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he tradition of excellence that has made Lexington Homes one of the nation's top builders is founded in a long history of quality and customer service. Having built more than 18,000 homes since 1974, Lexington has provided new housing for more families in the Chicago region than any other builder in that period of time. Moreover, Lexington's reputation as an industry leader in quality, service, value and customer appreciation has anchored Lexington Homes as one of the key players in the home building market.

Lexington Homes was acquired in 1995 by Libertyille based Cambridge Homes, another well-established and respected leader in the Chicago area home building marketplace. The two have combined to form the Cambridge Companies, now one of the largest builders in the nation.

While Cambridge and Lexington will remain two distinct companies operating under the Cambridge Companies umbrella, "everyone works together," says Doug Brown, President of Lexington Homes.

Combining its strengths with Cambridge, notes Brown, Lexington Homes will bring new home buyers - as well as those moving up from their first Lexington homes - even greater quality and value, and even more innovative designs.

"The number of Lexington home owners is clear evidence of the company's success and commitment to customer service and satisfaction," he says. "The marketplace has told us that Lexington has done a great job in serving the needs of home buyers in terms of floor plans, locations, pricing, quality and customer satisfaction.

The acquisition gives home buyers the advantages of the greater buying power shared by the two builders on everything from the services of subcontractors to building materials, appliances, fixtures and more. And, both companies have benefited tise of one another 's experienced, knowledgeable professional staffs.

"There's an incredible amount of talent and experience throughout both staffs," he points out. "Both Cambridge and Lexington have reputations for dedication to customer satisfaction, honesty, ability to really listen to customers, and knowledge of the housing industry."

Lexington Homes' notable customer service will continue to play a primary role in the builder's sales strategy, adds Brown. "We'll continue to follow the same successful building and marketing approach Lexington has employed for the past 22 years. The marriage of Lexington Homes and Cambridge Homes will only enhance that proven formula."

That "success formula" is one of the many reasons Suburban Lifestyle magazine chose Lexington Homes as its "Builder of the Year". While over 18,000 home owners can easily attest to Lexington Homes' quality, those same owners would readily agree that Lexington far surpasses the criteria.

Location, for one, is key. Lexington Homes has always sought out the best locations for home owners, providing quality housing in friendly communities and conveniently near concentrated centers of employment, amenities and/or major transportation arteries. The locations of Lexington Homes residential communities have are chosen solely with the prospective home buyer in mind.

Lexington has built homes and created residential communities in suburbs all over Chicagoland and is currently building in, among others, South Elgin, Naperville, Grayslake, Green Oaks, Libertyville, Schaumburg, and Riverwoods. And with its eye toward the future, Lexington Homes has a number of plans in the works for new communities thorughout the Chicago area.

Recognizing that a need exists for housing in suburbs that have been largely built out, Lexington has come up with innovative land plans and home designs to accommodate the escalating demand for new housing in those areas. Towne Place West in Schaumburg, Coventry Park in Palatine, and Huntington Chase in Elk Grove Village exemplify Lexington's commitment to fill this important market niche.

And, Lexington communities themselves offer every home buyer a quality of lifestyle unparalleled by most others. The developments are planned carefully to ensure a good balance of home styles and designs. Parks, play areas, open spaces, curvilinear streets and cul-de-sacs, improvements and landscaping are all masterfully incorporated into the overall design to create not just housing subdivisions, but real neighborhoods - places where every family feels welcome, secure and "right at home" from the first day they move in.

The lifestyle of the American family is changing more rapidly with each passing year, and Lexington Homes must be noted for its outstanding and ever-evolving response to those changes. Never content to rest on its laurels or past successes, Lexington's designers and architects have continued to introduce exciting new home designs for today's - and tomorrow's - families.

Lexington Homes' Arbor Series, for example, introduced in December 1995, features a number of deluxe amenities such as first-floor dens, wide-open family rooms, expanded kitchens, master bedrooms that can be expanded, and specially designed basements, with nine-foot-high foundations walls, that provide additional living space when finished.

Lexington offers a number of home series to accommodate almost any lifestyle or budget with a wide selection of town home and single-family floor plans - not to mention the almost limitless possibilities provided by a long list of available options and customization features.

Lexington Homes pioneered the Coach House concept in the mid 1970s. The handsome Coach House style was designed to offer home buyers an attractive, and remarkably affordable, alternative to the typical barracks-style multi-family housing then available on the market.

