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Buildings Environments &

$ SPRING 2018

Wheaton Center Restores Resort Style Living F E AT U R E S

The Art of Urban Living at The Gallery on Wells New Condo Law Raises Privacy Protection Issues Illinois Sustainability Awards The Weather and Your Landscape Clean Energy Jobs in Illinois Energy Benchmarking Ordinance Changes Is it Time to Revisit Your Master Plan?




table of contents COVER STORY

03 Wheaton Center Restores Resort Style Living By Michael C. Davids PROPERTY PROFILE

09 The Art of Urban Living at The Gallery on Wells By Michael C. Davids S P E C I A L F E AT U R E

12 New Condo Law Raises Privacy Protection Issues By Howard Dakoff, Esq. 13 Illinois Sustainability Awards 16 Editors Message 17 Directory Advertising THE LANDSCAPE BUYER

21 The Weather and Your Landscape By James Fizzell S P E C I A L F E AT U R E

23 Community Association Capital Planning Demystified By Salvatore Sciacca INDUSTRY HAPPENINGS

Compiled by Michael Davids and Sherri Iandolo 24 Clean Energy Jobs in Illinois 24 Energy Benchmarking Ordinance Changes S P E C I A L F E AT U R E

27 Is it Time to Revisit Your Master Plan? By Dawn Rummel

on the cover... Pictured on the cover is Wheaton Center Apartments located in Wheaton, Il.

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Wheaton Center Restores Resort Style Living Massive exterior restoration project completed along with modernization of interior and exterior amenities. Originally built in 1972, Wheaton Center is a highly visible and recognizable rental community in the thriving downtown area of Wheaton, Ill., a popular western suburb of Chicago. Developer Draper and Kramer acquired the property in 2014 and immediately started an extensive renovation/update, which was completed in 2016.


he Wheaton Center residential community includes 758 rental units across six buildings: (2) 20-story high rises, (2) mid-rises, and (2) 3-story garden-style buildings. There are also three parking garages at the property. The 20story towers are the tallest buildings in Wheaton and its surrounding communities, and both the high-rise and mid-rise buildings are conventionally reinforcedconcrete structures with uniquely curved cantilevered balconies.


Recognizing the potential of the property’s prime location in Wheaton’s thriving downtown area and adjacent to the Wheaton Metra train station, which offers direct rail service to Chicago, Draper and Kramer saw an opportunity to reposition Wheaton Center to be a competitive player in the Wheaton submarket. By updating unit finishes and modernizing amenity offerings at Wheaton Center, Draper and Kramer has attracted a new renter base with enhanced urban-style housing in a

walkable suburban location, which ultimately increased occupancy and rents at the community. At the same time, by initiating a formalized maintenance program, the property now operates more efficiently, reducing overall maintenance costs. The renovation completed in 2016 included the following major goals for repositioning: • Major update of 157 units in the community that still had the original 1970s finishes to a new “executive” finish level. These apartments were completely remodeled to meet and surpass current market standards, with modern and sophisticated finishes including espresso cabinetry, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, sophisticated flooring and paint choices and other custom amenities. In-unit laundry amenities were also added to 342 apartments, including full-sized Bosch stackable washers and dryers.




Y Shown here is the newly renovated sun deck that offers resort style cabanas with lounge seating, fire pit and entertainment • Full-scale remodel of existing common areas and enhancement of existing amenities to now include an expansive fitness center; beautiful outdoor pool and sundeck; tennis courts; club room with outdoor terrace; building lobbies in all buildings; hallways in four buildings; and leasing and management office. Additionally, an outdoor “Bark Park” was created as a complement to Wheaton Center’s pet-friendly policies. • Strategic plan for deferred maintenance, with nearly $25 million of the renovation budget going toward work on structural renovations and repairs; building envelope and façade issues such as concrete façade repairs, roof replacement, canopy construction, and window and balcony door replacement; site work including paving, sidewalks, lighting, signage, and garage repairs; and updates to building systems including HVAC, fire/life safety and more. These improvements increased building efficiency and reduced overall energy consumption and costs.

Y A massive facade restoration project was completed that included full removal and replacement of 91 balconies. An average daily contractor crew size of 80 men were on site during the project.

Klein and Hoffman, architects and engineers, were retained to help design and oversee the work on the building envelope, façade repairs and other related structural renovations. Mike Naponelli, a Senior Associate and Lead Architect from Klein and Hoffman explained, “This project required intense collaboration and was in large part successful because the owner, full-time field inspectors, contractor, and engineers worked together as a unified team.” Highlights of the massive project included: • Full removal and replacement of 91 balconies • 7,000 square feet of column/wall repairs. Phased rebuild of several columns was required due to the severe extent of deterioration. The sawtooth texture was custom formed to match existing aesthetics. • 4,000 square feet of concrete slab repairs with large portions extending into the unit interiors.

Lateral bracing of columns was required prior to slab removal around columns. • 9,500 galvanic anodes were installed to provide passive cathodic protection to mitigate the “halo effect” where reinforcing extended into the parent concrete. • 30,000 square feet of pedestrian membrane coatings were applied to the balconies. • Exterior concrete surfaces were coated 100% with a protective acrylic coating. • New high performance aluminum sliding glass doors were installed and detailed to prevent moisture penetration. • Extensive concrete testing by an independent testing agency was completed for the ready mix concrete and bag mix material. • An epoxy-based overlay system was installed at balconies with ponding water to improve drainage. • An average daily contractor crew size of 80 men were on site during the project. • Hydraulic lifting of the 7” thick concrete slab under Building 6 up approximately 3 inches was performed using 21 unified heavy duty shoring towers. 400,000 lbs. of force was induced to accomplish this. • A full-time engineer from Klein and Hoffman was onsite for the full length of project to resolve field issues quickly, review repair preparation, and quantify repairs. Extensive use of a tablet and software was an invaluable tool in automating the documentation and quantification of repairs. • Upon completion of the project, the final repair cost was within one quarter of one percent of the overall project budget

Additional improvements that were made at Wheaton Center to enhance the resort style themed lifestyle at the property include: • Pool Deck Area: The deck area surrounding Wheaton Center’s large outdoor pool was outfitted with comfortable lounge chairs, and an adjacent sundeck was created by repurposing






















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previously underutilized basketball courts. The sundeck features gas grilling stations, fire pits, cabanas with entertainment centers and soft seating areas. Pergolas and shade sails provide additional areas where residents can relax, socialize, cook/dine and entertain while enjoying the outdoors. • Bark Park: This open, grassy area was created as a complement to Wheaton Center’s 100 percent pet-friendly policies. The Bark Park has pet resistant turf and full irrigation that provides a daily wash down. • Tennis Courts: US Open-style courts were refurbished with a new playing surface along with new nets and windscreens.

Special Challenges & Opportunities The extensive renovation of Wheaton Center presented Draper and Kramer with challenges as well as opportunities for success. One notable challenge was coordinating work among multiple contractors to ensure they could complete work with minimal disruption to residents. During renovations, property occupancy dipped to 60 percent, partially as a result of fully vacating apartments while work took place. All residents were impacted at some level – from having work done in the ac-

tual apartments to disruptions such as water and power shutoffs. To meet this challenge, the team provided consistent, ongoing communication to residents informing them of work being done, and how/when they would be impacted. Specifically, two buildings with a total of 267 apartments had to be fully vacated for work to take place during the renovation and a total of 119 occupied units had to be vacated. In preparation, the management team stopped all leasing activity so units were available in other buildings for transfers and implemented a carefully managed transfer plan over three months, scheduling a limited number of moves in one day (coordinating elevator time) and setting up individual meetings with residents to facilitate the process. Ultimately, 80 percent of residents who needed to relocate were transferred and remained onsite throughout the renovation. A prime opportunity was presented by the high interest and awareness of Wheaton Center among the surrounding community, due to the property’s visibility and familiarity in the area. The team maximized this in-


herent interest by becoming a frequent supporter of Wheaton-area events and organizations, such as the Wheaton Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Wheaton and the Wheaton Park District. Sponsoring area events such as fun runs, the Wheaton Wine Walk and the Wheaton Brew Fest was a key component of marketing the repositioned community and overcoming its previous stigma. The team also conducted regular meetings with city officials in order to keep them advised of progress and address any issues as they occurred. Demonstrating their commitment to the local community even further, Kelli Stuart, Property Manager at Wheaton Center has taken a leadership role in the Wheaton Chamber of Commerce. “It has been such an amazing experience to transform Wheaton Center! I have received so much positive feedback from our residents, local business owners and members of the Wheaton Chamber of Commerce. Having recently joined the Chamber’s Board of Directors as Vice President, I have had the opportunity to see how our community improvements have positively in-



fluenced the entire Downtown Wheaton area,” states Stuart.

On Line Reputation Campaign A major on-line reputation campaign was implemented at Wheaton Center in late 2016. Prior to Draper and Kramer’s acquisition and start of the renovation, the property’s reputation was extremely low with a 16 percent social media approval rating. Research showed that most of the dissatisfaction was a result of the property’s condition, though residents were generally happy with maintenance service. The campaign focused on increasing resident satisfaction, with the initial kickoff designed to capitalize on the positive maintenance reputation. Maintenance staff was given preprinted cards they could pass out suggesting that a resident respond with a review. The cards provided the names of the websites where residents could provide their feedback, including The second step involved utilizing SatisFacts to survey all new move-ins as well as every lease renewal in order for management to better

evaluate customer satisfaction. Additionally, SatisFacts also provided a link for each resident surveyed to provide a review on As a result of these campaign efforts, the property’s rating increased to 80%. Everyone involved in managing the projects and renovation of Wheaton Center can be very proud of what they accomplished and seem to have found the long hours and tireless effort more than worthwhile. “It is so rewarding to have opportunities to be a part of something that significantly improves a community. You can really see firsthand, the incredible positive impact that renovations like what we have done at Wheaton Center can make for residents and the communities they live in. We are not only enhancing their apartment homes, but their lifestyle as well,” comments Sandi Kowalczyk, Assistant Vice President / Regional Property Manager at Draper & Kramer.

cial performance against several measures: • Higher rents: Remodeling original 1970s units to the new “executive” level and adding in-unit laundry allows these apartments to generate an additional $285 in revenue each month. This equates to over $50,000 in unit value for each renovated apartment. • Increased occupancy: Current occupancy is 94.5% percent, up significantly from 75% when Draper and Kramer acquired the property in 2014. • Improved financial performance: Total monthly rental income today is over $1,000,000, compared with $737,700 at the start of the project.

