Developers of the Winthrop Club condominium project say say they had two reasons to celebrate tonight with a party held under a tent across the street from the construction site.

First, they’ve decided to upgrade the green certification target for the building at 1567 Maple Ave. from silver to gold under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program of the U.S. Green Building Council. It reportedly will be the first residential high-rise condo in the Midwest to reach gold certification.

The other reason, developer Bob Horner says, is that construction of the project is now at the halfway mark and the first units should be ready for occupancy by next April.

Although only four parking floors of the 15-story building have risen out of the ground so far, Horner says there was so much additional work to do below ground that this represents the midway point in the 20-month construction schedule.

The development team says 35 of the 99 units in the building have been sold, despite the generally slow real estate market.

Available units in the development are priced from $329,000 to nearly $1.5 million and include from one to three parking spaces.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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