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Developer lays plans for Fulton Market housing influx

A zoning proposal from LG Development calls for 665 units, and another 400 may be in the offing.

A portion of the LG Development Group site, which includes the former Leon’s Sausage building at 1143 W. Lake St.
A portion of the LG Development Group site, which includes the former Leon’s Sausage building at 1143 W. Lake St.
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Reacting to an uptick in demand for rental housing, a developer has proposed building 665 units in Fulton Market and may soon file a separate request for 400 more.

LG Development Group submitted a zoning proposal for property covering both sides of Lake Street between May Street and Racine Avenue. It marks a switch from a prior plan LG had offered that had offices in the mix.

Daniel Haughney, chief investment officer, said the office market became too uncertain after COVID-19. He said LG has seen demand pick up for apartments.

“In our portfolio, we’ve seen a really solid beginning of the recovery starting in mid-December” with vacancies dipping and rental concessions ending, Haughney said.

He also said the proposal is a response to the city’s decision this year to end a prohibition on Fulton Market housing north of Lake Street. “You’ve got a really nice mix of office tenants and hospitality. We thought there is a lot of room for housing,” Haughney said.

A vacant site on the north side of Lake would get a 20-story building with 176 units under LG’s proposal. Haughney said the building on the south side would be 28 stories with 486 units. The zoning application in one place lists it as 33 stories, but Haughney said the height has been reduced. Both buildings would have retail space on the lower floors.

The development is sizable even by Fulton Market standards, covering nearly 2 acres and with part of the site extending to Randolph Street. The developer is proposing 290 parking spaces.

The zoning proposal will be introduced to the City Council on Wednesday. It will get a hearing in the zoning committee before a vote by the full council.

In the meantime, Haughney said LG will begin meetings with community groups on the Near West Side. “We want to work in good faith with the neighbors,” he said.

He said LG soon will introduce plans for about 400 more apartments at 210 N. Aberdeen St. It previously eyed offices and a hotel for the site.

The architecture firm Gensler has drafted plans for the Lake Street properties. LG has acknowledged the city’s affordable housing ordinance will limit the rents it can charge on 20%, or 133, of the units. Haughney said the developer is in talks with the city about how many units will be within the development and how many will be built, at LG’s cost, at a nearby site.

Its site south of Lake Street includes low-slung buildings, one of which used to house Leon’s Sausage. The business has moved to Back of the Yards.