Not only has Wheaton Center and Draper and Kramer realized desirable financial achievements, both have received accolades and awards that demonstrate the quality of their work from a variety of industry groups. Awards and recognition that have been received related to the major renovation and restoration of the property include: Draper and Kramer

Paying Dividends

• 2015 Best Year-Over-Year Social Media Score

The repositioning of Wheaton Center has already raised the community’s finan-

• 2015 Best Unclosed Traffic Score







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Wheaton Chamber of Commerce • 2016 Economic Development & Community Improvement Award

2016 CAMME Awards • Community Amenities Package, Low Rise/Garden Category

2017 Excellence Awards, Multi-Housing News • Best “Value-Add” Renovation, GOLD • Best Repositioning / Redevelopment Plan, SILVER

International Concrete Repair Institute • Rehabilitation of Wheaton Center Apartments – Recognized for Excellence in the Repair of HighRise Structures

Resort Style Living One of the main themes at Wheaton Center is resort style living. A number of the resort type amenities already mentioned are the pool, sundeck with resortstyle cabanas (some of which include a TV and a fireplace for cooler weather), Bark Park and Tennis Courts. Other resort style amenities include an upscale fitness center, expansive community room with pool table, a catering kitchen, WiFi Café, outdoor fireplace & gas grilling/bbq area. The com-

munity also offers a playground, bike parking storage rooms and even has a Think Tank comprised of interested residents. Wheaton Center’s location near historic downtown Wheaton also features entertainment venues, restaurants, local boutiques and Y Shown here is the recently remodeled community room that includes a pool table and other recreational features. shops. A number of Forest Preserves and movie nights, where residents gather on other recreational options such as campthe lawn and on the balconies of their ing, horseback riding, biking can also be Wheaton Center apartments to catch a found right nearby as well. Hollywood favorite, special-interest group

Quality Community Time It’s rare to find a for-rent residence that encourages residents to spend quality time together, but the amenities of these Chicago suburb apartments keep bringing people together in unexpected ways. The property offers social events like outdoor


meetings so people with similar passions can learn from each other, a lending library for residents to share books, a toddler play area, electronic resident directories and a host of other benefits that make life at Wheaton Center truly special. $




The Art of Urban Living at The Gallery on Wells The Gallery on Wells is a 39 story building located at 637 North Wells Street in Chicago’s trendy and artistically rich River North neighborhood. Built in 2017, the building contains a total of 442 residences including studios, convertibles and one, two and threebedroom units. The property has a total of 543,731 total square feet in the residential tower and 7,477  square feet of retail space, soon to include a Dollop Coffee Co. and Nouveau Department Nail Studio. The adjacent 640 N. LaSalle building houses eateries including Wildfire Grill and Taco Joint.


eveloped by Magellan Development, The Gallery on Wells is owned as a Jointventure between Magellan Development Group, MAC Management, Wanxiang America Real Estate Group, LLC, Strand Advisors and National Real Estate Advisors. “Magellan Development Group always strives to create projects with a unique identity,” says Jim Losik, National Marketing Director. “The idea for The Gallery on Wells grew out of the shared appreciation for the arts of our company and our partner, MAC Management. Given the history of River North as the heart of the Chicago gallery district, the area appeals to resi-


dents who are art enthusiasts. This combination of our companies’ dedication to art, the neighborhood’s history and our target demographic of renters resulted in the creation of an art-centric themed building.”

North and downtown. Crafted to express and embrace the creativity of culturally rich Chicago, the property is a true embodiment of the soul of the art gallery district. The lobby features warm colors and chic finishes and materials, while the integration of contemporary art and design provides a gathering space for local artists and designers to collaborate in a one-of-a-kind living experience. An exclusive, recently-rediscovered photography collection of 22 unique, oversized black and white portraits complement the lobby area, taken by the former Executive Editor/Publisher of Playboy Special Editions Jeff Cohen.

Amenities Abound

The Art of Urban Living The Gallery on Wells lives true to its motto “The Art of Urban Living,” and provides an atmosphere where residents can explore their artistic spirit and expand their aesthetic savvy. Stylish apartments are complemented with intimate communal settings and panoramic views of River

The Gallery on Wells offers an inspired approach to indoor amenities, offering two distinct areas connected by a unique indoor bridge. Intimate entertaining and relaxation spaces are juxtaposed with intense exercise and activity centers. The stateof-the-art fitness center features Peloton bikes and




energy-generating cardio equipment, functional training equipment, group exercise studio, sauna and wet lounge, and towel service provided by LifeStart. Additional indoor amenities include a game room, sauna, and activity/gaming area, as well as a library and business center with private study rooms. The building is also home to a dog run and lounge with a pet grooming station, indoor and outdoor play areas and comfortable seating. Outdoor amenities include one of the largest outdoor decks in River North featuring lounge seating, cabanas and a variety of recreational options for residents and guests to enjoy. The expansive 26,000 sq. ft. full floor outdoor rooftop amenity deck with gorgeous native landscaping contains a community garden, four grilling stations, outdoor dining space, two fire pits, a 25-yard lap pool, outdoor hot tub and a covered event area and private kitchen. An iconic and colorful The Rolling Stones tongue and lips logo statue (which was on display as part of Navy Pier’s The Rolling Stones exhibit, Exhibitionism, this past summer) adds a vibrant flair to the amenity deck. An additional private outdoor landscaped terrace overlooking the city is reserved for residents of floors 36 through 39. Technology is important at almost all residential properties. Residents enjoy modern conveniences at The Gallery on Wells, like the MIWA Mobile Key, offering the ability to open their apartment home with Bluetooth technology. From their smartphone, residents can also submit maintenance requests and pay their rent online.

Modern Lifestyle Layout Residences feature open floor plans for a modern lifestyle. Natural light floods each room with floor-to-ceiling window walls offering views of the Chicago skyline while balconies overlook the lights and activity of the city. Units feature driftwood plank flooring throughout. Kitchens feature contemporary dark wood cabinets with stainless steel pulls, ENERGY STAR® stainless steel appli-

ances, kitchen under-mount sinks with single handle pull out faucet, quartz kitchen countertops and subway tiled backsplash.

Unique Aspects of Management Building management is handled by Magellan Property Management. Property Manager Dana M Watson Carroll and a staff of twelve aim to provide top notch service and enjoy the unique aspects of managing The Gallery on Wells. Watson Caroll shared her perspective, “As Chicago’s luxury rental landscape becomes increasingly competitive, properties offering preferred locations, unique amenities or superior services differentiate themselves from their competitors and gain a distinctive marketing edge.” Magellan Development launched a one-of-akind new program called “Artist-In-Residence” intended to be perfectly suited for The Gallery on Wells. The aim of the program is to provide free housing for one year (during lease up when vacant units are plentiful) for a qualified artist in exchange for free service (performance, instruction, etc.) to the building residents. She continues, “The end result is providing an inspiring artist an opportunity to hone their craft while living rent free AND providing the residents with a unique and desirable amenity at no real cost to the property.” The Gallery on Wells recently celebrated its newest resident and live-in artist – Luis Ramirez.  Ramirez, a talented pop-art muralist and graffiti artist now known as “Gallery Graffitist,” is receiving one year of rent-free living at The Gallery on Wells in exchange for offering art lessons to his fellow residents and creating murals and other works of art to decorate the walls throughout the building.

LEED Silver Certification The Gallery on Wells earned a Silver LEED designation from the Illinois Green Alliance (formerly US Green Building Council). A few of the green building aspects of the building that contributed to this designations include:

Y The Gallery on Wells provides an artistic sanctuary for people to collaborate and live in the heart of Chicago’s vibrant art scene. • Sustainable Site –site design features such as development density, community connectivity, public transportation access, storm water design, heat island effect – roof, and maximizing open space awarded the project LEED points. • Water Efficiency - water use reduction of up to 20% was achieved through water efficient landscaping, a storm water collection system and water efficient plumbing fixtures. • Energy and Atmosphere - Gallery was credited for enhanced energy performance as well as minimum energy performance, material and resources, like recycled content as well as storage and collection of recyclables. • Indoor Environmental Quality - Gallery was recognized for smoke free living, low emitting materials, and controllability of lighting and heating. Points were also awarded for innovation in project design.

PRACTICAL REPORTS ON GREEN BUILDING ISSUES News and Information on Building Maintenance, Restoration & Preservation Chicagoland

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An iconic and colorful The Rolling Stones tongue and lips logo statue (which was on display as part of Navy Pier’s The Rolling Stones exhibit, Exhibitionism, this past summer) adds a vibrant flair to the amenity deck.

Sanctuary for Artists The Gallery on Wells is Magellan Development Group’s newest residential building in River North. The property is indeed unique and provides an artistic sanctuary for people to collaborate and live in the midst of Chicago’s vibrant art scene. The building itself is a living collection of art belonging to all residents, with custom paintings hung throughout and a curated collection of art books housed in the library. $


An exclusive, recently-rediscovered photography collection of 22 unique, oversized black and white portraits complement the lobby area, taken by the former Executive Editor/Publisher of Playboy Special Editions Jeff Cohen.




