Tall & Urban News

Plans for Chicago Mixed-use High-Rise Moving Forward

At 640 W. Washington in Chicago, the building will have three residential zones stacked vertically, with a different façade  and massing articulation for each one. Image credit: Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture
At 640 W. Washington in Chicago, the building will have three residential zones stacked vertically, with a different façade  and massing articulation for each one. Image credit: Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture
08 June 2021 | Chicago, United States

The Chicago City Council has approved a 47-story mixed-use tower, located at 640 W Washington Boulevard in West Loop Gate. The development will replace an existing surface parking lot. 

Designed by Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture, the Crescent Heights development will consist of a slender 47-story tower rising 157 meters. The ground floor will yield 743 square meters (8,000 square feet) of retail space while the vertical portion of the design will hold 413 residential units. Additionally, 221 bike parking spaces and 137 vehicle parking spaces will be provided for residents.

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The thin, rectangular massing orients its long face along the nearby Kennedy Expressway, with the narrow elevations facing north and south. The expression of the facade uses a combination of references to the brick masonry construction of the historic West Loop and the glass office towers of The Loop. There are three residential zones of the building stacked vertically, with a different façade  and massing articulation for each one.

A three-story podium occupies the entire site, holding retail, amenity space, and parking. The podium reflects its surroundings, with the third-floor frame matching the height of the neighboring podium. The second floor is an enclosed parking deck while the third floor is an amenity deck for residents. Amenities include indoor and outdoor common areas, a dog run, a lawn, an outdoor games space, and fitness space. A pool deck is located on the top floor of the tower.

The development will meet sustainability requirements by exceeding the energy code, exceeding the stormwater ordinance, reducing indoor water use, providing EV charging stations, planting new trees, topping the building with green roofs, providing bike parking, being within proximity to transit, and ensuring 80 percent diversion of construction waste.

There will be 41 affordable housing units as required for the scope of the development. Ten of those will be included within the building. A US$5.8 million fee will be paid in lieu for the remaining units.

The developers are seeking to rezone the property from DX-7 to a Planned Development, and will pay approximately US$3.7 million into the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund for a Floor Area Ratio (FAR) bonus of 4.5, to achieve an 11.5 FAR. The project also received approvals from the Zoning Committee and the Chicago Plan Commission, with the City Council vote as the final procedural hurdle for the plan. An official timeline for the development has not been established.

For more on this story, go to Chicago YIMBY.