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A Foray Into the 'First' Neighborhood

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, Oct. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- From welcoming apple pies to borrowed cups of sugar, it takes more than a good fence to make a good neighbor.  For President Barack Obama, it requires a background check and 24-hour surveillance of the area, as well as a regal residence that evokes a certain presidential prestige.  Enter Foster Design Build, LLC, the full-service construction management firm responsible for the renovation of 5040 South Greenwood Avenue, the historic house located directly next to President Barack Obama's Kenwood home.

After purchasing the home in Hyde Park last spring, the new owners retained Foster Design Build (FDB) to manage more than one million dollars in renovations to take the 6,000 square-foot, 17-room residence and 2,000 square-foot coach house through planning, pre-construction and total restoration to a nearly 11,000 square-foot magnificent manor. With such elegant properties, this historic pocket of Kenwood has long been home to Chicago's business and political elite.  More than a century old, the house is currently undergoing a full gut renovation inside, as well as historic restoration of the exterior to match that of original house crafted by A.R. Clark, the architect who built 5040 and 5046 South Greenwood, President Barack Obama's estate.  During World War II, 5040 South Greenwood housed officers and students of a small military school nearby.  Years later in 2005, the newly elected senator Barack Obama moved in next door; his campaign team even filmed a Christmas commercial in front of the home's fireplace during the 2007 Iowa Primary. Within a year, this political neighbor had become the 44th President.

Keeping the historical significance of this project and modern design desires of its clients in mind, Foster Design Build maintains extreme attention to detail, careful craftsmanship, 24-hour video surveillance and a full-time, on-site project manager to certify the pristine production and progress of this monumental undertaking.  "5040 South Greenwood is a truly outstanding opportunity for Foster Design Build, both because of its direct proximity to the home of President Barack Obama and its designation as a historical landmark," says Robert Berg, President of Foster Design Build.  "It's a true testament to our work ethic and practice as we assemble a cohesive team to go above and beyond the clients' expectations and match the quality and aesthetic of its privileged location."  

Foster Design Build will guide every step of the way, from initial demolition and architecture to interior design and landscaping.  "Whether a project is of this magnitude or smaller in scale, the Foster Design Build team diligently monitors each detail and every last cent," says David Kite, Chief Financial Officer.  "We spend our clients' funds wisely, as if it were our own money."  In addition to the complications associated with the home's significant address, the team will also navigate the permits and approvals necessary for construction in a landmark district.  

Tentatively scheduled to be completed by end of summer in 2011, the four-story prairie-style house will blend original turn-of-the-century details (including a 8' x 6' stained glass arched window in the stairwell, stunning oversized mirror in the master suite, mahogany bookcases in the living room, and mahogany woodwork throughout) with crisp modern elements, such as open and spacious living quarters, an elevator and green roof.  Sitting on over 12,000 square feet of land, the property offers an oversized lot and extensive security – the street is touted as the "World's Largest Gated Community", as security is stationed throughout at all hours, and all guests must be approved by the secret service.

When the 44th President returns home from office he will have a new welcoming committee, separated by a simple wrought iron fence  -  neighbors of the newly renovated home of 5040 South Greenwood Avenue,courtesy of Foster Design Build.  


A leading construction management and general contracting authority in Chicago, Foster Design Build, LLCis a team-based practice of intensive construction management that prioritizes client service and satisfaction.  Through a collaborative strategy, Foster Design Build assembles talented engineers, architects, interior designers and subcontractors necessary to complete each project, while managing and monitoring the entire process, from the initial meeting to the finished home.  Whether it's a luxury custom home, extensive historical restoration, kitchen remodel, or light commercial office building, Foster Design Build meticulously handles each and every detail in a timely, cost-effective and professional manner to produce results that always exceed expectations.  

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