BY H OWA R D DA K O F F, E S Q . , L E V E N F E L D P E A R L S T E I N , L L C

New Condo Law Raises Privacy Protection Issues A recent amendment to Section 19(a)(7) of the Illinois Condominium Property Act ("Act") mandates that Illinois condominium associations provide the personal phone numbers and e-mail addresses of all unit owners of an association upon written request. It is our opinion at Levenfeld Pearlstein, LLC, which is shared among many associations, managers and other industry experts, that the legislation is overly broad and does little to nothing to protect the privacy of individual Illinois condominium unit owners, which will most likely result in an amendment to the revised Section 19 at some point in time.


o that end, two Chicago Aldermen, Brian Hopkins (2nd) and Brendan Reilly (42nd) have taken the initiative to address the issue on behalf of their constituents. On January 17, 2018, Aldermen Hopkins and Reilly introduced a Chicago ordinance to reverse the effect of Public Act 100-0292 (which contains the amendment to Section 19 of the Act) and would allow Chicago condominium associations to limit the release of unit owner names, addresses, e-mail addressed, phone numbers and weighted votes and to restore to the condominium boards the discretion to protect the individual unit

owner's rights to privacy. The ordinance goes even further and allows a condominium association to opt- out of other mandated section 19 disclosure requirements with a 2/3 vote of the unit owners. The ordinance is in direct contravention to the provisions of section 19 and while the Aldermen believe the City of Chicago possesses the authority to do so under a legal doctrine called ‘Home Rule Authority’ (where a municipality has the authority to adopt its own legislation that might even be contrary to other applicable statutes), the proposed ordinance is quite aggressive in its breadth and there

is disagreement among attorneys as to whether the ordinance can outright nullify mandated provisions of section 19. If the ordinance is adopted, it is likely there will be litigation to follow for a judicial determination whether the ordinance can accomplish its objectives. Candidly, the preferred route to address the privacy concerns raised by the recently revised Section 19 is via an amendment to section 19 by the Illinois legislature. Not only would such an amendment address the objectionable parts of section 19 without the likelihood of a legal challenge, but it would be applicable to unit owners throughout the State of Illinois instead of only the City of Chicago. Therefore, unit owners still concerned about privacy concerns due to the revised section 19 should lobby their State representatives and senators to revise section 19.


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Illinois Sustainability Awards From global corporations to small specialized businesses, the Illinois Sustainability Awards (ISA) recognize significant achievements toward keeping the state’s economy green and going strong. The awards were announced during a ceremony at the Union League Club of Chicago in October of 2017.


alf of the 2017 winners were Chicagoland businesses and organizations, including eight recipients that were repeat winners. “The ISA program was born at a time when the people of Illinois were worried about a legacy of hazardous waste cleanup and abandoned industrial sites,” said Kevin C O’Brien, director of the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center which administers the program. “Today it is a celebration of the creativity and commitment in our economy to responsible growth.”

“Sustainability is no longer a ‘nice to have’,” O’Brien explained. “It has become a ‘must’ for businesses and their operations. The leadership in sustainability shown by Illinois-based businesses attracts forward- thinking businesses to the state,” he added. “We are privileged to celebrate and highlight these leaders in this award ceremony.” North Chicago’s AbbVie continued its strong environmental initiatives during 2016, cutting energy expenditures by $285,416 and reducing carbon emissions by 1,137 metric tons. The global biopharmaceutical company also worked to build a more environmentally responsible supply chain by


engaging 107 of its vendors to promote sustainability practices. AbbVie’s global initiatives include goals to increase renewable energy use as well as to decrease water use, waste, and CO2 emissions.

BMO Harris Bank’s Naperville Operations Center is among the company’s largest buildings which has become the marquee site for its flagship environmental program and operational efficiency. Built in 1985 and renovated in 2012, savings and operational efficiencies continue to be made year after year. During 2016, energy savings came from installing occupancy and daylight harvesting controls, night and holiday system setbacks, exterior LED signage, LED lighting in the adjacent parking garage, and installing a reflective roof. Waste has been reduced by installing automatic soap, sink, and toilet controls in the restrooms. Sustainable commuting is supported by electric vehicle charging stations, public transit shuttle service, and bike storage.



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C3 Presents, LLC has made Chicago home of the

Golden State Foods won the ISA for the third

Lakeshore Recycling Systems is a major

Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago, while embracing the gathering of hundreds of thousands of fans as an opportunity for promoting sustainability awareness and action. Its waste diversion program “Divert It!” (with Loyola University’s Chicago Institute of Environmental Sustainability) promoted the use of electronic programs, offered bottle-free hydration stations, provided ecofriendly transportation options (bike sharing and a valet program), and fueled generators with biodiesel. The totals for 2016 included a 42 percent reduction in waste (including avoiding 1.1 million plastic bottles).

straight year on the strength of quality production improvements significantly cutting product loss and reducing waste to landfill (78 percent zero waste to landfill during 2016). The McCook facility renewed its ISO 14001 certification in 2016 and implemented a Universal Waste Program (batteries, pesticides, mercury-containing equipment and lamps). The company’s truck fleet yielded major reductions of diesel fuel use with efficient route planning, fleet updates, and state-of-the-art systems for system monitoring and standby power. Operational efficiencies were also gained by moving a satellite office to Golden State’s LEED Gold facility in McCook.

Chicago-area waste removal firm that does not own a landfill. Instead it operates seven Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs). Their state-of-the-art, single-stream recycling system allows the company to increase recycling participation rates across the city through efficient sorting, separation, and allocation of recyclables. LRS is notable for its +80 percent diversion rate for construction and demolition waste, its early adoption of Radio Frequency Identification Technology into its operations, and its ecofriendly curbside compost collection service.

Dynamic Manufacturing Inc. has seven facilities in Melrose Park and Hillside for remanufacturing of automotive transmissions and torque converters. Since 2014 the company has examined its environmental footprint and focused on a number of areas to improve its performance. For example, it installed an on-site wastewater treatment system and implemented on-site recycling of solvents. During 2016, 266,575 gallons of used transmission fluid were recovered for re-refining. The Plant Recycling Program collected 337 tons of material for the year. A closed plant in Stone Park was donated to the village for conversion into a popular 13,900 square foot Community Center.

The Hilton Chicago’s Green Team took advantage of recent renovations to implement upgrades that reduce water and energy use. Furniture repurposed from 600 guest rooms was donated to dozens of Catholic Charities housing sites serving veterans, formerly homeless people, families, seniors, refugees, as well as adult and child day centers. The roof of the hotel also includes a garden supplying fresh produce to its kitchens, and training students in sustainable horticulture and urban agriculture.

Loyola University Chicago’s eleven LEED certified buildings testify to the university’s longstanding commitment to address climate change as a key aspect of its social justice mission. As embodied in their climate action plan, “A Just Future,” they are pursuing a goal of carbon neutrality by 2025 with strategies involving the campus, the curriculum, and their community. Behavioral and equipment efficiency programs have reduced annual use of natural gas by 168,900 therms and water by 1,469,000 gallons. Management tracking improvements have enabled waste cuts of 555,150 pounds and recycling increases of 438,851 pounds. Last year the school composted 351,920 pounds of food and other organic wastes, allowing the avoidance of 2,411 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.



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Y (l to r) Mark R. Ryan, executive director of the Prairie Research Institute (PRI) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Farid Mosher, senior crowd services and community outreach manager for C3 Presents, Emily Sorlie, crowd services manager, and Kevin O'Brien, director of the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) (administrator of the award program).

Y (l to r) Mark R. Ryan, executive director of the Prairie Research Institute (PRI) at the Universityof Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Alan T. Handley, chief executive officer, and Kevin O'Brien,director of the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) (administrator of the award program).

Y Accepting the award for Caterpillar Surface Mining and Technology in Decatur was Stan Ostrem, environmental health and safety supervisor, and Mark Siwiec, environmental health and safety manager.

Y (l to r) AbbVie's award was accepted by Jim Davoux, director Global Energy Management, and Dan Dellert, director Lake County site operations.

Y The award for Caterpillar Peoria Proving Ground was accepted by Scott Johnson, operations manager and Charles Menke, machine development manager.

Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance’s STEP Program (Savings Through Efficient Products) was recognized for helping 675 Illinois public facilities save more than 9 million kWh and 290,000 therms of energy annually over three years. STEP focuses on smaller public facilities that have not previously benefitted from energy efficiency programs. Rural libraries and small town facilities gain significant savings from easy to install upgrades like occupancy sensors, efficient bulbs, energy miser controls, and other up-to-date technologies.

Chicago’s Mightybytes, Inc. is an Internet design and marketing firm that works to bring environmental awareness to an industry that has not yet developed standards for sustainability. Online communication has quickly swept the world and, being powered by electricity, it can be designed to either waste or conserve resources, according to the company. It uses low bandwidth design, search engine optimization, and accessibility not just to improve the user experience, but to reduce a website’s environmental impact. The company has developed free tools to test how green your website is and they power all the sites they host on renewable electricity.

