Sherry Thomas, Forest & Bluff
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A new development steps from Market Square caters to a new generation of Lake Foresters.
Lake Forest’s historic Market Square and downtown area is iconic for many reasons. But soon the anchor of the city will have an elegant new addition unlike anything its seen before — a luxury living community at the corner of Laurel and Western avenues that combines the best of Arts & Crafts tradition with a refined, maintenance-free lifestyle.
Kelmscott Park, the product of Tim Anderson of Focus Development, will offer a variety of new construction options, from nearly 4,000 square-foot single family residences to chic apartments with an in-town vibe. And to keep the development in harmony with Lake Forest’s legacy of distinguished residences, Anderson and his team even brought in some North Shore architecture and landscape design fixtures—Booth Hansen and Mariani Landscape.
With the first residences scheduled for completion in 2018, we were eager to hear more about Anderson’s vision and what Lake Forest residents could expect.
F&B: As Lake Forest seeks to attract and retain more millennial residents, how will Kelmscott Park help achieve that goal?
Tim Anderson: Location and luxury. Millennials are looking for both and Kelmscott Park is not only the sole new construction, luxury rental option in Lake Forest, but will offer unparalleled access to Market Square in downtown Lake Forest. The apartments at Kelmscott Park will offer millennial renters working nearby the opportunity to enjoy all the amenities offered in downtown Chicago luxury apartment buildings with the benefit of a location close to work. Today’s families looking to purchase a new home aren’t looking for sprawling acreage or thousands of square feet because these homes compute to more upkeep and unused space. Instead, the modern family is in search of a property that affords more time and less stress without sacrificing the luxury and class that larger homes offer. Kelmscott Park’s single family homes present the opportunity to build a semi-custom brand new home with a maintenance-free lifestyle.
F&B: There are a variety of housing styles incorporated into this project. Why is this important to the overall feel of the development?
Tim Anderson: The variety of housing allowed us to design each building using different materials to create a more vibrant aesthetic. In addition, the variety of housing types allowed us to dedicate 50 percent of the 10.5 acre site to gardens designed by premier North Shore landscape architect, Mariani. This green space will be accessible from all the buildings and will offer residents beautiful views of the landscaped courtyard. The difference in homes will ultimately attract a variety of buyers, who will frequent the shops and restaurants in downtown Lake Forest.
F&B: You have 25 years of experience developing condominiums on the North Shore. What has changed the most? How does this project play into those trends?
Tim Anderson: Condos traditionally have been an empty nester, downsizer market, but today’s buyers aren’t looking for the condos from a decade ago, which featured smaller versions of the same spaces. These buyers are looking for large floor plans that offer space to entertain, similar to the homes they are in now. The condominiums at Kelmscott Park are designed with spacious great rooms that are made for family gatherings. Large kitchen spaces, featuring an 8-foot island, tall ceiling heights, and large windows, are designed to feel just like home. This trend isn’t a singular occurrence; younger families don’t have time for the maintenance of a large home and want to make the best use of their space in the same way that their parents do. We’ve designed the homes at Kelmscott Park to accommodate that lifestyle and eliminate unused space in order to maximize efficiency and create homes where every square foot is used.
F&B: We see that you are bringing in the expertise of two North Shore fixtures, Booth Hansen and Mariani. Why was this important to your vision?
Tim Anderson: It’s non-traditional to bring such a world class architect to a project like this, but we saw it as important in order to assimilate with the caliber of architecture in Lake Forest. Larry Booth, Booth Hansen’s principal, is a highly regarded architect with long time ties to the community. He owns a home in Lake Bluff and has been a member of Shore Acres Country Club for years, even overseeing the renovation of the David Adler Clubhouse after a fire in 1983. Larry understands the community and understands the significance of the architectural historical precedence in Lake Forest. He designed Kelmscott Park to blend seamlessly with the nearby works of other great architects such as Adler, Howard Van Doren Shaw, and Charles Frost. While we are located just a short walk from downtown Lake Forest, we desired to craft green spaces that would create a haven for residents away from the rush of Market Square. Mariani was the obvious choice with a wealth of local experience, most recently the Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital Healing Garden. Mariani’s ability to create unforced, natural, serene space offered us the opportunity to elevate Kelmscott Park above traditional residential communities.
F&B: What is the advantage of this in-town setting so close to Market Square, and how does it elevate the luxury lifestyle residents can expect while living here?
Tim Anderson: Luxury really translates to location and our location offers all the convenience of access to downtown while maintaining the space and greenery of traditional residential neighborhoods. Residents of Kelmscott Park can walk to a local fitness class at Orange Theory, grab lunch with friends on the patio at the recently remodeled MLG restaurant, and then pick up a prepared meal at Fresh Market for dinner. But, when they desire to get away from it all, they can sit on their patio, enjoying a glass of wine while overlooking the carefully crafted Kelmscott gardens.
Read the original article in Forest & Bluff Magazine