More rooms with a view coming to classic stretch of Michigan Avenue

A high-rise tower designed by the late Helmut Jahn is expected to welcome its first renters in 2024.

SHARE More rooms with a view coming to classic stretch of Michigan Avenue
1000M under construction at 1000 S. Michigan Ave. on Friday, July 7, 2023 in Chicago.

1000M under construction at 1000 S. Michigan Ave. on Friday.

Owen Ziliak/Sun-Times

NASCAR weekend is over, and Chicago survived. NBC Sports’ dreamy, panning shots of downtown and Grant Park, despite the foul weather, delivered for city officials eager to boost tourism.

The shots also bestowed attention on a flashy addition to the skyline — an apartment tower going up at 1000 S. Michigan Ave., an address that will make the 73-story building prominent in the postcard image of Chicago. It joins the towers that serve as bookends for the northern and southern ends of Grant Park and the Historic Michigan Boulevard District.

Many people noticed something unusual about the design: It angles out over its shorter neighbor to the south at 1006 S. Michigan Ave., so at higher levels the building seems to burst the boundaries of its property lines.

Chicago Enterprise bug

Chicago Enterprise

The design is the result of a zoning deal that increased what the developers could build on a location with lakefront views that cannot be blocked. Conveniently, both buildings are under the same ownership, so dealing with air rights for the shorter property was easy.

Work by McHugh Construction is moving along, and the building, called 1000M, is expected to welcome the first tenants next spring. The owners — Time Equities, JK Equities and Oak Capitals — said they expect the rest of the 738 units will be ready by the end of 2024.

It will be the last Chicago building by Helmut Jahn, an architect of local residency and international renown who died in 2021. Jahn’s other works in Chicago include the Thompson Center in the Loop, now under renovation, and the United Airlines terminal at O’Hare Airport.

His namesake firm continues. Jahn Managing Director Philip Castillo carried 1000M to the finish with necessary changes but said the final product is true to Jahn’s ideas. The two men worked on designs for the site starting in 2015.

Castillo said the building widens on both its south and north faces, allowing a greater variety of unit sizes, many with corner layouts. Jahn “didn’t want this to be just another glass box,” he said. Rather than just an east-west orientation, the building has 360-degree views.

There was enough of a setback on the north side to avoid going over the top of another neighbor.

“The building has a robust concrete core [with] heavier slabs at certain key points” to allow the widening from the base, Castillo said.

The property for years was vacant, a missing tooth in the famous Michigan Avenue street wall. Developers couldn’t get a deal going there. The current investors were sidelined for more than a year early in the pandemic when financiers got nervous about empty downtowns and inflation in real estate construction.

In late 2021, Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs rescued the project with a $304.5 million construction loan. The developers used the break to shave the building’s height and switch it from condos to rentals. The city signed off on the changes that year.

Castillo said the project also advanced because the developers owned the 1000 and 1006 S. Michigan parcels and another on Wabash Avenue that provides vehicle access to the high-rise. He said that solved the complication of being unable to put curb cuts on Michigan.

Living in the clouds commands sky-high rents, and that’s to be expected at 1000M. The only exception is that 23 units will be marketed as affordable under terms of a city ordinance. The developers are paying $828,000 to support off-site affordable housing and $407,000 into Chicago’s Neighborhood Opportunity Fund that supports projects outside of downtown.

Tamina Sheikh, senior regional property manager at Lincoln Property, said the project will start marketing to renters this week at 1000mchicago.com. People can put their names on a list, but rental amounts won’t be quoted until early September, she said.

For a comparison in the luxury market, the taller NEMA Chicago tower at 1210 S. Indiana Ave. quotes monthly rents from about $2,000 for a studio to almost $8,000 for the largest three-bedrooms.

Sheikh said she expects strong demand despite worries about the economy and the litany of issues with dense urban living.

“I believe there will be a demand for a unique product with apartments that are very well thought out,” Sheikh said.

1000M will have more than 80,000 square feet of amenities, including private dining on the 73rd floor.

Robert Singer, director of development at Time Equities, said in a statement, “We’ve had the benefit of time to completely redesign the apartments and public areas — every detail has been carefully optimized. We hope to exceed resident expectations, which is, of course, not an easy thing to do.”

The South Michigan area is “maybe the premier residential neighborhood in the city,” Singer said. He’ll get an argument on that, but for now, he’s entitled to boast.

Drone shot of construction at 1000 S. Michigan Ave.

A drone shot of construction Wednesday at the 73-story building 1000M at 1000 S. Michigan Ave.

McHugh Construction

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