Atwater affords couple the chance to live life on, near the Lake
Relax in a vacation condo get-a-way all year ‘round, while enjoying spectacular river views from a balcony at The Atwater. | SUPPLIED PHOTO
Gus and Sandy Antonneau had enjoyed the “boating life” on Lake Michigan for 15 years while living in a large single-family home in Racine.
They loved to spend weekends on the “Texas Gambler,” which Gus refers to as his floating condo because it allowed him to visit many nearby attractions for as little as one day or as long at two weeks. They joined the Yacht Club and their social circle of friends consisted of other couples who had boat slips on the Lake Michigan pier on the Racine harbor.
When they became empty-nesters, the couple decided to downsize and simplify their lives, according to Sandy. They wanted their permanent residence to be maintenance-free and to include all the upgrades they had become accustomed to in their single family residence.
While walking along the lakefront, they noticed a trailer advertising a new luxury condo building to be built on the lake. The concept of combining their favorite hobby close to their permanent residence fit their lifestyle perfectly. A few weeks later they became among of the first owners at The Atwater, purchasing a two-bedroom, 2½-bath 2,250-square-foot luxury corner condo.
“It’s one of the best decisions we’ve ever made,” said Gus. “Our social circle and our outside world are all within a few blocks of each other.”
Gus says he loves to get up in the morning and see the sun rise over Lake Michigan.
“It’s like being on vacation full time,” he said.
Sandy says she’s thrilled that everything is within walking distance. Being located two blocks from Main Street means they can be at the library, post office, bank or pharmacy within a few minutes. In the summer, they attend art fairs, Fourth of July fireworks, Lions Club pancake breakfast, live music at Monument Square, gallery openings and First Fridays.
In addition to all their other recreational activities, they still enjoy their “boating life” and take trips to Michigan, Door County, Milwaukee and Kenosha often, while sometimes they just anchor their boat on North Beach. Typically they meet with their friends on the pier; share appetizers and cocktails, and sometimes participate in a Lobster Boil or enjoy dinner at the Yacht Club.
“It’s a wonderful life,” said Gus. “Our social world is all around us.”
Their maintenance-free condo means they don’t have to worry about snow removal, lawn care, or building maintenance. A management company oversees everything. Since the Antonneaus are full-time residents, Gus was elected president of the condo association and has held that position for three years.
To take full advantage of their magnificent view, the Antonneaus customized their home.
“It’s unusual for a builder to permit total customization, but New England Homes allowed us to personalize our home to reflect our lifestyle. Since this is our primary residence, we upgraded everything.”
The couple used their allowance for standard amenities and upgraded many features and products.
“Our completed design is spectacular,” said Gus. “We opened up the living room into the kitchen and transformed it into a 940-square-foot great room two patio doors on the east side and five windows facing north allowing full views of Lake Michigan and the marina. We also enlarged my office and moved the door, and redesigned and increased the size of our two bathrooms.”
The Atwater on Lake Michigan features spacious one- and two- bedroom condos priced from the mid $100,000s. Since only seven condos remain, New England Homes is offering 12 percent off list price on the final units until June 15.
With driving time only about one hour from Chicago’s northern suburbs, many Illinoisans have purchased a home here and are enjoying all the amenities that living on Lake Michigan offers.
Several desirable end units showcasing an abundance of windows and greater privacy are available. Overlooking the harbor is a two-bedroom, 2½-bath condo with 1,790 square feet. Offered at $372,500, it’s elegantly finished with hardwood floors and granite countertops and is in move-in read condition.
Two other finished condos are available for immediate occupancy. One second-floor unit has two bedrooms and two baths, while a first-floor home has one bedroom plus den and one bath. Another one bedroom unit priced at $149,900 provides great views of the Wind Point Lighthouse as well as sailboats traversing the waterway. You can also watch the July 4th fireworks from your balcony.
Four of the condos may be customized allowing buyers to add their personal touch by selecting final finishes.
To visit, take I-94 north and exit Route 20. Go east for 9 miles and bear right on 14th Street to the Lake. Take a left on Main Street through downtown, right on State Street, which turns into Gaslight Drive. The sales center is open Saturday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call (262) 637-7801 or visit www.nebinc.com; schedule an appointment with Terri MacDougall at (262) 497-9244.