The Naperville Park District was recognized for its broad approach to sustainability, punctuated by its LEED Platinum Knoch Knolls Nature Center. Through the District's cross-functional Green Team, staff helped develop policies and prioritize planning for sustainability initiatives in the annual budget process. They used established sustainability principles to guide a long list of achievements in NPD’s 2016 Sustainability Report: office paper recycling; green cleaning supplies; water pervious pavement; rainwater harvesting and other water conservation measures, bee husbandry and other measures to support pollinators; restoration efforts in natural preserves; selective and minimal use of ice melt, fertilizers, and herbicides; use of alternative fuels in vehicles and equipment (Centennial Beach’s Centennial Grill provides used vegetable oil to power a park tractor); solar power on three buildings and park aerators; high-efficiency HVAC and lighting with control upgrades; and District-wide waste diversion with assistance of DuPage County’s SCARCE program. $ SPRING 2018

2017 Illinois Sustainability Award Winners Below is a complete list of the 2017 Illinois Sustainability Award Winners. For information on the achievements of each winner, please view the program book at: AbbVie – North Chicago Aisin Manufacturing Illinois LLC* – Marion

Caterpillar, Inc. – Surface Mining and Technology Decatur

Lincoln Land Community College* – Springfield

Bloomington Public Schools District 87*

Dynamic Manufacturing Inc. – Melrose Park

Loyola University Chicago*

BMO Harris Bank* – Naperville

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles U.S. Belvidere Assembly Plant – Belvidere

C3 Presents, LLC* – Lollapalooza in Chicago Caterpillar, Inc.* – Peoria Proving Ground

Golden State Foods – McCook Hilton Chicago Lakeshore Recycling Systems* – Morton Grove

Marathon Petroleum Company LP Illinois Refining Division – Robinson Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance – Chicago Mightybytes, Inc.* – Chicago

Naperville Park District – Naperville NTN-Bower Corporation* – Macomb Restoration Works, Inc.* – Bradley Silgan Closures* – Champaign Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce and Green Music Fest * – Chicago

Since 1987, ISTC has presented Illinois Sustainability Awards to organizations in Illinois that have demonstrated a commitment to environmental excellence through outstanding and innovative sustainability practices. Any Illinois public or private organization is eligible to apply for the award. Winners are selected through a rigorous process of review and examination by ISTC technical assistance experts. Additional information on the Sustainability Awards program, lists of previous winners, and information on technical assistance for Illinois companies and communities are available from the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center at * Indicates a first-time winner of the Illinois Sustainability Award



editor’s message



Buildings Environments &

Volume 13, No. 2, Spring 2018


ince late December of 2017, we have had several periods of bitter cold temperatures followed by a brief warm spell that

caused problems with burst pipes in many buildings. Up until the first week in February, we had not had many significant snow events. This changed very quickly as we had 9 straight days with measurable snow in early February and multiple snow events over 4 inches each. HopeVolume 24, No. 2, Spring 2018

fully we are done with the brutal cold and big snow events now and we can enjoy some pleasant or at least tolerable temperatures. Not only does good weather help put people in a better state of mind, but we need favorable conditions outside to perform exterior maintenance, repair, and restoration projects that buildings all over

Editor & Publisher Michael C. Davids

Chicagoland want to get done. Our cover story for this issue of CBE features Wheaton Center apartments which underwent a

Vice President Sherri Iandolo

massive rehabilitation that included renovation projects inside and outside. This property profile ar-

Art Director Rick Dykhuis

bringing this property back to life. Our second story is on The Gallery on Wells, a very unique apart-

Contributing Writers James A. Fizzell, Cathy Walker, David Mack, Pamela Dittmer-McKuen Circulation & Administration Carol Iandolo, Mary Knoll, Arlene Wold

ticle highlights the achievements and leadership that the owners and management have shown in ment building that is designed to express and embrace the creativity of culturally rich Chicago. Our special feature on the winners of the Illinois Sustainability Awards highlights some recent accomplishments of the growing number of Illinois companies, institutions and organizations that have been recognized for their leadership and achievements in sustainability. We also have brief articles on the increasing number of “Clean Energy” related jobs in Illinois as well as an update on Chicago’s Energy Benchmarking Ordinance.

Chicagoland Buildings & Environments (and The Landscape Buyer) is published in Spring and Fall by MCD Media as an independent magazine to inform owners, managers and others involved with commercial, multi-family, institutional and government properties about sustainability as well as property maintenance and restoration. CIRCULATION: Chicagoland Buildings & Environments (and The Landscape Buyer) maintains a circulation of 9,500. Subscriptions are available for $19.95 per year. Group subscriptions are available at $13.95 each, per year (orders of 5 or more). Single issues are available for $10.95.

Jim Fizzell’s regular feature (in The Landscape Buyer) on the weather and your landscape provides some helpful tips on preparing your outdoor landscape for the coming season and what to watch for in terms of winter damage on your plants. Also, inside this issue is an article on the importance of having a master plan to help guide and manage site improvements at your property(s). This article showcases the efforts of the Town of Fort Sheridan, a residential community on the north shore of Lake Michigan that is honoring a historic site master plan and using the plan to inform today’s operating decisions. Our regular Industry Happenings column along with highlights from a variety of special events can also be found in this issue. We will continue to explore many other restoration, maintenance and building trends and

All material herein is copyrighted. No part of this publication may be reproduced whatsoever without written consent from the publisher.

green initiatives in coming issues of CBE. If you have a story to share please let us know. If your

This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is issued with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal or accounting services. If legal advice is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought.

events. There are also key resources from our sister publication –Condo Lifestyles available at our

Contact us at:

935 Curtiss, Suite 1A, Downers Grove, IL 60515 Phone us at:

630-932-5551 E-Mail us at: Visit us at:

property has a special need or challenge, MCD media produces special events that feature a variety of resources and experts to assist you. Many members of our CBE advisory board will attend these special events. Please consider attending our upcoming MCD Golf Invitational on July 13 and our luncheon at Arlington International Racecourse on August 23rd. You can view photos from various events we produce and others we participate in at the mcd media Facebook page. Thanks to the many new subscribers that have found our publications useful and informative. Special thanks to the firms, associations and groups that are Authorized Distributors of Chicagoland Buildings and Environments, the Landscape Buyer and Condo Lifestyles. Those of you who are interested in becoming subscribers can obtain subscription information on our website $ Green Regards, Michael C. Davids Editor and Publisher

16 C H I C A G O L A N D B U I L D I N G S & E N V I R O N M E N T S


Professional Services Directory


Holton Brothers, Inc. ARCHITECTS / ENGINEERS BTL Architects, Inc. (312) 342-1858 Bringing Buildings Back to Life Contact Delph Gustitius

Masonry Repair Services, Tuckpointing, Caulking and Concrete Restoration


847-253-3886 TEL / 847-253-3255 FAX Levenfeld Pearlstein, LLC 312-476-7556 Howard Dakoff /

LMC Construction 708-714-4175 Masonry Concrete General Contracting Roofing

Coder Taylor Associates 847-382-4100


Architects • Research • Engineering Specifications • Reserve Studies

THE RESTORATION GROUP 24 Hours- 630-231-5700

LS CONTRACTING GROUP, INC. T 773-279-1122 / F 773-279-1133

Structural Repair Services / Balcony Repair and Replacement Stair Tower Repair and Replacement Fire and Water Response and Restoration

Contact: Tom Laird

Engineering Support Services 630-904-9100 Construction Specifications / Roof Evaluations Forensic Engineering / Project Management

W. J. McGuire Company (847) 272-3330

Contact Greg Lason, P.E.


Full Circle Architects, LLC 847-432-7114

Community Advantage

Daniel Baigelman, AIA Capital Improvements • Reserve Studies • Engineering Reports


847-304-5940 Loans, Reserve Investments & Lock Box Services

KLEIN AND HOFFMAN 312-251-1900 Architectural & Structural Engineering Solutions

Superior Reserve Engineering and Consulting 888-688-4560

Mutual of Omaha Bank Community Association Banking 312-209-2623 HOA Banking - Internet Cash Management HOA Loans - Online Payment Systems Dedicated Customer Service www.mutualof BUILDING RESTORATION & MAINTENANCE

Waldman Engineering 630-922-3000

Dakota Evans Restoration, Inc. 847-439-5367

Energy Benchmarking Studies & Compliance Services, Reserve Studies, Specifications

Tuckpointing ~ Masonry Repairs Waterproofing ~ Terra Cotta Repairs Caulking & Sealants ~ Structual Repairs Cleaning ~ Balcony Restoration Concrete Restoration

ATTORNEYS Kovitz Shifrin Nesbit (855) 537-0500


Tuckpointing, Caulking, Masonry and Concrete Restoration

Bral Restoration, LLC 847-839-1100 Masonry and Concrete Restoration

CONCRETE RAISING CRC Concrete Raising & Repair (847) 336-3400 We Save Concrete, You Save Money!

CONSTRUCTION/REMODELING Firecon Construction Services, Inc. 847-534-9400 24 Hour Emergency Services


Woodland Windows & Doors 630-529-Door (3667) Window and Related Masonry Interior & Exterior Doors | Siding & Gutters



DUCT CLEANING Airways Systems, Inc. 630-595-4242 Cleaning: Air/Laundry/Toilet Exhaust Ducts, Coils, Trash Chutes, Parking Garages. ALso Air Filters, Belts

Brouwer Bros. Steamatic 708-396-1444

FACILITY MAINTENANCE SP+ Facility Maintenance 773-847-6942 Daily Cleaning Services / Power Sweeping and Washing Painting and General Repairs / Seasonal Services Parking Facility, Surface Lot, PedestrianPlaza, Large Venue or Commercial Retail Building. Contact: Daniel W.Nicholson at


Brouwer Bros. Steamatic 708-396-1444

Smart Elevators Co. (630) 544-6800

All types of Environmental Cleaning. Air & Exhaust Duct Cleaning • Mold Remediation Garbage Chute Cleaning • Carpet & Drapery Cleaning Photo Inventory, Moving, Storage or Removal

Suburban Elevator Co. 847-743-6200

Firecon Construction Services, Inc. 847-534-9400

ENERGY GAS & ELECTRIC CenterPoint Energy (630) 795-2594 Natural Gas & Electric Energy Reliable Service. People You Trust. Contact: Vickie Farina


24 Hour Emergency Services

The Restoration Group, LLC 630-870-0658

EMCOR Services Team Mechanical (847) 229-7600

Paragon Mechanical, INC. (847) 321-9428 CHICAGOLAND’S HIGHEST RATED TECHNICIANS Heating | Cooling | Domestic Hot Water Refrigeration | Tankless | Boilers | RTUs | IAQ


The YMI Group, Inc. 847-258-4650 Mechanical - Plumbing - Building Automation - Service

Westside Mechanical Group 630-618-0608 / 630-369-6990


Serving the Tri-State Area Since 1970 Contact: Jackie Loftis *

ConTech MSI Co. 847-483-3803


Fire Detection & Signaling Systems / Fire Alarm Systems Chicago Life Safety Evaluation Solutions Security Systems/CCTV / Card Access Systems


Energy Benchmarking Studies & Compliance Services, Reserve Studies, Specifications

Serving the Tri-State Area Since 1970 Contact: Jackie Loftis *


Waldman Engineering 630-922-3000

Westside Mechanical Group 630-618-0608 / 630-369-6990


Simplifying Vertical Transportation Contact: Max Molinaro

EMCOR Services Team Mechanical (847) 229-7600


All types of Environmental Cleaning.

