When Vienna Beef’s top dog, president Tim O’Brien, was looking for a temporary residence while building a new home in the western suburbs, he went about his search the way his company makes their hot dogs and sausages – the old fashioned way. He and his wife, Jan, drove around to check out rental communities for themselves.
“We had just sold our home in Glen Ellyn, and wanted to stay in the western suburbs, but we also wanted to be near the Metra for my commute into Chicago to the Vienna Beef headquarters. So we started with that in mind and began taking a look at what was available,” said O’Brien.
He noted he and his wife saw many nice rental communities, but were immediately drawn to Wheaton 121 because it was brand new and very well-kept. “It just felt good when you walked inside, and we were impressed by the office staff, too. Once we saw the apartment homes, we were sold.”
Developed by Chicago-based Morningside Group, Wheaton 121 is located at 121 N. Cross St. in downtown Wheaton. The six-story development offers 306 luxury apartments ranging in size from 558-square-foot studios to 1,509-square-foot three-bed, two-bath plans. All homes feature nine-foot ceilings, granite countertops in the kitchens and baths, stainless steel appliances, kitchen islands, wood floors, ceramic tile in the baths, high-end plumbing and light fixtures, individually controlled gas forced-air furnaces and central air-conditioning, in-unit washers and dryers, and private outdoor space.
O’Brien and his wife selected a two-bedroom, two-bath loft-style unit that offers a private, street-level entrance. It measures 1,105 square feet and features an open layout for the main living area and loft-like features including exposed concrete and ductwork.
“It is definitely something different for the Wheaton area,” he said. “It feels very urban, almost like we’re downtown in the city.”
The location of Wheaton 121, too, offers a more urban feeling, he added, because so many things are within walking distance. “You really don’t even need your car. You can walk across the street to the Metra, walk over for a coffee, drop off your cleaning, go out to eat – it’s great. It’s so relaxing to not have to deal with cars and traffic. Everything is right here.”
Equally relaxing, O’Brien said, is having access to the building’s on-site management and maintenance staff. “Anything we’ve needed, they were able to take care of right away. They are very friendly and professional. There is such an ‘open door’ feeling here, which I appreciate because we take the same ‘people first’ approach at Vienna Beef.”
Wheaton 121 also offers a host of amenities, including a second-level courtyard with a heated swimming pool, BBQ stations, fire pit, lounge areas, a dog run and a bocce court. The building also offers an upscale community room with a catering kitchen, separate business center and conference room; a state-of-the-art theatre room; and a fitness center and yoga area.
Naturally, the O’Briens have enjoyed the BBQ stations for grilling up – what else – Vienna Beef hot dogs and sausages. “We’ve had friends over for cook-outs, and our children, who all live in Chicago, like coming to visit and take advantage of the pool.”
But the amenity that O’Brien enjoys the most is the fitness center. “I get in a workout nearly every day,” he said. “The fitness center is just steps from my apartment and it offers a great variety of equipment.”
O’Brien also said, “I have to admit, I’m not really in any hurry for our new house to be complete. I’m really enjoying living here. Jan and I will miss it for sure.”