The notable curb appeal of Lexington's Coach House communities is achieved with architectural roof and pitch lines, varied elevations, and handsome streetscaping. The Coach House "took Chicago by storm," says Brown. "Buyers were proud to own and live in them. And, it compelled the rest of the building industry to be more creative in multi-family design, which ushered in a whole new era of product design." Competition, he adds, was never a factor, because as other builders began copying the Coach House concept, Lexington continued to improve on its original innovative designs.

The evolution of the popular Coach House is today seen in Lexington's model series of single-level Carriage Homes with 1,191 to 1,658 sq. ft. of living space and attached garages. Popular with empty-nesters, Carriage Homes are arranged with eight residences per building and private entrances for each. A monthly association fee provides for exterior maintenance.

The two-story Legacy Townhomes, Lexington's newest line of townhomes, offer buyers 1,330 to 1,621 sq. ft., attached two-car garages, private patios or decks, and home exteriors featuring carefree aluminum siding with brick, maintenance-free cedar trim and fascia.

Brown notes that the appeal to home buyers of both Carriage Homes and Legacy Townhomes lies partly in the many features and options typically found in single-family homes: spacious kitchens, cathedral ceilings, skylights, fireplaces, walk-in closets, formal living and dining rooms, luxury master baths, sunny breakfast rooms, informal family rooms and more - and a long list of standard features.

Both series' models can be toured at Huntington Chase, a new Lexington townhome community in Elk Grove Village where more than 150 of the planned 336 units (priced from the $130s to the $170s) were sold in the first year. Ponds, a four-acre park with tot-lot and ball field, and lush professional landscaping are just a few of the community's amenities.

Sales are also well underway at the new Links of English Meadows in Grayslake, adjacent to the established English Meadows residential community. The Links offers 250 sites of 1/2- to 1/3-acre, some overlooking the picturesque Renwood Golf Course. The community's land plan features winding cul-de-sac streets, several parks and a brand new District 46 (Grayslake) elementary school scheduled to open this fall.

The brand new Artisan series of single-family homes (2,270 to 3,036 sq. ft.; currently priced from the $180s to the $230s) at the Links of English Meadows was designed to give buyers great flexibility in floor plans and living spaces. All five home designs can be customized in a number of ways with the addition of sunrooms, sitting rooms, dens or hearth rooms, extra bedrooms, three-car garages, bonus rooms and/or storage rooms.

Introduced in December 1995, the new Arbor Series features luxurious, semi-custom single-family home designs (from the $280s to the $320s; 2,406 to 3,600 sq.ft.). Like the Artisan series, Arbor homes offer flexibility in layout and design and can be customized for virtually any lifestyle, family size or space requirements.

Two of the Arbor Series home designs are shown as model homes. The public can see and tour them in Forest Cove, a private enclave of 44 luxurious homes along gently winding streets in north suburban Green Oaks. Surrounded by ponds and mature trees, Forest Cove fits right in with the community's small town charm and ambiance.

The Village Series at Thorngate, a Lexington community of 289 homes (including 76 custom sites) in Riverwoods, is designed for luxury living. Two, three and four bedroom plans of 2,194 to 2,859 sq.ft. are priced from the $360s to low $400s. The five upscale designs include large, elegant master bedroom suites; dens; formal living rooms; attached two-car garages; and numerous other accouterments designed to appeal to a variety of buyers.

Doug Brown points out that Thorngate is rather unique in that it is situated on the 151 acres of the former Thorngate Country Club golf course. "When the community opened, more than 600 buyers - with $3,000 deposit checks in hand - were literally lined up to purchase home sites at a lottery Lexington held for prospective buyers to meet with the sales staff!" Sales have been brisk; less than 50 homesites remain at Thorngate.

Lexington Homes, which sold 705 homes in 1995 and closed on 739, has been and will long continue to be a major player in the Chicagoland housing market. The Cambridge Companies will continue to bring the most dramatic, most innovating, most exciting home designs to new home buyers, seek out new communities in which to build quality homes for every buyer, and plan with an eye to tomorrow's housing market.

"All the pieces are in place," notes Doug Brown. "With Cambridge Homes and Lexington Homes combining their for midable strengths and expertise, and bringing together their outstanding teams of building/development professionals, we think Chicago area home buyers will be just as excited as we are about what lies ahead."



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