(630) 544-6829 FAX


USA Fire Protection (224) 433-5724 Fire alarm / Sprinkler systems Fire pumps / Fire extinguishers Backflow prevention / Fire panel / Monitoring Installation | Inspection | Testing | Maintenance 24/7 EMERGENCY SERVICE: (847) 816-0050

Brouwer Bros. Steamatic 708-396-1444 “All types of Environmental Cleaning”

LAKE & POND CLEANING Organic Sediment Removal Systems, LLC 855-565-Muck(6825)

LANDSCAPE CONTRACTORS Alan Horticultural Services, Inc. 630-739-0205

18 C H I C A G O L A N D B U I L D I N G S & E N V I R O N M E N T S





Balanced Environments 847-395-7120 / 630-916-8830

Brouwer Bros. Steamatic 708-396-1444

Lifeline Plumbing 847-468-0069

All types of Environmental Cleaning

Plumbing - Heating & Air Conditioning Water Heaters - Sewer Cleaning & Repair Hot Water Drain Jetting

FOX Landscape 708-514-7307 George Kinsella -Owner

PAINTERS AAA Painting Contractors, Inc. 630-231-8350

ILT Vignocchi 847-487-5200

Landscape Concepts Management 847-223-3800

Sebert Landscaping, Inc. 630-497-1000

Semmer Landscape 708-926-2304

Interior & Exterior Painting Wallcoverings • Decorating • Remodeling Drywall Repair • Decks & Staining Tile Installation • Metal & Iron Painting


DRAPER AND KRAMER 312-346-8600 Contact: Ian Novak

DuBois Paving Co. 847-634-6089

Baum Property Management, AAMC 630-897-0500 Contact: Mike Baum

SP+ Facility Maintenance 773-847-6942

Spring Green Professional Lawn & Tree Care 800-830-5914



Associa Chicagoland 312-944-2611 / 847-490-3833



ACM Community Management 630-620-1133

CertaPro Painters of the North Shore 847-989-4791

Contact: Daniel W.Nicholson at


Asphalt Paving & Sealcoating / Concrete

FirstService Residential 312-335-1950 Contact Asa Sherwood

The Habitat Company 312-527-5400 Contact: Diane White

PEST MANAGEMENT SERVICES All-Over Pest Solutions (773) 697-1100

Heil, Heil, Smart & Golee LLC 847 866 7400

Get LED Lights for Little Out-of-Pocket Costs.

Bed Bug Specialists. Results Guaranteed!

Quality, Service, Performance and Integrity


Smithereen Pest Management Services 800-336-3500

Lieberman Management Services 847-459-0000 / 312-202-9300

NonStop Locksmith 312-929-2230

Locksmith Services, Intercom & Access Control Systems, CCTV, Overhead Garage Doors







Sarnoff & Baccash 312-782-8310

American Building Contractors, Inc. (847) 670-1887

Attorneys at Law

Roofing • Siding • Windows • Gutters Maintenance • Capital Budget Projects A+ BBB Rating

SP+ Facility Maintenance 773-847-6942



M&T Exteriors Inc. (331) 248-0447

Snow Removal, Pressure Washing, Parking Lot Sweeping/Maintenance, Concrete, Irrigation

Roofing Siding Windows and Service.

A remarkably simple reserve study system Custom, Comprehensive Studies Conducted by Professional Engineers

312-625-4958 Long-term Thinking. Everyday Commitment.

Superior Reserve Engineering and Consulting 888-688-4560

Tricon Group Inc. 847-410-2846

S&D Roofing Service (630) 279-6600


250,000 roofs installed since 1963 TEAR OFFS • SHINGLES • FLAT ROOFS Multi-Family ROOFING Specialist Our experience & technical know-how gets the job done right the first time! |

Contract Towing (779) 707-6935 24/7 HOTLINE (877) 613-5040

Outsource your parking to the EXPERTS in towing. Jason Buffone /


VAN DOORN ROOFING, INC. 847-228-5800


Elliott & Associates 847-298-8300

A Respected Name in Commercial Roofing For Over Three Decades ROOFING/SHEET METAL/MAINTENANCE/REPAIR

SavATree 847-729-1963



Sky Climber Access Solutions 847-600-3900

XFINITY Communities 1 800 XFINITY

Property Tax Attorneys

MCCRACKEN MCCRACKEN BEHRENS 312-263-4308 Concentrating in Property Tax Appeals since 1976

Worsek & Vihon LLP 312-368-0091

ROOFING Adams Roofing Professionals, Inc. 847-364-7663 Roofing -Siding -Gutters - Insulation

CSR Roofing Contractors 708-848-9119 Industrial/Commercial/Multi Tenant/High Rise All types of Roofing Leak Trouble Shooting/Roof Repairs Roof Check 365 Maintenance Programs Conventional and Single Ply Roofing

SECURITY SERVICES Admiral Security/Door Staff Solutions (847) 588-0888 For more information E-mail:


Lakeshore Recycling Services 773-685-8811


Inside Out Painting Roofing & Construction (630) 406-3000

WINDOWS/REPLACEMENTS Woodland Windows & Doors 630-529-Door (3667)

Woodland Windows & Doors 630-529-Door (3667)

20 C H I C A G O L A N D B U I L D I N G S & E N V I R O N M E N T S




the Weather & your Landscape Midwest winters are supposed to be cold and snowy. Native plants are adapted to it. The correlation with plants and people is interesting. Native Midwesterners are tough and most of us look forward to winter even though some transplants from milder climates might not appreciate it.


n fact, all the seasons have their particular features that we anticipate. We prepare for seasonal changes and plan for whatever the season may give us. For winter, we put on our warm gear, and go skiing, or snowmobiling, or ice skating. Likewise we don our shorts and T-shirts for the summer, and enjoy the warmth. In the short times between, we take advantage of the changes as nature prepares for the coming seasons, watching as spring bursts forth into bloom, and then again as the fall colors make their fantastic appearances, prelude to the advancing cold.

Abnormal Changes Cause Problems When nature doesn’t stick with the program, freezing cold days in midsummer or the typical January thaws, it upsets our schedules. We decide not to go to the Cubs game in August because it is cloudy, 50 degrees, with wind off the Lake. Or, the snow melts just before we plan the snowmobile outing. And many people even come down with colds and other illnesses. Our plantings are much the same, especially introduced plants from less vigorous climates. Weather the last few years has been anything but what many could call “Normal”. Actually, that is not true. The unexpected has always been normal in this part of the country. That doesn’t mean it is not challenging, for us, and for our plantings.


Recapping Recent Past Weather To understand what is happening to our plantings and how the changeable weather this past year has affected them, it is interesting to recount the seasons just past. Spring and early summer last year were about as good as we can get. Temperatures were mild and there was plenty of rain. Most plants came out of winter and put on heavy loads of foliage. Lawns were vigorous and winter damage quickly recovered. The exceptions were plants, especially trees, damaged by adverse weather in past seasons. Many of those simply died outright. Otherwise, things looked really healthy because of the good growing conditions. As August arrived, the rains stopped. Only three-quarters of an inch of rain collected in our rain gauges from August 3 to October 6. Fortunately temperatures stayed mild, mostly in the 80's and with only a few periods of 90's. Even so, plants with heavy loads of foliage, unless watered, wilted and shed leaves. Most unirrigated plants became drought-hardened. Rains returned in October and continued through early November, perking up stressed out plants. Temperatures dropped to freezing on November 5, but returned to above average for most of the month and into December. The first snow flurries fell during a cold snap on November 18.

After a few early attempts, fall color was conspicuously absent until late November. Leaves on many trees were still green well into December when wind-driven snow finally knocked them off. Rains and temperatures in the 40's quickly melted the light snow covering. The extended warm fall finally terminated the first week of winter with suddenly-plunging temperatures. Christmas dawned white and temperatures barely made it out of the single digits. The first week of 2018 was bitterly cold as well. For two weeks, most days failed to reach 10 degrees with lows below zero, and little snow cover. Following the arctic blast, temperatures warmed and hit 60 degrees on January 11. Then on the 12th, the high was 15 degrees, dropping almost 50 degrees in one day. It stayed below 20 degrees for the next week. Fortunately there was some snow during the period providing some insulating for roots and low-growing plants. Another thaw was in the works by January 20. Temperatures again approached 60 degrees, a day later plunging into the 20's. The cycle was to repeat itself though the end of January and into February with more near-record warmth and then crashing temperatures.

Snow Deficit Erased in February Winter returned in February with below-zero cold and snow every few days. The snow deficit was being made up, although the prediction for nearly 50 inches of snow for the winter looks as though (at the time of this writing in February) it is probably not going to happen. The precipitation falling as rain diminished the potential for snow, whereas the total precipitation for the winter would approach normal.

Changeable Weather is Trouble for Plants Several of the changeable weather events may spell troubles for our plantings: The dry weather in midsummer was hard on droughty plants, many dropping leaves to compensate. Wilted plants can’t photosynthesize. This probably acerbated problems for plants suffering from adverse weather of past seasons. The late summer/early fall rains obviously improved conditions. But, that and the mild weather, kept plants from acquiring dormancy. The lack of fall color and the persistence of the leaves was ample evidence.




