A dozen $2 million homes coming to the Southport Corridor neighborhood in Lakeview

The former Craftsman Plating and Tinning Corp. site across from the Margaret Donohue playground was supposed to be developed into townhomes, but that fell through.

Former Craftsman site, now an empty lot

In June, the City Council’s committee on zoning, landmarks and building standards voted to downzone the property to accommodate 12 single-family houses. The site, 41,000 square feet, has street frontage on both School Street and Melrose Street on the block west of Racine Avenue. 

Lexington Homes bought the site in October for an amount that does not yet appear in public records. Jeff Benach, Lexington principal, declined to divulge the price. The old Craftsman building, a one-story brick structure, had already been demolished at the time of the purchase. 

Former rendering of the Townhomes that were once planned

Designed by the Evanston firm Michael Hershenson Architects, the houses will be offered in two models, roughly 4,200 and 5,000 square feet, Benach said. The rendering, which he emphasized is preliminary, shows three-story homes, each with a brick and stone facade and a mansard roof. The houses will also have rooftop decks and detached garages. 

Benach said he expects construction to start on one of each model in early spring 2022. He said prices will start at $2 million, but that no official sales effort has begun. The first homes will be ready for occupancy by late 2022. 

Lexington’s site is in a part of Lakeview, around Belmont and Racine avenues, where at least 13 houses have sold in the $2 million range in the past two years, but there’s now only one house listed in that range, according to Crain’s research in real estate records. That is, there may be unmet demand for $2 million homes in the neighborhood. 

New rendering of $2m + homes coming to the site

It’s new territory for Benach, both geographically and on price. 

Although Chicago-based Lexington has been around for two generations and has built numerous homes everywhere from Bridgeport to Warrenville, Benach said neither he nor his father has ever built in Lakeview. The highest-priced homes he’s done to date are in Glenview,where prices are in the $1.1 million to $1.4 million range. 


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