. Regardless of what direction he decides to take, the building will have 38 2BD, 2BA units, six 3BD, 2BA duplexes (with 18-foot windows), and two penthouses.
· The Remains of the Heyday [Chicago magazine]