The sudden arrival of the cold caught plants unprepared. Cells still imbibed with water froze and may have burst. Roller-coaster temperatures all winter are disastrous for plants. Even fully dormant trees and shrubs can be damaged by rapid temperature drops of 20 degrees or so. This damage will show up in spring as dieback of twigs and stems. Absolute cold damage to tree trunks will develop into frost cracks, pealing bark, and cankers, or actual death of the internal tissues. The lack of adequate snow cover during the coldest weather resulted in frost to a depth of at least five feet. Roots in dry soil would have been subjected to the brunt of this cold and some losses can be expected. Trees in lawns heavily irrigated during the summer may be especially shallowlyrooted and in increased jeopardy as a result. The losses of mature trees last summer were due to similar winter weather a few years ago. More losses can be anticipated in the next few years.

Watch Plants for Damage in Spring Newly-planted trees and shrubs that were not well watered last fall will need watching as they begin to develop in spring. Exposed lawns may be desiccated or winter-burned due to the exposure. Shallow perennials can be frost-heaved out of the ground. While winter isn’t yet over, we need to look ahead to see what’s in store and how the spring and summer might develop. We again discussed the upcoming seasons with our weather guru, Meteorologist Greg Soulje.

Long Range Weather Forecast According to Soulje, the La Nina has intensified and all the other indicators, the North Atlantic Oscillation, and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, and the ENSO itself point to a continuation of the strong La Nina into summer and maybe even later. The remainder of winter will be colder than normal, and wet. March and April will continue with the below normal temperatures, and with above normal precipitation as well, says Soulje. With passing of fronts, there will be short warmups as have been typical this winter, followed by rapidly falling temperatures. Spring will have a hard time getting going, maybe beginning to moderate by May. About the time of the summer solstice in June, Soulje says, there will be a change to warmer and drier. He expects ridging to develop and to begin shifting weather systems to the North with things getting drier as the summer arrives. Then, he sees a sudden, quick turn-off of rains altogether, and by summer’s end becoming hot and dry. After the wet start to the season, we will be wondering if it will ever rain again, he says. Soulje expects plenty of 90-degree days but no triple-

digit heat. He isn’t saying drought, he says, but it will be dry. The drought-affected areas of the West will expand at least as far east as the Mississippi. NOAA has been suggesting colder and much wetter than average all winter and extends that forecast through April. Their latest thoughts are that temperatures will average about normal but with big swings from much below to much above periods through the spring. Summer temperatures and rainfall will be about normal. Sometimes it is fun to look at what the Old Wives’ tales say about the upcoming weather. The Old Farmer’s Almanac says mild and wet. Old-time farmers around here always said the last frost would be during the full moon in May. Ember Days, they said corresponded to the weather in each of the three months in the following season. Ember Days are May 23, 25, and 26 this year. It will be interesting to see what the weather is like on those three days and to see if they do correspond to the weather in June, July and August.

Plant Care is Important Whether the forecasts are accurate or not, there are some things that need to be done to protect our plantings. It might be a little late for some things, but anything that may help plantings is worth doing anyway. Many plants, especially newly planted ones, went into the cold weather without much soil moisture. During the second January thaw, thunderstorms provided some moisture although most ran off the frozen ground. Should spring rains not be forthcoming, new plantings, evergreens, things under overhangs, can benefit from some water periodically. While rodent damage has not been serious yet, make sure rabbit guards are still in place. Apply mouse bait and flatten snow around susceptible plants to keep mice from tunneling beneath it to get to tender trunks and stems. Even with minimal amounts of snow early, salt was applied liberally. Sweep it up where you can, and plan for repairs along walks and drives. Make

22 C H I C A G O L A N D B U I L D I N G S & E N V I R O N M E N T S

sure silt fences are still in place around lawns and flower borders to protect them from the salt spray. When spring arrives, plan to make lawn repairs as early as possible. Take advantage of early good weather to get a good start on outdoor work, because such days may be in short supply this spring. Frost cracks on stems and larger trunks may repair themselves spontaneously. Where the bark has actually been split away from the wood, it may help to tack it down. If that doesn’t help, the wounds need to be traced back to sound bark and then treated with tree paint. Other damage may not begin to show up until plants are actively growing later in spring. Dead stems in shrubs, dieback, and later, cankers may develop. Cankers can girdle stems that appeared to leaf out normally, suddenly killing them. Don’t be too quick to trim out brown winter burn on evergreens such as yews. The needles may have been killed but the buds still alive. Wait until all the new growth has started.

Be Prepared if Summer is Dry Should the prognostications of a dry summer prove accurate, be prepared to water. In fact, when planning for flower beds, consideration of the potential drought might be good insurance this year.

Understand Plant Selection In the past we have discussed the value of native plants in our tough climate. These plants developed in such conditions and are capable of surviving them. Non-native kinds may have a more difficult time, take more care, and are more susceptible to damage. The list of available native plants continues to grow. Many have entered into the nursery trade, and a lot of hybridizing and selecting is taking place to bring out the best features of these wonderful plants. Certainly non-native plants have a place in our gardens and most are worth the extra care where needed. Make sure this extra care is understood when choosing these plants $



Community Association Capital Planning Demystified One of the most important functions of a board of directors is to plan long term. Yet that is one of the functions that many board of directors ignore or are unwilling to discuss. Additionally, the level of long term planning seems to vary depending on the size of the community. Larger scale communities tend to have better long-term planning versus smaller size communities. The other factor is that there is no Illinois state requirement to have any sort of long term plan, reserve study or minimum reserve requirement.


o why not simply pay for a capital reserve study? Shouldn’t it be that easy? For larger scale communities, that is certainly a necessity. It would be devastating for the homeowners of a large scale community to be presented with a sudden “unforeseen� large special assessment given that capital repairs tend to range in the millions of dollars. And to properly plan and fund large scale expenditures, it occasionally requires a bank loan. In these circumstances, proper long-term planning is essential. So how do you properly plan long term? It is not as simple as paying for a reserve study. A reserve study alone doesn’t ensure the association plans long term. I have had many circumstances where I convinced board of directors to pay for reserve studies, yet the board was unwilling to follow the advice of the reserve study once the report was provided. Regardless of the circumstance, it is essential that the board keep long term planning front and center in their discus-

sions. At minimum, that means reviewing the capital plan during the operating budget review season. During the time the operational budget is reviewed, the board should take a hard look at future largescale projects and draw a line in the sand and decide when large scale projects should take place. Some projects are more cosmetic than others, but they are all important projects to plan well in advance. For example, the board should plan to refurbish the stairwells and lobby foyer on a regular cycle. They should not wait until the walls are badly scratched and deteriorated and until the lobby is severely out of date. And they certainly should proactively replace roofs, hot water tank systems and boiler heating systems well in advance of their life expectancy to avoid emergency situations. Part of the problem seems to be the mistaken board member belief that waiting it out another year or two before a capital item is repaired or replaced is good business practice and helps out the home-


owners of the association. For example, I recently met with a board of an association that had a common boiler heating system that was about 20 years old. And I was shocked by their response when I advised them to proactively replace it as soon as possible. Their response was that it was working fine and that there was no need to replace it. In another scenario, I was advising a board to proactively replace their hot water tank system because the storage tanks were about 17 years old. I mentioned it for about 1 year and then once again at a board meeting that I attended. The answer was always the same. We’re GOOD. No need to replace them. Literally the next day, I get a frantic call from the board president stating that the hot water tanks are leaking. And of course, I could not respond fast enough to the emergency in her eyes. So, in summary, what is the best way to plan long term. It is simple. To roll up your sleeves and take a long hard look at the capital items that need repairing and replacing and to set exact timelines for these projects to take place. A reserve study takes all the guess work out of this exercise. However, even if you don’t have a reserve study, the board should come up with a basic 5-year capital plan that delineates the timeline for capital projects. $

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đ&#x;“– industry happenings Clean Energy Jobs in Illinois There are now 119,395 people working in clean Jobs Act which cemented Illinois as a clean energy energy industries in Illinois, a 4.8 percent increase leader. We need more policymakers to follow this since 2015, according to an analysis released today lead and drive clean energy development across by Clean Energy Trust (CET) and the national nonthe country.â€? partisan business group Environmental “Intellihot is proud to be part of the growing Entrepreneurs (E2). Clean energy jobs grew more clean energy sector in the Midwest,â€? said CEO Rod than six times faster than overall job growth in the Harrison. “Our company employs dozens of peostate. Illinois leads the entire Midwest region in ple in Galesburg, Illinois, working to design and number of clean energy jobs, which include build our high efficiency tankless commercial renewable energy generation, advanced grid, water heaters.â€? energy efficiency, clean fuels, and advanced transThe CET/E2 report includes clean energy sector portation sectors. comparisons for each state across the Midwest The analysis – available at region. Energy efficiency continues to be the largest – is based on U.S. energy employer in Illinois accounting for 93,613 Bureau of Labor jobs including hardware Statistics data and a and software impleTHE BIGGEST JOB GROWTH OCCURRED comprehensive survey of menters, people workthousands of businesses ing on high efficiency IN THE RENEWABLE ENERGY SECTOR. across the region conheating and cooling ducted by BW Research systems, and system JOBS IN WIND, SOLAR, GEOTHERMAL, Partners. The Clean Jobs technicians. BIOENERGY, AND LOW-IMPACT HYDRO Midwest report provides The biggest job detailed breakdowns of growth occurred in the ELECTRIC POWER GREW BY ALMOST 14 clean energy jobs – renewable energy secincluding job totals for tor. Jobs in wind, solar, PERCENT IN THE PAST YEAR. THERE ARE every county, congresgeothermal, bioenergy, sional district, and state and low-impact hydro4,835 PEOPLE IN ILLINOIS EMPLOYED IN legislative district in the electric power grew by SOLAR GENERATION AND 4,042 IN 12-state Midwest region almost 14 percent in of Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, the past year.  There WIND ENERGY GENERATION. Kansas, Michigan, are 4,835 people in Minnesota, Missouri, Illinois employed in North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, and solar generation and 4,042 in wind energy Wisconsin. There are 599,775 clean energy jobs in generation. the entire region. For the state of Illinois, the report also found: Illinois’ clean energy workforce employs more • 6,300 clean energy workers are employed in the advanced transportation industry. This than 6 times as many people than all the computincludes hybrid and plug-in electric vehicles, er programmers and web developers in the alternative fuels vehicles, and fuel cell vehicles. state, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor • percent of all clean energy jobs were Statistics. in construction—51, 497 jobs. "The Midwest has witnessed  Manufacturing accounted for 27,241 declining manufacturing employmore jobs—almost 23 percent of all ment over the years and this report clean energy jobs. highlights the important role of clean • Despite losing jobs in the clean energy jobs in filling the gap for the fuels sector, Illinois still leads the region's workforce," said Erik G. Midwest with 3,417 clean fuels jobs. Birkerts, CEO of Clean Energy Trust. The advanced grid sectors employs "We're optimistic that this growth 1,430 workers. engine can continue unabated as the 2016 Department of Energy data Midwest continues to prove it is a fershows that there are more than 3 miltile region for clean energy innovalion clean energy workers across the tion, enabling businesses to launch, country. For a fact sheet outlining grow and create jobs."  more specifics about the national “States are leading the clean enerclean energy jobs landscape, view E2’s gy revolution in America,â€? said Gail fact sheet. Parson, E2’s director of member and state engagement. “Late last year, Governor Rauner signed into law the Future Energy

