Why La Grange, Illinois?
A Builder’s Journey
The Luxury Model we built at 1036 Ashland, La Grange
We’ve been building in the city of Chicago and the Southwest suburbs for over 30 years and we love it. But we’ve been itching to move a bit north to build a different style of home in a different type of community. Change is good and in the world of custom home building, it is necessary. Static builders attempting to maintain the “status quo” quickly find themselves out of sync with their buyers. Demographics change, building technology changes, desired features change and builders must be nimble to stay successful. The issue wasn’t why, the issue was where?
We wanted a town with “character”. Yet, character is hard to define… it is more of an aura or a vibe that is both subjective and elusive. Defining a community as having “character” is often a misused and misunderstood term given by Real Estate marketers to bring traffic to an area. Yet, a viable and concrete example of a real town with real character is found in the Village of La Grange.
This little piece of heaven values tradition, refinement, and actual down to earth people. It was incorporated in 1879 and somehow managed to modernize without losing its identity. The perfectly located gem is located just 20 miles west of Chicago and the central location gets you to either O’Hare or Midway airport in less than a half hour (20 minutes on a good traffic day) and 25 minutes on the Metra train can have you strolling the Chicago Loop in under 25 minutes. 25 minutes! Naturally, the access to Chicago can’t be undervalued, yet La Grange took the best the city has to offer and rolled it into the community.
The town boasts trendy eateries, mom and pop restaurants and long-established gourmet venues. There is no need for city congestion or valet parking (although the Village offers FREE Valet parking to visitors on Friday and Saturday nights if you don’t want to walk from the FREE parking garage) to sample some of the area’s best food, wine or craft beer. Many proprietors have roots in La Grange spanning generations and work hard to create not just great food, but an experience unique to La Grange. This is truly a place where parents can enjoy a glass of wine on an outdoor patio with their dog at their feet and their children playing hopscotch on the sidewalk. Idyllic.
Even though La Grange definitely offers ample opportunities for shopping, socializing and eating, let us not forget the importance of a Target Run, easy access to the “Big Box” stores and a shopping mall. Well, fear not, a 5-15 minute hop in the car will take you anywhere from Target, Home Depot, Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods for family needs to Oak Brook Mall for luxury shopping and dining.
While the town, and especially the downtown Main Street (La Grange Road), maintain a “Mayberry” vibe, it stays current with trendy shops set alongside old-fashioned staples like the La Grange movie theater and the tried and true Ace Hardware. Where else, outside the city, can you browse Anderson Bookstore, purchase some artisanal olive oil, detox in a salt cave before taking in a Matinee in an old-time movie theater (showing current features) with low price tickets and fresh, popped popcorn that is actually POPPED at the theater?
With all of the amenities and walkability come some pretty outstanding statistics that make this little corner of perfection even better. The award winning, primary schools and the highly rated Lyons Township High School (one of the highest rated High Schools in Illinois) are hard to beat. The family friendly atmosphere continues with an exceptional Village run Park District boasting tons of sports programs complete with indoor AND outdoor fitness centers. The Village of La Grange library is both iconic and modern and now boasts a new digital media lab where patrons can make videos, record music and even arrange photo shoots. This town has a heart and its residents embrace it.
As builders, La Grange was an easy choice for us to branch out to the Western suburbs while staying true to our roots of building a home of exceptional quality without a shock inducing price. Property values in many of the surrounding communities are experiencing some steep land price increases as beautiful homes are razed for McMansions.
To us, this is not a trend we embrace. While La Grange also is victim to tear downs, the homes that are removed are usually too small and outdated to meet family needs. Many of these tear downs are 2-bedroom ranch homes or older framed structures that fell victim to owners who didn’t keep up with required maintenance. Most are replaced with a more family friendly home that is true to the community. New construction in La Grange blends seamlessly with existing homes and embraces the down to earth vibe of the residents. Think, front porches and welcome mats and not homes set back behind landscape berms and gates… Upscale, yes. Pretentious, not a chance.
If you haven’t had a chance to visit La Grange, it is a must. Stroll down La Grange Road and grab a coffee or green juice and browse. I promise you will find some treasures that you didn’t even know that you needed in a town that you will quickly find you love!
See the Full Portfolio of our Model Home (currently for sale) on FaceBook at Facebook/CoyleConstructionCompany