Michael Menn, Ltd. Wins Gold Key Award for Historic Commercial Renovation

December 08, 2012

Chicago Real Estate Forum and Marketing RELEVANCE congratulate for winning a Gold for .


The clients, a preschool consisting of 7,500 square-feet of occupied space on the second floor of a building built in the late 1880s, decided they needed a major overhaul. In addition to upgrading both the spatial relationships, there were code upgrades as well as a major aesthetic endeavor. The original building was the original German Men’s Club, steeped in a rich history, one that our clients wanted to embody and honor.

Meeting the Challenge: Process

In the design phase:

• We listened. This allowed us to clearly understand the vision and what the clients liked and did not like. For example: The school needed both an aesthetic overhaul and an upgrade to meet the new codes while maintaining the rich history of the building. The clients were lacking materials that could be changed quickly, and desired a contemporary look and feel.

• We designed, working closely with the staff, and created a solution based upon the client’s vision while still maintaining the integrity of the building. This design included flooring, cabinetry, countertops, backsplash, lighting, plumbing, electrical and hardware.

• We prepared detailed construction drawings. These were invaluable to us, as we were also responsible for construction. In the construction phase, we used the following process:

• We created a project plan and timeline. The major constraint put on us by the owner was that we could only work on weekends and school holidays. We reviewed this with our client, trade contractors and suppliers to make sure there were no surprises and to address any issues up front.

• We executed the project. We communicated with the clients on a daily basis to provide updates and address any issues. We cleaned up every weekend to minimize disruption for the students and staff.

Meeting the Challenge: Solution

• Broke down walls to create a more open feel to the bathrooms. It is essential for the teachers to have a direct line-of-site.

• Upgraded both bathrooms using innovative techniques (we created four trench sinks out of Corian that allows many children to wash their hands simultaneously.

• Installed structural flush beam after discovering previous structural damage in the ceiling.

• Installed a new, more efficient kitchen allowing the staff to prepare more in less time.

• Created a new library from a storage area that allows the teachers to have small gatherings for reading.

• Created a “much needed” teacher’s lounge.

• Installed new lighting throughout.

• Created a barrel vault (two-way) arch in the foyer area adding interest to everyone that enters the pre-school.

• New paint and wallcoverings throughout the entire pre-school.

• Created a new front office for the director.

• Re-finished all the wood paneling from the existing bui

For more information on Michael Menn, Ltd., please visit or call 847-770-6303

The Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago’s KEY and SAMMY Awards celebrate their 40th anniversary in 2012. The awards began in 1972 and have grown throughout the years to now feature more than 100 building, remodeling, marketing and personal achievement categories. The KEY and SAMMY awards are the premier awards of Chicago’s residential building industry. To see more award winners, visit Chicago Real Estate Forum.

Categories: Awards

About The Author

Read All Stories By Mitch Levinson

Mitch Levinson is the author of “Internet Marketing: The Key to Increased New Home Sales” published by BuilderBooks. He is an Internet marketing expert with expertise in search engine optimization, website development, email marketing, social media and CRM consulting services. He is known for creating effective programs that can be tracked through analytics to prove effectiveness and ROI. Mitch is founder and president of MLC New Home Marketing and MLC FlatFee Realty, as well as managing partner of mRELEVANCE, LLC, a Marketing, Communication, Interactive agency with offices in Chicago and Atlanta. He currently leads the Chicago team. A Multi-Million Dollar Sales Producer who earned an MBA in Computer Information Systems and eCommerce, he brings a unique perspective and experience to the field of real estate communications. Mitch combines the two interests in order to help home builders and developers gain a competitive advantage through the Internet and technology. When he isn’t behind a computer, he enjoys participating in sports and coaching his kids’ teams. Mitch resides in Arlington Heights, Ill., a northwest suburb of Chicago, with his family, which includes two rambunctious labs. Visit my Google+ profile.