24 C H I C A G O L A N D B U I L D I N G S & E N V I R O N M E N T S

Energy Benchmarking Ordinance Changes The City of Chicago recently released the coming changes to the city’s energy ordinance. The current ordinance requires buildings of 50,000 square feet or more to take steps to measure and report on their energy usage. The ordinance covers roughly 23% of the city’s energy use, and has reduced energy usage roughly 4%. By updating the ordinance, Chicago stands to save even more. According to Mark Waldman of Waldman Engineering Consultants, “The new system will increase transparency of energy use to building stakeholders.â€? In 2019 buildings will be given a star rating from 0 – 4 as follows: • Zero stars: Out of compliance with energy benchmarking (no report sent to the City) • One star: 1-40 points • Two stars: 41-60 points OR a score of 11-40 points and a 10-point improvement in the past 2 years • Three stars: 61-80 points OR a score of 41-60 points and a 10-point improvement in the past 2 years • Four stars: 81-100 points OR a score of 61-80 points and a 10-point improvement in the past 2 years These new ratings are designated by the city based on the EPA’s 1 – 100 ENERGY STAR ratings— the same nationally recognized standard used in Chicago since the introduction of the ordinance in 2014. These ratings have been around since 1992, but the city’s requirements to now display these scores publicly is a method of increasing visibility of energy use and further promote improvements. What You Need to Know • These changes do not require any extra information or cost to the building owner; the energy benchmarking currently done is still sufficient to provide your building’s star rating. • Buildings owners/managers are required to post the rating on their building and to provide the rating to prospective buyers and lessees. • The ordinance does not require any improvements to be made, however those electing to make changes increase their publicly available star rating and lower energy costs. • Peoples Gas and ComEd have partnered to offer discounted services and products to owners of buildings with three or more units. • The total funds for these rebates has increased substantially as of Jan 1, 2018; energy upgrades have never been more accessible. • The 10-point increase required to improve your property’s star rating results in ~8% reduction in energy use which can save you thousands on your energy bill every year. • You can find more information on the updated ordinance at Waldman added, “we strongly urge building owners and managers to benchmark their property and conduct an energy evaluation to identify where energy upgrades are needed. Energy improvements are one of the easiest ways to improve public opinion of your building and lower operating costs.â€?



ACTHA held an educational conference for community association board members and managers in Chicago on Saturday September 9, 2017 at University Center and another conference on Saturday, October 14, 2017 at the NIU Naperville Conference Center. The Naperville program featured a conversation with Illinois State Senator Michael Connelly (R-21, Lisle) on how board members, unit owners and vendors can be effective legislative advocates. Connelly participated with former State Rep. Dave Winters and attorney Doug Sury in providing an update of 2017's busy legislative session and discussed new laws impacting community associations. The group will hold their Spring 2018 conference on April 14th at Drury Lane in Oak Brook Terrace, IL. For more information please visit

Bruce Church Receives Lifetime Achievement Award Bruce Church, President/CEO of Balanced Environments and Hard Surface Solutions, recently received the very first BOMA/Suburban Chicago Lifetime Achievement Award. This award was presented in recognition of Bruce’s dedication to the commercial real estate industry and his tireless interest in and support of BOMA/ Suburban Chicago. Serving on various panels and committees, including many years on the BOMA Membership Committee, Bruce has been a consistent supporter of BOMA and their mission for over 30 years. His dedication to success has created a solid foundation within both of his multi-million dollar companies performing professional landscape, hardscape and snow management services throughout the Chicagoland and southern Wisconsin areas. Bruce has been described as someone who always operates with absolute professionalism providing exceptional service to his clientele. Bruce is very proud of the growth of both companies and enjoys spending time networking with high-level clients at outings and events. He is passionate about developing his employees enabling them to provide the professional level of service expected by their clients.


AMLI Residential AMLI Residential, which owns and manages 58 apartment communities including over 19,600 apartment homes across the country, with 7 unique properties in the Chicagoland area, recently received national recognition for its efforts to build greener homes. In September of last year, AMLI received the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Outstanding Multi-Family Developer LEED Homes award for its outstanding leadership and innovation in the residential green building marketplace. Amli also received the LEED Power Builders award, which recognizes developers that certify at least 90 percent of their units built in the past year. Twenty eight AMLI properties (more than one-third of the company’s portfolio) are LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified and 15 AMLI communities are 15 ENERGY STARŽ certified. And, AMLI plans to grow its portfolio to more than 50 percent LEED certified in the coming years. Green features/amenities in AMLI’s Chicago properties include: • Several types of LEEDŽ Certifications • Entergy StarŽ appliances and WatersenseŽ fixtures for energy and water efficiency • BreatheasyŽ smoke-free community -- inside and out • Sustainable landscape techniques • Electric vehicle charging stations • ecure bike storage and repair room

Photo Credit: Eric Hausman


• Onsite recycling and community recycling programs The LEED Homes Award recipients include multi-family, single-family and affordable housing projects and companies that are in the residential sector and have prioritized incorporating sustainability within their projects . “Homes provide more than just shelter. As demonstrated by the slate of LEED Homes award recipients, LEED homes improve the health and wellbeing of the occupants while saving energy, environmental resources and money,â€? said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO, USGBC.

đ&#x;“– industry happenings

Draper and Kramer Full-service real estate firm Draper and Kramer, Incorporated, is proud to announce it has been awarded a 2017 Top Workplace honor by the Chicago Tribune. The annual Top Workplaces list is based on results of an employee feedback survey, administered by an independent research firm that measures multiple aspects of workplace culture. “As a family-owned company, we take tremendous pride in providing a progressive corporate environment that prioritizes support, training and professional development opportunities for all employees,� said Forrest Bailey, CEO of Chicagobased Draper and Kramer, which also includes residential mortgage division Draper and Kramer Mortgage Corp. “That makes it especially rewarding to be included on the 2017 list of Chicago’s Top Workplaces – particularly since the judges were our own employees.� Honored in the category of midsize workplaces, Draper and Kramer is one of just a handful of real estate firms among the 139 companies and organizations named to the 2017 Top Workplaces list, and is also among the oldest firms recognized. Since its founding in 1893, Draper and Kramer has been a Chicago-area leader in residential and commercial property management, acquisition and development, commercial finance and residential mortgage services, and today has a presence in markets across the country.

Y Draper and Kramer CEO Forrest Bailey, left, with his uncle Anthony Kramer, who recently celebrated 50 years with the family-owned firm, where he works as executive vice president and director. “Our many dedicated and long-tenured employees have been a key part of building Draper and Kramer’s long-standing legacy in Chicago,� said Bailey. “In fact, we were pleased to learn that one of the prevailing themes in our Top Workplaces survey results was that our employees truly feel like part of an extended family within a family-owned business and place tremendous value on the relationships and sense of camaraderie developed over time. Overall, it is a terrific validation of the work environment we’ve created.�




MCD Golf & Bocce Invitational The 22nd annual MCD Golf & Bocce Invitational will be held on July 13, 2018 at Eaglewood Resort in Itasca. Last year, over 200 participants played golf or bocce and enjoyed industry networking at a special reception. For more information visit or call 630-932-5551. To view photos form past mcd media events, visit Media.

đ&#x;“– industry happenings

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26 C H I C A G O L A N D B U I L D I N G S & E N V I R O N M E N T S

Baum Property Management & RealManage Since 1984, Baum Property Management has taken great pride in providing management services to its community associations based on relationships, quality, and ethics. The owner, Mike Baum, desiring to continue those values while meeting the changing management needs of the community association industry, and to capitalize on advances in available technologies, began to search for a partner. After an extensive search for a firm which met this criterion, he announced a merger with RealManage, on January 18, 2018. Baum’s merger into the RealManage family brings with it both change and continuity. One of the significant changes will be a proprietary, stateof-the-art software platform which will put enhanced tools and capabilities in the hands of its community managers, community association board members, and residents. Baum Property Management will also be able to leverage the many resources that come from a national firm currently operating in 16 states, with three other offices in Illinois alone. The company will maintain its current Aurora location, housing its current staff, as well as adding new team members to serve their communities. Finally, the company plans to continue its banking locally, while also maintaining its current service providers to deliver the highest levels of uninterrupted service.

