With one condominium development already underway in the 2600 block of Desplaines Avenue in North Riverside, another may be in the works just a couple of blocks south.
Currently breaking ground at 2646 Desplaines Ave. is a four-unit condo development called Des Plaines Manor, replacing what was believed to be the oldest residential building in the village.
The 10,000-square-foot lot was previously home to a two-story frame structure built by members of a religious organization that called the then-unincorporated area of Cook County home around the turn of the 20th century.
According to James Brosseau, whose grandfather was one of the first permanent settlers in the village, the Riverside Holiness Association established a settlement around 1890 just south of 26th Street, between Desplaines Avenue and the Des Plaines River.
Members of the association were generally Chicago businessmen who had held large summer religious retreats in the forest preserves. Apparently, no land records indicate who built the home that stood at 2646 Desplaines Ave. until it was demolished on March 21.
Brosseau also confirmed that there’s no record of exactly when the two-story building was constructed.
“It was not a year-round home,” Brosseau said. “It was used from April to September.”
The Riverside Holiness Association conducted religious services on the ground floor of the building, which originally had open decks on both floors, stretching the entire length of the building.
Brosseau’s grandfather, Oscar, a member of the Riverside Holiness Association lived on the second floor of the building while he constructed a new house at 8019 26th St. The new house, according to Brosseau, was built in 1903 and included a well, sewage system and coal furnace, still stands and is now the village’s oldest remaining residence.
Eventually, the property at 2646 Desplaines Ave. was turned into a two flat and the open porches were enclosed. For about 50 years, the building was owned by Dominic Casalino, before Genevieve Wright acquired the property in 1996.
Wright, who owns Wright Development with her son, is in the process of constructing a four-unit brick and concrete condominium development on the site. The building is being designed by the LaGrange-based architectural firm, Mitchell Associates.
Two of the condos (one of which is being reserved for Wright) will be two-level units with three-bedrooms and 2.5 baths. The first floor of the building will house the living/dining, kitchen and master bedroom suite, while the lower English garden level will hold two bedrooms and a family room.
The second floor of the building will house two two-bedroom, 1.5-bath condo units. Prices for the two-bedroom units begin at $325,000. The property will also feature two two-car garages and an additional four exterior parking spaces, according to plans on file with the Village of North Riverside.
Wright said she hopes the condo development will be ready for occupancy in nine months.
Condos at O’Connor’s Cleaners?
A few blocks south of Des Plaines Manor, development is imminent at the former O’Connor’s Cleaners site at 3020 Desplaines Ave. But exactly what kind of development is coming, is unclear at this time.
On Feb. 16, O’Connor’s Cleaners and Furriers sold the Desplaines Avenue property and a single-family home at 8012 Edgewater Road to North Riverside I LLC for $900,000.
Ron Field, who operated O’Connor’s Cleaners at the North Riverside site, refused to disclose the name of the new owner or the nature of any future development.
David Skurkis, the Village of North Riverside’s building commissioner, said he had heard rumors of a 40-unit condo building for the site, but said that would be far above the allowable density for that parcel.
Skurkis said he understood the new owner of the property to be a person named Patrick Leone, and that he has been approached about demolishing the old dry cleaning facility. However, Skurkis said he hasn’t seen any plans for a development and won’t issue a demolition permit until an outstanding water bill is paid off.