Calvin Booker — The Heritage at Millennium Park
One of Calvin Booker’s most unfor- gettable tasks in the property services industry was to greet the first person who ever moved into The Heritage at Millennium Park (130 N. Garland Ct.) back on December 17, 2004. The building was still under construction and the finishing touches were just being installed. “We didn’t even have a desk or anything,” he remembers. “The floor wasn’t put in.”
To compensate for the unfinished ambience, he and the staff arranged several chairs behind a makeshift desk that the construction crew had manu- factured out of pasteboard specifically for the occasion. With a few additional touches, they transformed the area into a proper setting for a celebration.
“We had a welcome sign, and the property manager—who was Dan Harvey back then—had a brunch type of thing laid out,” he continues.
According to Booker, the occasion was a sign of good things to come.
“The building filled up the very first year,” he says. “The Heritage is unbelievable, and the amenities are top of the line, too. We’ve continuously had a full building, 356 units, since that day.”
Booker is the son of an entrepreneur father and a homemaker mother who grew up “right off the lake” with 14 brothers and sisters in Bronzeville.
He was new to the industry when he first took the job. “Before this, I was managing retail stores, like Osco,” he explains. “I’ve always been in retail, you know, customer service. This is basically the same thing, dealing with residents and things like that, but a little more hands-on.”
He heard of the doorperson position through “a real, real close friend” from the Apostolic Church of God at 63rd and Dorchester, one of the places where he likes to “spend a lot of time.”
Since 1932, the church has grown from a small group of believers into a com- munity of 20,000 members. The con- gregation worships in two breathtaking sanctuaries and, under the guidance of the late Bishop Arthur Brazier, recently built a gymnasium for the youth.
The only things that inspire him as much as church activities are family activities, which keep him busy enough to qualify as a second career. But he’s more than happy to pursue it.
“God blessed me with five wonderful children and nine grandchildren,” he says. “My oldest granddaughter, she just graduated Saturday last week, and one of my grandsons, he graduated from grade school last Thursday. There’s nothing like family.”