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Cornering a Market and a Neighborhood

In an old South Wayne neighborhood, some houses are new again.

Media home builder Greg Lingo is leaving his mark in his South Wayne neighborhood.

The President and CEO of Cornell Homes and Cornell Custom Homes and Renovations, based on State Street in Media, moved to Wayne with his wife and three daughters from Unionville, Chester County in 2009.

He has completely renovated the 1889 house they moved into, and has gone on to build and renovate other homes in the area of Runnymede and Lansdowne avenues.

“It’s a privilege to live here,” The Upper Darby native said of Wayne.

After he renovated his house in an Arts and Crafts style on Lansdowne Avenue in 2008-09, he noticed what was essentially an abandoned house across the street on Runnymede Ave., only blocks from the business district. He said he saw “tons of potential,” so he bought the property, renovated the Colonial-style home with a focus on environmental efficiency, and sold it.

He then built 227 Lansdowne Ave., a Victorian-style new home.

Cornell Homes is the largest private homebuilder in the Philadelphia market, Lingo said. He started the company in 2007. In 2008 they built 22 homes; last year they built 235.

Another project, coming soon to the Media area, is the Reserve at Rose Tree, which will offer 112 townhomes near E. Baltimore Pike and School Lane.

But a second business, Cornell Custom Homes and Renovations, was created to help people who love where they live, but not what they live in. (Valerie, his wife, is an engineer who works with him.)

“People live differently in their houses than they did in 1889,” Lingo said.

A few houses away on Runnymede, Lingo is currently adding a mudroom and side porch on a home. On Conestoga Road he is building a two-story addition on a 1950s house.

“Not everyone’s going to love what we do. And some builders deserve their bad reputation,” he said. “We want nothing more than to do everything right.”

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