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2 office projects join Fulton Market development rush

Developers seek proximity to Google and other expanding companies.

Fulton Market District at Halsted Street
The gateway sign for the Fulton Market District.
West Central Association

Amid signs of growing demand for office space in Fulton Market by Google and other companies, two new development projects have entered the neighborhood’s busy pipeline.

Dallas-based developer Trammell Crow has proposed a 16-story, 395,000-square-foot office building at 400 N. Aberdeen. A separate proposal would bring an 18-story office building and parking garage to 1101 W. Carroll, about three blocks from the other project.

The plans were contained in zoning applications submitted Wednesday to the City Council. The applications will start community reviews and a hearing process before final council action. They fall within the 27th Ward of Ald. Walter Burnett Jr., whose support will be pivotal. He could not be reached for comment.

Both sites are near Google’s Chicago base at 320 N. Morgan. Developers such as Sterling Bay have other office expansions in the works, as real estate brokers have said Google is shopping for more space. If they can’t snare Google itself, developers think they can get other office users inspired to be close by.

Real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield identified the Fulton Market District as extremely active for office construction in a midyear report. The district has 3.1 million square feet of current office space, a small allotment for the downtown business district, yet it has another 1.7 million square feet under construction, the report said.

Buildings due to be delivered by the end of next year and their developers include Domus Real Estate Group at 1133 W. Fulton, Sterling Bay at 333 N. Green and Shapack Partners at 167 N. Green, Cushman & Wakefield said.

Trammell Crow already is building a 14-story office building at 1375 W. Fulton Market that could serve as a commercial anchor for the western edge of the neighborhood. The building is slated to be the Chicago base of the job placement site Glassdoor.

At 400 N. Aberdeen, its investment would be in the heart of the expanding commercial and residential district. The proposed high-rise would contain ground-floor retail space and 150 parking spaces, the application said.

Trammell Crow said it was filing with the consent of property owners Thomas Comforte and David Gamperl, both prominent investors on the Near West Side. A four-story building and parking lot currently occupy the site.

Damone Richardson, chairman of the development committee for the West Loop Community Organization, said the group hasn’t made a recommendation yet but has seen no trouble with the 400 N. Aberdeen proposal. “It’s been important to us to get that property activated,” he said.

Ownership of 1101 W. Carroll also includes Comforte or trusts for his family. Their proposed high-rise includes an unusually large parking component—282 spaces—and four loading docks. It would replace a one-story industrial building.

The project was the subject of a “somewhat contentious” community meeting, Richardson said. He said the group has made no recommendation about 1101 W. Carroll.

People involved with the developments could not be reached or did not return calls.

City planners, acting out of concern about the pace of development in what used to be a wholesale market for meat and produce sales, have hired a consultant to examine whether the streets, sewers and other infrastructure can handle the changes.