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Living Room with crown molding and dark wood floors.

Vision Becomes Reality for Building a Custom Community

How can a team of architects and builders sell home designs for a cutting-edge, custom neighborhood that hasn’t been built?

In 2014, Nitti Development and JMB architects set out to build a first-of-its-kind new construction community in Elmhurst, Illinois, over the course of 3 years. The 12-acre site, which was originally home to a 6-story, 100-year-old hospital, gave the team a blank canvas to work with, and their goal was to capitalize on this great opportunity by creating a masterpiece of innovation and distinction with fine home architecture and quality products.

There was, however, one caveat: homes had to be presold 7 months prior to completion of the model home, which meant the team had to paint a compelling picture of what homes would look like before their target market — city homeowners looking for more space in the suburbs and Elmhurst residents looking to upgrade to something better — could actually experience them. And with a limited time to complete the project, efficiency on the job site would play a more important role than ever in the company’s ability to create beautiful, customized homes.

Instilling Confidence with Trustworthy Products + Brand Partners

When it came to aligning with a window and door partner, the Nitti team selected Pella because they knew the brand would offer a wide variety of products to suit custom, high-quality homes. Pella provided Nitti with enough options to create customization without spending the extra time it would take to provide each home with a different look.

“Aligning with recognized brands like Pella gave our buyers comfort and confidence in the quality of the final product, both in the early days of selling from an on-site trailer and today in the finished model home,” says Redfin Agent Sondra Savino, Community Sales Manager for Berteau Development.

Meeting Buyer Demand for Contemporary Styles & Energy Efficiency

“One of the challenges you have when you’re building a neighborhood is redundancy,” says Doug Wicks, Pella Chicago Sales Manager. “You don’t want to build 56 houses with the same color or window design, so we wanted to make sure we provided prospective homeowners with enough options to fit their personal style and budget needs.”

After much collaboration between Pella and Nitti, the team offered a selection of grille profiles for each home, as well as the choice of Champagne, White or Brown hardware options. Pella and Nitti worked to keep window and door decisions easy for homeowners while giving them a design that felt custom to their personal style — without impacting the price. Each window installed in the Berteau Development also meets ENERGY STAR® certification, recognizing energy-efficient products that not only help lower heating and cooling costs but also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions into the environment.

Ensuring Quality from Start to Finish

Once the styles were selected, Pella professionals worked with builders on the job site, checking every window and grille pattern to make sure products were ordered, delivered and installed properly. This hands-on approach is one of the reasons Nitti has partnered with Pella for 30 years.

“Other window and door suppliers may not go to the job site, but I believe what we do sets us apart from any other business partner,” Wicks says. “Job management is so important to us, and our sales reps actually go on the scene to catch and take care of issues — either before they happen or quickly after they occur.”

Today the 12-acre site that was formerly home to a decrepit hospital now boasts 56 homes featuring top-quality materials and amenities, including Pella® windows and doors. On the outside, exquisitely styled windows complement each home’s contemporary beauty and character. Inside, the expansive windows brighten and highlight the luxurious spaces.


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