The 360-degree view of Lake Michigan and the city of Chicago is breathtaking from the top of Village Green’s aptly named Axis apartment building.
When the Farmington Hills, Mich.-based company purchased the property in 2013, the staff decided the building needed to be dressed up to match the essence of the city.
The 615-unit building is currently undergoing a large-scale renovation of more than 490 units and common-area upgrades, says Daniel Lowenstein, the property’s general manager.
“A few of the other units were done by the previous owner,” he says.
The previously renovated units are being left alone to allow the team to focus on upgrading units that haven’t been touched since the building was constructed in 1986 and to offer a greater variety of finishes and floorplans.
The pace of the renovation is based on turnover. When a unit opens up, the renovation team spends around $14,000 to replace all white kitchens and upgrade bathrooms.
But the biggest attraction will be the $2.7 million being invested to boost the common area amenity package, which will include a fully revamped and refinished rooftop deck area to complement the stunning scenery.
Barbecues and lounges were being installed in mid-July. However, as the renovation was taking place, many residents weren’t pleased to see the space filled with dust and skeletons of infrastructure where the grills would be mounted.
“Naturally, people don’t like change all that much,” Lowenstein says. “But once they start to see what’s happening, and as time goes on, they start to appreciate what we’re doing.”
One of the most innovative changes was made in the fitness area of the building. The staff took a yoga area that wasn’t being used and transformed it into a video-fitness space. Residents can choose an instructional video from a tablet and have it stream to a television mounted at the front of the space.
“The fitness instruction video center is a pretty cool idea,” Lowenstein says. “We’re the second property to have this.”
A new leasing and office area at the entrance of the building was also finished in about two and a half months. In the meantime, the staff worked out of a unit on the 37th floor of the building overlooking the lake.
“For the situation we were in, we tried to make the best of it,” Lowenstein says. “As for the people working up there though, they couldn’t really complain because they had a pretty phenomenal view.”
Lindsay Machak is an Associate Editor for Multifamily Executive. Connect with her on Twitter @LMachak.