When Danny Michael walked into Evanston’s North Shore Retirement Hotel (now The North Shore Residence) as a potential purchaser of the property last year, it was just another property tour until he walked into the ballroom. When he did, he turned to his son and business partner Jeff with a fond remembrance: he and his wife had celebrated their wedding in the room decades before; he could not believe it was still there.
That personal connection to the aging and financially troubled property helped spark the Michaels’ decision to purchase, resurrect and expand it through their company – Horizon Realty Group. Their concept is something new to Evanston: a luxury community for active seniors that will be available for RENT – not purchase – providing flexibility for retirees who no longer want homeowner responsibilities as well as snowbirds who want an upscale extended-stay option.
With $5 million to renovate the existing building plus $12-14 million for an eight-story addition being planned at the north end of the property, the bigger and better North Shore will include:
· Approximately 200 apartments featuring modern amenities such as: hardwood floors, granite countertops, maple cabinetry, free Internet and satellite TV, and more
· An elegant dining room with order-off-the-menu country club-style dining and other multiple dining venues including a bistro and lounge.
· A state of the art theater, fitness center, spa, card room, game room, arts and crafts room, and active lecture and recital program
· A two-story solarium lobby (think Four Seasons Hotel here)
All existing first-floor retail tenants will remain, including Joy Yee’s Noodles, 527 Café and Barcelona Restaurant (with special accommodations made to retain Barcelona’s patio). The new tower will also include retail space.