The Plote name is well known throughout the Northwest suburbs. Plote Construction Inc. is an industry leader in heavy highway construction -- in both the public and private sectors.
But few realize the breadth of the family's interests and holdings. Among the businesses now under the Plote Companies umbrella include a gravel company, asphalt and concrete paving companies and Plote Homes, a home-building firm.
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Plote Homes LLC, which was originally established as Par Development in 1989, is run by Dan Shepard, executive vice president. The firm's name was changed in 2010 to capitalize on the familiarity of the Plote name, Shepard said.
"Ray Plote, the founder, started Par Development because he wanted to develop some of the land the family owned instead of selling it. Over the past 15 years alone, the company has built over 800 residential units in 12 different towns," Shepard said.
"One of the best-known developments is Boulder Ridge Country Club in Lake in the Hills with its 27 holes of golf, tennis courts, outdoor pool and clubhouse with dining and banquet facilities. A few small lots are still available there."
Shepard admits that in the current economic conditions, he does not foresee Plote Homes developing another community with such extensive amenities. However, they are developing a neighboring parcel, the Lakes at Boulder Ridge, and have constructed a tunnel under the road between the two communities for easy access back and forth by walkers and bicyclists. Those who purchase in the new community are also offered discounted memberships in the Boulder Ridge Country Club.
The company has also built a community pool at The Cliffs of Fontana community it is building in Fontana, Wis.
Plote Homes is now building seven subdivisions, Shepard said. Two are in Lake in the Hills and one each in Gilberts, Algonquin, Woodstock, Cary and Fontana.
"When we acquire land we make sure it has character and that we can mold it into a project that compliments the types of homes we build. We generally like to build walkout and English basements because they add natural sunlight to the lower level and allow it to more easily be utilized as additional living space," Shepard said.
The residences Plote Homes builds include both single-family homes and multifamily townhouses, condominium lofts and duplexes. The semi-custom single-family homes range in price from $300,000 to $550,000 while the multifamily units cost between $225,000 and $360,000, Shepard said.
"We sell lots of ranches with finished basements because many of our buyers are 55-plus and they want that kind of living. They also like that we take care of the mowing, landscaping and snow removal in our communities," he added.
The exteriors of Plote homes are primarily traditional in architecture, but the interiors are quite contemporary with open floor plans that often discard formal living rooms and instead concentrate flexible space that can be used differently by different owners. Kitchens in Plote homes are designed to be used for both food preparation and entertaining because they are aware that modern kitchens are meeting places from which much of a family's activity emanates.
In addition, 80 percent of Plote homes include a screened porch or sunroom as people seek to expand their living area to include semi-outdoor spaces, he said.
Shepard spent many years in public accounting, working with real estate and construction clients, before joining Plote nine years ago as an executive vice president. Plote had been one of his clients and he had always been interested in building. So, when the company asked him to join, he was happy to do so.
What is the best part of being a builder?
"What we deliver is a high-quality home. So, it is nice to see a person get into a house they are happy with and are ready to live in for the rest of their life."
For more information, contact Plote Homes at (847) 854-3005 or visit plotehomes.com.