Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Kilpatrick Renaissance

Announcing the grand opening of The Kilpatrick Renaissance (TKR), a 55+ affordable luxury senior community in Portage Park. Created by women-owned RRG Development, Inc., designed by Worn Jerabek Wiltse Architects and constructed by Sterling Renaissance, Inc., this building represents best practices in planning and construction, and features a healthy and sustainable living environment.

These features include: a VRF (variable refrigerant flow) HVAC system, allowing heat/cool to be called for no matter the exterior temperature or season, a concrete assembly that is air-tight and fully insulated, Energy Star engineering in all mechanicals and specifications, secured access and video monitoring, elevators, roof-top terrace and 4-season lounge, private courtyard with fire pit and community garden.

Excitement is buzzing among seniors in the Triangle area —Portage Park, Jefferson Park and Old Irving — about the majestic stone and masonry structure at the corner of Kilpatrick and Berteau. Since March, a parade of eager seniors has been rolling up with moving trucks, getting settled into their new apartment homes. TKR will be hosting the Grand Opening Celebration on June 24th, with generous contributions from Jewel-Osco located directly south of the property, and featuring the talents of the popular Chicago senior choir group, The Mello-Tones.

The $21.4 million project by RRG boasts a mix of studio, one, and two-bedroom units with nine bright and spacious floor-plans to suit every lifestyle. “We are very excited about this project,” says Paul Russo, Project Development Manager at RRG, “because it addresses a need for the neighborhood. The Kilpatrick Renaissance allows local seniors to stay in the neighborhood that they helped to build.” With the nearby Six-Corners business district offering a plethora of shopping and dining options, and Portage Park with a lively Senior Center and Dog Park just a half mile away, the location is ideal. Seniors can enjoy the benefits of city living nestled in a serene setting in this popular northwest-side neighborhood.

TKR is a mixed-income property, offering seniors the experience of luxury living at rents that won’t break the bank. Ninety percent of the units are reserved for residents earning at or below 60% of area median income, while the remaining are at market rents. A $900,000 allocation from the Chicago Low Income Housing Trust Fund will further reduce rents on ten of these units, making them available to those with less than 30% of area median. Renaissance Social Services, Inc. is onsite to provide social and supportive services to all residents.

Major support from the City of Chicago helped make this project move forward. “I worked to make this project happen because I am committed to creating opportunities for our seniors to stay right here in this community, instead of having to move away when they no longer are able or want to maintain a single-family home,” states 45th Ward Alderman John Arena. Chicago Department of Housing and Economic Development (DHED) provided financing for the four-story, 98- unit project, with $1.5 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credits, generating $15 million in equity for its construction, and a $3.3 million loan. “The City’s DHED has said that this project was chosen for tax credits because of a lack of senior housing in the area, the proximity of the site to public transportation and shopping, and the experience of the development team,” reports Brian Nadig of Chicago’s Northwest Side Press.

RRG is part of The Renaissance Companies (TRC), which was established in 1985, and has a long-standing reputation for quality, integrity and an enhanced living experience for residents. TRC is a family-owned/women-run company headquartered in Chicago, with a core executive team representing two generations and multiple decades of experience. The project team also includes BMO Harris, National Equity Fund and the Federal Home Loan Bank.

TKR has an impressive arched stone entry and attractive fa├žade designed to blend in with area architecture. Very affordable rents include all heat and electric, plus individually-controlled heat/cool, which help to make it a very desirable place to live. This pet-friendly property provides amenities such as luxurious club room with cable TV and surround sound, fitness center, solarium, private courtyard with fire pit and gas gril, sumptuous gardens and walking paths, laundry on each floor, library, PC center. Seniors residing at TRC properties enjoy a wide array of life enriching activities: social events, wellness programming, informative workshops on pertinent topics, potluck dinners, and much more.

One bedroom apartments are available with rents at $815 including utilities.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Sam Vinci: A Great Career, A Great Life

There are many things that can make the commonly used quote “Life is a Gift” ring true. A happy marriage, a long satisfying career, good friends and family, and the knowledge that you’ve made a difference in the world.

All of these are perfect descriptions of how Sam Vinci enjoys his life when pausing to look back and reflect on his first 90 years. The longtime brick and masonry professional recently hit that birthday milestone just after Thanksgiving – a great reason why 80 of his friends and family threw him a surprise birthday party on Nov. 30th at Ruffled Feathers Country Club in Lemont.

Most brick and masonry industry professionals know the Vinci name – Sam’s father Nick worked in construction for years and owned Nick Vinci & Sons Masonry with Sam and his brother Frank. He followed his dad into construction.

“Basically my dad was always a carpenter by trade but he employed masons and he built homes and did a lot of odd jobs including concrete masonry and carpentry,” he said. “So when I got out of the service in 1946 I figured long as he was a carpenter I would go on the other end and become a bricklayer and so I started that around 1947 by going to night school and studying construction and architecture. Then I was able to skip the apprenticeship since I already knew more than most at that time.”

Born in Bridgeport, Sam says constructing buildings that made neighborhoods look good offered him a sense a pride.

“You definitely felt good seeing some of the buildings you put up just driving by them,” said Vinci. “It kind of gave me a sense of me having accomplished something with my life. Plus, my brother and I were awarded for a project at one point and that was very satisfying.”

Another great aspect to his life has been working with family. Being able to work alongside his father, brother and later his own sons was a truly wonderful feeling, he said.

“Basically I went to a technical high school and then night school at IIT and because my dad was in construction I grew up with him and worked with him every summer doing odd jobs,” Vinci said.

“My dad was a wonderful man and very knowledgeable but one of those fellas that grew up with the industry and knew what he was doing. We had a good relationship.”

Sam retired from the Masonry industry in 1991. He served on the Chicago Labors Welfare and Pension boards from 1983-2010 and he was president for the Chicago Mason Contractor Association from 1983 to 1991.

He worked hard every day to make a good living. “You worked hard or you didn’t eat, that’s how it was,” he said.

Sam has a proud history in the armed forces – he was in the Air Force from 1943-1946 during World War II, and a few years ago he was selected to go on an Honor Flight to Washington, D.C.

“I was a radio man on a B29 bomber and I was stationed on Guam and the Marieta islands,” he said. “I flew like 23 missions over Japan during that time.”

But being in construction and the Air Force are only a part of Vinci’s life – his strong family is what makes him happiest. He and his wife Mary will celebrate their 63rd wedding anniversary in April 2015, and they have three children, including Jerry Vinci, Executive Vice President of Illinois Brick Company.

Vinci also likes to golf as much as possible and enjoys learning about new technologies, as well.

# # #