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posted: 11/2/2012 5:46 AM

Neighborhood focus looks at Renaissance in Carol Stream

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  • Friendship Park is located in the Renaissance neighborhood in Carol Stream.

      Friendship Park is located in the Renaissance neighborhood in Carol Stream.
    Paul Michna | Staff Photographer

  • These two-story houses on Linden Drive are typical of the homes found in the Renaissance neighborhood of Carol Stream.

      These two-story houses on Linden Drive are typical of the homes found in the Renaissance neighborhood of Carol Stream.
    Paul Michna | Staff Photographer

By Sherry Giewald
Daily Herald Correspondent

Fourteen years ago, Shannon and Brian Murphy purchased a two-story home in the Renaissance subdivision where they've enjoy the family-oriented and kid-friendly neighborhood in Carol Stream.

"Our kids range from 3 to 18 years old," Shannon Murphy said. "They've hung out with kids in the neighborhood for years and have made a lot of long-term friends here.

"We love all the schools. My son plays football at the high school, so we've made a lot of friends through him. The school is wonderful."

Henri and Sonia Vasquez live right behind Glenbard North High School, so they hear the band playing and the excitement of the football games. "It's nice to hear that activity, and it brings a family feel to the neighborhood," said Henri Vasquez, a real estate broker and owner of House Select Realty Inc.

The Renaissance subdivision features mostly two-story homes. "It's very clean, very well kept, with little turnover," Vasquez said. "It's not a cookie-cutter neighborhood. Although a lot of the homes are similar, owners have personalized them so that they all look different. When you drive through the subdivision, you don't feel like you're driving down the same street."

The subdivision features mature trees and foliage, and it's so beautiful in the autumn, Vasquez said.

"You look down the street and see so many different colors. My wife and I like to walk in the evening with our son, and it's so serene and quiet. It's such a nice place to walk."

The Murphys also enjoy walking. They head to Armstrong Park using a nice walking path down Kuhn Road that was made a little wider than a conventional sidewalk.

The Murphy's house, with three bedrooms and a full finished basement, itself attracted the family to the in Renaissance neighborhood. The Murphys recently turned their home office into another bedroom and updated their kitchen with new cabinets and granite countertops. The kids enjoy the basement, and the adults enjoy the upstairs, Murphy said.

Another reason the Vasquez family bought their home in Renaissance is its location close to shopping, where they can find anything they need.

"If we need lumber or something for the house, Lowe's is right there. Costco is less than a mile away. Stratford Square (Shopping Center), restaurants, banking are all less than a mile away. And my wife and I like working out at Lifetime Fitness just off Gary," he said.

The late developer Jay Stream planned the town, which he named after his daughter, Carol, so that people could live, work and play in their community. Today parks take center stage in Carol Stream where most residents are within a five-minute walk of a public park. The Renaissance neighborhood also features a park and large football and soccer field for residents.

The Carol Stream Park District maintains 440 acres of parks and open space, ponds, streams and picnic groves. Other recreation includes the popular Coral Cover Water Park, which is part of the Simkus Recreation Center, and the Illinois Prairie Path, which provides 61 miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails along with nature paths.

The Town Center gives the village a central focus complete with its park, fountain, native plant beds, a footbridge, pedestrian and bike paths and ornamental lighting.

Carol Stream sits near two Metra stations and has easy access to Routes 59 and 64, I-355 and the Elgin-O'Hare Expressway.

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