MACK Companies was founded in 1998 and currently employees over 100 individuals. We manage nearly 600 properties in the following communities: Blue Island, City of Chicago, Chicago Heights, Country Club Hills, Dolton, Glenwood, Hazel Crest, Homewood, Lansing, Lockport, Lynwood, Oak Forest, Olympia Fields, Orland Park, Palos Heights, Riverdale, South Holland and Tinley Park.
For the past thirteen years, MACK has played a vital role in assisting suburban communities in Chicago rediscover their greatness. Along the way, we’ve helped hard working families achieve their dreams of living in affordable single-family homes with the latest amenities that are close to quality schools and shopping. Our success is built on proven results, and on the trust we inspire among the many communities we are proud to be part of.
MACK is headquartered at 16800 Oak Park Avenue in beautiful Tinley Park, Illinois. This 153 year old historical landmark was once home of Tinley Park founding father John Fulton.
THE FULTON HOUSE
In 1844, the John Fulton family, dairy farmers from New York State, arrived by covered wagon and established a homestead at the northern end of the area currently known as Tinley Park. Reportedly, John Fulton settled there with his family when his wagon broke down. By 1839, after developing a productive farm, he purchased the 160-acre panel of land on which his homestead rested from the United States government. Purchase was handled through a Chicago broker named Mr. William Blackstone. At a cost of $1.25/acre, $200.00 was paid for this initial property. John Fulton raised 14 children, including Bert Fulton, the town’s first recorded birth.
With time and growing prosperity, the Fulton family purchased other tracts of land throughout the area. In 1852, John Fulton acquired another parcel from the State of Illinois at what is now Central Avenue and 161st Street. This $4.00/acre property was from section 16 of the township and meant that the proceeds of the sale would go to the public schools. In time it became the James Fulton homestead with erection of his farmhouse on the property in the late 1880’s.
Redeveloping hundreds of homes has prepared Jim McClelland for one of the biggest challenges of his 40-year real estate career: restoration of Tinley Park’s landmark 152-year-old Fulton House. Located at 16800 Oak Park Avenue and now completed, this farmhouse-style structure today serves as the headquarters for Mack Companies.
The Fulton House represented a different type of redevelopment for McClelland. Originally built in 1858 by one of Tinley Park’s earliest settlers, John Fulton, the house was badly in need of repair. Over the years it had served as a single-family residence, a boarding house for railroad workers, and business offices. In 1983 the Fulton House was the recipient of the Tinley Park Historical Society’s Preservation Award but little work had been done to it since. By the time McClelland purchased the home in 2005 it had gone from landmark to eyesore.
Before beginning the Fulton House redevelopment, McClelland thoroughly traced the history of alterations to the property. All structures evolve over time, and the Fulton House was no exception. John Fulton’s original home consisted of a living room, a dining area and two bedrooms upstairs. Bert Fulton, the grandson of the pioneer and a trustee on the Tinley Park village board, enlarged it in 1912. Since then, entire walls, rooms and stairways have been added or removed. An entryway was attached to its side. Attempts to “modernize” the home’s bathrooms and kitchen were also made but clashed badly with traditional farmhouse design. Dated carpeting concealed original hardwood floors, while stained wallpaper gave the home a tired rather than antique look.
Renovation began in 2006 when McClelland brought in an architect experienced in farmhouse-era structural design. The floor plan called for maintaining the traditional farmhouse style with its distinctive pitched roofs, boxy windows and wooden clapboard, plus the construction of a large covered porch, which would extend from the front and wrap around the north side of the house. A hodgepodge of conflicting architectural details added over decades by different owners, were removed. Landscapers traded dull, drab scrubs for a rich assortment of colorful flowers, plants and trees, while the broken concrete sidewalks were replaced with hand-laid stone pathways. Painters applied historically accurate colors to finalize the exterior.
The interior presented another set of challenges; not only would it need restoration to its 1850′s vintage charm, but it would also need to serve as a functioning office, replete with computers, faxes and all the trappings of modern communications. An open floor plan accomplished both objectives. Out went the old carpeting, stick-on tiles, and wallpaper. Walls were demolished to open up the space to more light.