90-year-old Arlington Heights building gets major update

A major renovation of a historic downtown Arlington Heights building is nearly complete.

The Vail-Davis building at 15 N. Vail Ave. was purchased by Chicago-based real estate firm 33 and CF Real Estate in June 2014 for $2.55 million. The new owners have spent a year putting $1.4 million in renovations into the 16 apartments on the second and third floors of the building, said Eric Weber, principal with 33.

Residents have already started moving into the updated luxury apartments and Weber said the compete renovation of the building will be done in the next 30 days.

La Tasca and Bangkok Cafe restaurants are on the first floor of the building and were able to remain open during construction.

"It was a very dilapidated apartment building, but the appeal to us was those local, reputable retailers in a mixed-use building with the opportunity to upgrade," Weber said. "Those two business have just been fantastic. They put up with a lot of headaches but at the end of the day they have a whole new tenant base that is going to be using their businesses and a much better building above them."

Aside from new plumbing, electric and mechanical, the 10 one-bedroom and six two-bedroom units have all been upgraded to include crown molding, a contemporary design and new appliances and washers and dryers, Weber said.

"We have cut our teeth on apartment repositioning in downtown Chicago and we bring a contemporary aesthetic to our apartments so we wanted to try that in the suburbs," said Weber, who grew up in Arlington Heights. "The location here is really killer being so close to the train and in a busy suburban area."

The historic Vail Davis building was built in 1928.

"The building has a fascinating history. One of its original owners, Herman Redeker of the Vail-Davis Corp., called it his biggest venture and biggest loss," said Tim Gallagher, 33 development operations manager in a statement. "He and his partners completed the building in 1929 and owed $1,500 in interest. The money was in the bank but when the bank closed due to the stock market crash they lost the property."

The building originally had apartments on the second and third floor and eight retail establishments on the first floor. It sold in 1950 for $250,000 and again in 1964 for $455,000, according to records at the Arlington Heights Historical Museum.

"The project has modernized this near 90-year-old property for future residents for many years to come," said James McCalister, director of building and health services for the village.

Weber said his team is looking for more apartment projects in the Northwest suburbs.

The apartments above La Tasca and Bangkok Cafe have been modernized, revitalizing a 90-year-old building in downtown Arlington Heights. courtesy OF Forethought Marketing Group
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