WARE MALCOMB Ware Malcomb recently announced that its Chicago office has been named Design Firm of the Year at the 2017 Awards for Excellence held by the NAIOP Commercial Real Estate Development Association’s Chicago Chapter in December of 2017. “It is an honor for us to be recognized by our peers in the dynamic commercial real estate market in Chicago,� said Cameron Trefry, Principal of Ware Malcomb’s Chicago offices. “It’s been a tremendous year for growth for our firm, and our team looks forward to continued success and partnerships with our clients in the New Year.� Recent projects completed by Ware Malcomb’s Chicago office include providing architecture and interior design services for the new corporate headquarters of Martignetti Companies, a leading distributer of wines and spirits in New England, including 120,000 square feet of Class A office and 640,000 square feet of distribution warehouse space. This innovative development project was featured as an Impact Project at NAIOP’s national I.CON Industrial Real Estate 2017 conference. Ware Malcomb also provided architecture and interior design services for a 227,043 square foot industrial cold storage facility with 9,000 square feet of office for Preferred Freezer, a project that achieved LEED Gold certification. In 2012, Ware Malcomb’s Chicago office was named Architectural/Engineering Firm of the Year at NAIOP Chicago’s 25th annual Awards for Excellence.



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Is it Time to Revisit Your Landscape Master Plan? Are you feeling a bit daunted by all the possible revisions, enhancements, and upgrades your landscape needs? Then a landscape master plan is the perfect tool to help you prioritize and budget for capital improvements and maintenance expenditures. When should a master plan be revisited? If you haven’t looked at your property’s master plan within the past year, now is the time to review it. If your property doesn’t have a master plan, now is the right time to start the process so you’ll reap the benefits of having the plan for your next budgeting cycle. Late winter or spring is an excellent time to begin the plan update process. As the remnants of snow piles recede and before leaves emerge, the structural elements of the landscape are starkly visible.


What is a landscape master plan? The American Society of Landscape Architects defines a master plan as: A preliminary plan showing proposed ultimate site development. Master plans often comprise site work that must be executed in phases over a long time and are thus subject to drastic modification. “It's helpful to think of the landscape master plan as a framework that provides a unifying vision for the property’s physical assets and also facilitates decision making and budgeting,” advises Landscape Designer Christen Little of Moore Landscapes. “It provides principles for design of amenities, plantings and hardscapes, and includes strate-





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gies for phasing and implementation. A wellthought-out master plan also guides and informs landscape maintenance operations.”

Start with assessments and analysis The master planning process begins with a thorough assessment of existing site conditions and an inventory of existing assets and deficiencies. Pedestrian and vehicular circulation, utilities, drainage, and environmental conditions are evaluated. As part of the assessment phase for a master plan update, the property owner, manager, residents, tenants, and maintenance manager contribute information about current site uses, desired or necessary elements to incorporate in the new plan, budget capacity and constraints, and confirm or suggest alterations to the plan’s overall guiding principles. “A tree inventory is an especially important element of the assessment and planning process, as it provides the foundation for the tree management plan,” comments Little. Tree inventories are conducted by horticulturalists or arborists, and document each tree’s location, species, size, caliper, condition, historical designations, maintenance needs, insect or disease issues, safety concerns, root space, and if the tree needs to be replaced. Many communities have tree ordinances that require permits for the

removal and replacement of trees over a certain size so this must be accounted for in the master plan.

Resetting a gem When an international conglomerate outgrew its long-time corporate home five years ago, they purchased a 49-acre Glenview campus with over 500,000 square feet for its 500+ employees. Kevin Coe, Moore Landscapes Landscape Architect, explains, “The site had sat unused for 10 years with no maintenance other than mowing. The first step of the site restoration process was to update the landscape master plan to reflect the new owner’s desired uses, sustainability values, and their wish to provide an active campus environment for their employees.” “With most of the plant material overgrown and site structures in disrepair,” Coe continues, “a considerable amount of site renovation and replacement work was necessary. The updated landscape master plan was the road map that helped the client determine phasing and the timeline for their site investment.” The first phase of master plan projects was completed prior to employees relocating to the site. Existing plant material was replaced with drought-tolerant perennials, grasses, flowering


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shrubs and evergreens that provide year-round interest while respecting sustainability values. Plantings are supplemented with annual flowers to provide the colorful landscape the owners desire. The existing decomposed-granite walking path was relocated in some places and the entire path was expanded to five-feet-wide so employees can walk comfortably side-by-side, a strategy to encourage both wellness and social interaction. The entire irrigation system was replaced and crumbling retaining walls were rebuilt. “We’re tackling additional sections of the

master plan each year. Budgets have been established for all proposed work. The owner will phase installations and enhancements to fit their annual operating and capital budgets,” Coe concludes.

Envisioning solutions With the current conditions analysis completed, the master planning process turns from evaluation and assessments to design solutions and new features to incorporate into the master plan. “Nearly every property we work with is focused on switching to more sustainable plant

material, adding features that support exercise and wellness, and increasing site functionality,” Little commented. “Lifestyles evolve; the ways we use outdoor spaces are different now than they were 10 years ago.” Popular outdoor elements include green roofs, designated pet areas, children’s play areas, smoking areas, outdoor shared cooking or BBQ areas, tables and seating arrangements, and expanded parking for visitors and tenants. Properties that want to maintain their desirability and increase their value must plan and budget for continuous improvement.

Fort Sheridan’s enduring master plan The Town of Fort Sheridan, a residential community on the North Shore of Lake Michigan, is a remarkable example of honoring a historic site master plan and using the plan to inform today’s operating decisions. Fort Sheridan, originally developed as a U.S. Army installation in the late 1800s on 640 acres of prime Lake Michigan property, was partially decommissioned in the 1990s and redeveloped into a neighborhood with 550 residences. Residences include new and historic single-family homes, as well as townhomes, condos and duplexes. Fort Sheridan Master Homeowners Association (MHA) Property Manager Mary Lynne Gaedele, CMCA of Lieberman Management Services notes, “Ossian C. Simonds served as the landscape architect during the initial base design and established a native plant palette and a landscape style that endures to this day. We guide homeowners through the approval process for any landscape additions or modifications to ensure harmony with the national historic neighborhood guidelines and the master plan covenants established when Fort Sheridan was redeveloped in the 1990s.” Fort Sheridan MHA Board and Landscape Committee member Dave Henderson explains, “Every year or two, the Landscape Committee reassesses how the site looks and functions. As trees, shrubs and perennials mature, we consider what adjustments and improvements are needed. We’re not redesigning the master plan, but we’re making sure it’s living up to its potential.”

Addressing labor-intensive planting beds The work on the main entrance is one of several current projects derived from the most recent master plan update. As Henderson and Gaedele described, the main entrance has a large planting bed with native grasses that has become very labor intensive due to its size and invasive species. This bed is being reworked and down-sized to be more manageable while retaining its color and seasonal interest.

30 C H I C A G O L A N D B U I L D I N G S & E N V I R O N M E N T S



Upgrading entry signage Another in-progress project is upgrading the signage at the neighborhood’s secondary entrance to enhance visibility. This entrance is shared with the still-active portion of the military base, so a more distinctive entryway is needed to distinguish the neighborhood entrance. Along with new monument signage, the surrounding planting beds will be changed from primarily annuals to perennials, evergreens, and boulder outcroppings to make the area more colorful year-round while using plants and a style consistent with the 1800s master plan concepts.

Managing historic trees “Fort Sheridan’s MHA is entrusted with the oversight of the community’s designated historic trees, which are managed with a detailed tree inventory,” notes Gaedele. “This is an important part of the landscape master plan, as we determine treatment and replacement of our historic ash trees.”

ered to determine how costs are impacted by timing or by grouping certain scopes or projects together. Another consideration is whether the scale or scope of the project is a capital investment or can be managed as an enhancement in the annual landscape maintenance budget.

Master plan helps determine budgets

Master plans essential for reserve studies

With a master plan, the landscape construction team can establish budget ranges for each proposed element. During this phase of budgeting, sequencing of projects will also be consid-

Nik Clark, partner with Superior Reserve Engineering & Consulting shared his insight about the value of having a landscape master plan as part of an HOA’s long term budgeting and planning

process. “Master plans are integral to capital reserve studies,” Clark notes. “Reserve studies determine remaining useful life projections and replacement costs for existing assets. Landscape replacement can be a six-figure expense for some properties.” Historically, Clark saw a lot of shortcomings in condo and HOA reserve studies that either didn’t include landscaping or only included an arbitrary amount based on a nominal per-unit allowance. He advises clients that a reserve study should determine the remaining useful life of the landscape and site assets that exist now, so that current unit owners are contributing an appropriate amount corresponding to the amount of the life of

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those assets they enjoyed. Clark explained that a master plan may call for not just replacement but improvements to site and landscape. A reserve consultant will help guide an association through different reserve strategies, some of which require philosophical choices as well. Clark poses the question, “If a master plan calls for a significant future upgrade in landscaping to increase curb appeal, should existing unit owners be paying higher assessments for an improvement that won’t take place until they may no longer live in the association?” It’s up to boards to make the ultimate decision what to reserve for. Some choose to reserve for replacement items (e.g. parking lot resurfacing) and do a special assessment at the time of the improvement for new items (e.g. additional parking spaces). Other boards choose to use reserve funds for both replacements and additions and then have the reserve study revisited to increase assessments appropriately. Regardless of reserve philosophy, boards need to plan and budget for landscape renovations and maintenance. The only way to do so with a high degree of accuracy, is to work from a detailed landscape master plan that includes, as appropriate, design specifications, tree inventory and an overall management plan.

Planning timeframe “For a comprehensive master plan update, facility managers of larger corporate or campusstyle properties should allow a minimum of one year for assessments, design, community input, and the permit process required for structures, retaining walls and tree replacement,” recommends Landscape Designer Christen Little. Smaller scale projects follow the same planning process so it’s smart to allow for a similar timeframe.

Advantages of revisiting your landscape master plan

Master plan principles guide investment decisions and help determine capital budgets, reserves, and operating budgets. The planning process aligns owners and board members so decision-making is streamlined. Operating costs are wisely allocated so money is not wasted. Your property will have a cohesive style with a consistent plant palette and enhanced curb appeal. A landscape master plan update builds upon your property’s existing strengths and is the smart way to make sure owners get maximum return on their investment along with enhanced beauty and performance. $

What benefits are gained by committing yourself to a year-long planning process? Plenty!

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