Will Chicago's South Loop Real Estate Rise Again?

If you will recall the South Loop had a building boom during the housing bubble that left it with a ton of inventory that it only recently cleared. The memory of that catastrophe must be pretty short lived because last week was a huge week for South Loop real estate news. In case you missed it there were several announcements for major developments there.
1. According to Crain’s developer John Murphy announced plans for a 48 story, 500 unit apartment building at 1326 S Michigan designed by Solomon Cordwell Buenz. With an average unit size of 730 square feet rents “will range from $2 to more than $3 per square foot.” The building will also include about 8000 square feet of retail space and parking for 240 vehicles.

Rafael Vinoly South Loop development
Crescent Heights site plan

2. Rafael Viñoly Architects (I need a squiggly line above a letter in my name to give me more panache.) also announced the Crescent Heights development with two towers and 100 townhomes at around 113 E Roosevelt Rd. To be built in 3 phases, the towers would be just west of the One Museum Park towers and the townhomes would be just south of the west Museum Park tower as shown in the accompanying picture.

The east tower would go up first and would be a 76 story, 792 unit apartment building. The west tower would be a taller 648 unit condo building built in the second phase. At 829 feet this building would be Chicago’s 6th tallest building. To give you some perspective the tallest building in the South Loop is currently One Museum Park at only 62 stories.
The two buildings would be connected by 125,000 square feet of retail space.
In the third phase the townhomes would be built along with a park. It really seems hard to believe that you could fit all of that on that parcel of land but I’m always surprised by how much you can squeeze onto Chicago’s land.
3. Late in the week the Oxford Capital Group submitted plans for a 48 story apartment building at 800 S Michigan Ave. with 388 units, which would be just south of the Essex Inn, also owned by this developer.
4. Helmut Jahn also announced plans for an 86 story combination apartment/ condo building at 1000 S Michigan Ave. The top 60 floors would be condos and there would be apartments on the 21 floors below that for a total of 506 residential units. At 993 feet tall, or 1030 feet if you include the rooftop terrace roof, this would be the 5th tallest building in Chicago. It will also have a unique design element in that it periodically gets wider as you move up the building. So it will look like they were looking at the drawings upside down when building it.
The development will include 598 parking spaces in an 11 story parking structure on the rear of the building with a garden on top. It’s sure nice to see more than one parking space per unit for a change instead of pretending that everyone rides public transportation.
5. Speaking of public transportation…a couple of weeks ago Curbed Chicago reported that Draper Kramer is planning a transit oriented development (read that as little to no parking but close to the el) with 144 hotel rooms and 250 apartments in the McCormick Place Entertainment District – specifically at Cermak and Wabash.
Frankly, I’m sure I missed a few recently announced South Loop developments because there are just too many to keep track of but these are the major ones. The question obviously is whether or not that neighborhood can absorb all that capacity in a reasonable time frame or are we heading towards another glut of South Loop condos? I’ll take a look at that next week but, as Crain’s points out in their coverage of the 800 S Michigan project, all these developments together sum up to “3,000 units in a roughly five-block area at the southern end of Grant Park”.
#SouthLoop #chicagorealestate
Gary Lucido is the President of Lucid Realty, the Chicago area’s full service discount real estate brokerage. If you want to keep up to date on the Chicago real estate market, get an insider’s view of the seamy underbelly of the real estate industry, or you just think he’s the next Kurt Vonnegut you can Subscribe to Getting Real by Email. Please be sure to verify your email address when you receive the verification notice.

Leave a Reply