Icon Building Group
Icon Building Group fulfills its clients’ dreams with its homes.
By Alan Dorich, Senior Editor at Knighthouse Media
When Icon Building Group develops communities, it makes sure they are located in places where people want to be. “I’m very particular about where we plant our flag,” President Charlie Murphy says, explaining that the company is hyper focused on finding areas that offer top rated schools, access to trains and highways, an abundance of employment opportunities, and convenient shopping and dining.
Murphy co-founded the Kildeer, Ill.-based company 10 years ago when he and a partner invested in a subdivision development in Buffalo Grove. Although they later parted ways, Murphy completed the project, and started to aggressively grow the company into other markets, all while adhering to the strategy that location is key.
Today, Icon builds custom homes all over the Chicagoland area, as well as performs additions and renovations. “Every home we build is 100 percent custom,” Murphy says. “We will accommodate any wish.” Vice President of Operations Sean Burke notes that the company closely collaborates with customers to achieve their visions. “[That] is pretty unique for most builders,” he says, explaining that other contractors usually offer set plans for clients to choose from. “Our plan is designed around your functionality and needs.”
Icon takes pride in all of its customers. “Each home we build is unique, since every client we work with has something special to bring to the table,” Burke says. The company recently built a home in Vernon Hills, Ill., all while the clients were living overseas in Singapore. “We were able to design and deliver a home that was exactly what they wanted, from thousands of miles away,” Burke says, “a seemingly impossible task since so many selections rely on seeing and feeling the product, which wasn’t possible in this case.”
The company also recently completed work on a home in Long Grove, Ill., to benefit Jared Allen’s Homes for Wounded Warriors. Icon constructed the home “for as little as possible,” Murphy says, noting that all proceeds of its sale will be donated to the charity. Every other year, he notes, Icon builds homes to benefit different charities.
“The last home was for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital,” he recalls. “We’re planning to start another charity build towards the end of next year which will be sold in 2020.” Icon’s portfolio also includes communities it has developed in areas that fit with its strategy. “We’re excited and grateful that we have the opportunity to pick these pieces up and turn the real estate around in a quick and efficient manner,” Murphy says. Currently Icon has three communities in Vernon Hills, two in Kildeer, and one each in Crystal Lake, Lincolnshire, Mettawa, and Lake Forest, Ill.
Burke sees a strong future ahead for Icon, which celebrates its 10-year anniversary this year. “We’re continually getting better at our craft,” he says, remarking that the company continues to investigate new approaches, processes, and technologies within the building industry.
One such technology is the software Builder Trend, which is Icon’s central hub for all documentation on every single home. “It makes communication easier with our subcontractors because they have access to the prints, purchases orders and change orders at all times from their computers and mobile devices,” Project Manager Chris Bond says. “It’s revolutionized the way we build houses.” Murphy adds that the company will continue to acquire real estate and is in the process of developing a larger renovation division. “We are really going to aggressively ramp that up in 2019.”