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Article posted: 11/9/2012 4:59 AM

Luxury townhouses overlook forest preserve


John and Carol Miller enjoy incredible views from their Lake in the Forest townhouse nestled next to 630 acres of lush forest preserve and sparkling lakes in the West Branch Forest Preserve.

The beautiful setting and the home's spaciousness and quality construction attracted the couple to the community of 37 estate townhouses in Bartlett.

"I haven't seen construction as solid as this before," John Miller said. "We also liked the size of the townhouse. When people come here for the first time, they're shocked at how large it is. They're very impressed."

Developed by Rizzi and Daughters Real Estate Development, which is known for its high-quality construction, the townhouses have the look and feel of single-family custom homes.

"You really have to see the community to believe it," said Dennis Neri, broker with Coldwell Banker Residential Broker. "It's just beautiful. And the views are spectacular."

In the wintertime, John and Carol Miller see people ice fishing with their little huts or tents on the lake. On a nice night, John sets up his telescope on the deck and looks at the stars and planets.

"We see a lot of birds here. We thought one was an eagle and we saw three very large birds, maybe hawks," John Miller said. "We also have bluebirds, cardinals, blue jays and of course robins and sparrows."

Inside, John's favorite room is their theater room. "It's in the lower-level walkout, so it's not like you're in the basement. We have a 70-inch TV and four recliners in there. It's where we spend time from about 7 in the evening until sometimes 2 in the morning."

The community features maintenance-free brick and cedar townhouses that aren't set in a grid, but in an attractive layout of quiet cul-de-sacs. Homes offer two or three bedrooms with 2 to 3 baths and two-car garage.

Some of the standard features include 9-foot ceilings; dramatic vaulted, cathedral and tray ceilings; fireplaces with custom wood mantels, custom oak staircases, and recessed lighting throughout.

The schools are also a draw, Neri said. "Hawk Hollow is a great school, and a lot of people like to live in that school district."

Residents can enjoy biking, hiking, horseback riding, fishing and picnicking in the West Branch Forest Preserve. Also, the West Branch of the DuPage River snakes through the preserve for two miles offering more picturesque scenes.

Nearby, the village-owned Bartlett Hills Golf Course is a popular destination for golfers from miles around while the Villa Olivia Country Club features golf, skiing and banquet facilities.

Besides a bounty of recreation, the Bartlett Park District promotes cultural activities such as community theater and summer concerts in the park while the community arts council presents a fine arts fair each year.

Nearby shopping includes retail spots lining Route 59 and Army Trail Road, Neri said.

Or residents can head to Bartlett's Town Center, which is bringing life to the village with new restaurants and retail establishments and drawing more people to the downtown area.

For major shopping, residents can head to Charlestowne Mall in St. Charles, Stratford Square in Bloomingdale and Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg.

Although secluded, the community sits just off Army Trail Road, a few miles from the Bartlett train station and close to I-355 and I-90, Miller said. "We're right in a nice little hub."

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