1928 W. Belle Plaine
6,000 square feet
Standard Chicago lot sizes are long and narrow at 25’ x 125’, so when Jimmy Ronan saw the lot and a half that was 37.5 feet wide at 1929 W. Belle Plaine Ave. in Chicago’s North Center neighborhood, he knew that his clients, Michael and Iris Hart, would like it. Acting not only as the builder but also the real estate agent, Jimmy was able to tie up the land, hire the design team, and build the two-story home with a full basement inside of nine months.
The bigger lot allowed Ronan and his team to come up with a look that was really different. “The house has an Old World feel on the outside with a four-foot stone base, Hardie Board siding, and a wraparound porch,” Jimmy says, “but what is really unique is [that] the inside is more contemporary than what you would think.”
With five bedrooms and four full baths, the 6,000-square-foot house with three levels of living space still only uses about half of the 4,000-square-foot lot. Two master suites were designed into the plan, one on the basement level and a main one on the second story. The real crown of the design, Jimmy says, is the kitchen that opens up into a great room and breakfast area, highlighted by custom mantels over the fireplaces that Ronan Construction’s artisans built.
“The interior design by Nora Schneider was really spectacular,” Jimmy says. “In the end, the Harts got what they truly wanted with a custom mix of contemporary and traditional [styles] inside and out.”
3545 North Reta Ave.
7,000 square feet
Two blocks from Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs, the building site for 3545 North Reta Ave. is ideally situated for a young couple looking to live close to some of the best bars and restaurants in Chicago. That’s what Jimmy is banking on, so he pulled together an investment group in order to construct four condominium units in the area, one that hasn’t seen a building project like this started in three years. “It took two years to sell out a five-story, 10-unit project we built in 2008,” Jimmy recalls. For 3545 North Reta, he estimates, “The 1,400-square-foot top floor will go for $569,000, the middle floors will go for $459,000, and the large four-bedroom unit will go for $699,000.”
Buyers, Jimmy says, will be young professionals taking advantage of the city atmosphere and the close proximity of the lake nearby. Some of the features to attract buyers are the green building products currently being incorporated during construction. “The masonry products we are using are by-products of coal, which is fly ash,” Jimmy says. “The product is made by CalStar and uses 85 percent less energy to make and is 40 percent recycled content. When it gets to us, it looks like a regular masonry brick.” Ronan is also including low-e glass in all windows, closed cell insulation, 90 percent high-efficiency furnaces, and on-demand hot water. ABQ