Realtors to honor the best of ‘good neighbors’

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The Pullman Wheelworks

The Chicago Association of Realtors “2013 Good Neighbor Awards” networking event will recognize properties at the forefront of making the Chicago region a great place to live and conduct business.

The event will take place from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, May 23, at Greenhouse Loft, 2545 W Diversey Ave., Chicago. Greenhouse Loft is part of Green Exchange, one of the nation’s largest sustainable business communities and winner of the 2012 Good Neighbor Awards top honor, the Bruce Abrams Award.

A dynamic showcase for the latest in local urban renewal, residential design and civic development, this year’s Good Neighbor Awards will include 42 awards and 8 honorable mentions presented in residential, mixed-use and commercial real estate categories. Event attendees will include municipal officials, developers, property owners, real estate professionals and others working to improve our city.

Some of this year’s winning properties include:

--- The 31st Street Harbor, which transformed an underused stretch of lakeshore into a public amenity. The project integrates a 1,000-slip marina with a park, resulting in a vibrant gathering place for Chicago’s South Side community. The project also includes a near-acre green space known as Peninsula Park, a half-mile stone breakwater to shelter the new marina, a fishing pier, winter boat storage, fuel dock and a public-access boat launch.

--- Pullman Wheelworks, a 210-unit affordable housing property in Chicago’s historic Pullman neighborhood. In partnership with the National Housing Trust/Enterprise Preservation Corporation, Mercy Housing Lakefront purchased the site to preserve its affordability and rehabilitate it for 450 current residents. Built in 1920, the building was originally a manufacturing facility. Rehab preserved its historically significant features and added green upgrades and additional community spaces for resident services programming.

--- A renovated, formerly abandoned Washington Park home that once belonged to Chicago real estate great Jesse Binga, founder of an early African-American Bank. The renovated 3,500-square-foot mini-mansion today honors Binga, its original builder, with exceptional craftsmanship.

--- A preserved Art Deco post office in Naperville that’s on the National Registry of Historic Places. Naperville Bank & Trust acquired the 1939 post office in 2011. Following Illinois Historic Preservation Agency guidelines, restoration retained the building’s original architecture and took special care to preserve and display artifacts depicting Naperville’s early years.

--- Bounce Sportsplex, a new complex in Berwyn that intends to transform youth sports and fitness in Chicago’s western suburbs. Bounce Sports offers a nearly 16,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art indoor facility with a large multi-purpose field, two-story ceilings, high-tech batting cages, a basketball half-court and a fitness/lesson area. The facility helps fight childhood obesity by offering free memberships and special programming for overweight kids.

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The Chicago Association of Realtors is the “Voice for Real Estate” in Chicago since 1883, representing nearly 11,000 members from all real estate specialties including commercial sales, development, property management, appraisal, auctions and residential sales.

— Source: Chicago Association of Realtors