Tall & Urban News

Chicago Development Seeks to Amend Prior Zoning Approval

Photo Courtesy of ATCHAIN
Photo Courtesy of ATCHAIN
07 September 2023 | Chicago, United States

Located at 800 West Lake Street, a previously approved development concept for a 21-story hotel with 476 rooms is seeking approval to amend the prior zoning approval to allow for a taller 36-story concept featuring 406 rental apartments, 102 parking spaces, and ground-floor retail space along the street frontages of Halsted and Lake Streets.

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CTBUH Organizational member G|R|E|C Architects, who led the design of the previous hotel concept, is presently in charge of the revised proposal for the site to be developed by a joint venture of Ascend Real Estate Group and North Park Ventures, LLC. The revised design was first submitted to Chicago’s Department of Planning in 2022 and with some design modifications was presented to the Neighbors of West Loop Community Organization on the evening of September 6, 2023. As proposed, the rental apartment building would feature a two-story lobby entrance along Lake Street beside a porte cochere, bringing traffic circulation off of the local streets and into the property for loading, deliveries, and parking garage access. Vehicles engaging in drop-offs, deliveries, and access to an internal loading dock would utilize this porte cochere entrance, as well as a rear public alley along the northern edge of the property, which would also be widened from the current 10-foot (3 meters) width to 15 feet (4.6 meters).

Retail space would then line Lake and Halsted Streets which would be landscaped with new street trees, and planter boxes set within brick and stone-clad building columns, while a 20-foot (6.1 meter) building setback from Halsted Street would create a small plaza. Floors two through five would create a podium serving as the building’s parking garage for 102 vehicles, with a smaller tower footprint rising to the sixth floor which would double as an amenity deck for building residents. Floors 7 through 35 would contain the project’s 406 rental apartments, 20 percent of which (82 units) are to be on-site affordable housing rented to households not exceeding 60 percent of the area’s median income. Floor 36 would be a second residential amenity level with a roof deck. Additionally, as part of the project’s pending approval, the development team would be making a $2.4 million payment to the City of Chicago’s Neighborhood Opportunity Fund in exchange for the additionally requested floor area ratio above the site’s existing base-level zoning allowances.

The project stands out with an exterior design that emphasizes verticality by extending the façade expression through the podium floors and down toward the street level, as opposed to many other recently constructed buildings in the vicinity which often feature a contextualized base, usually masonry, to echo the character of the formerly industrial Fulton Market District.

The project team plans to start construction in early 2024 with completion anticipated 24 months thereafter. The project is expected to cost approximately $230 million to construct and more than 300 construction jobs are anticipated, with participation of at least 26% minority-owned business enterprises (MBEs) and 6% women-owned business enterprises (WBEs) in the upcoming work to be completed.