Taking advantage of strong demand for downtown housing as markets emerge from the pandemic, developers said they plan a 21-story building in Streeterville that will include offices, stores and 248 apartments.
The project will replace a parking garage at 535 N. St. Clair St. Plans call for construction to start later this year, with completion in early 2024.
Situated a block east of Michigan Avenue, the building will offer 40,000 square feet for offices that the developers are marketing as a flagship location. The project is a joint venture of Mavrek Development, GW Properties and Luxury Living Chicago Realty.
They said the building, with architecture by NORR, includes design cues suggested by the pandemic, such as apartments that include work-from-home space. Tenants and office users will have access to a co-working lounge and a fitness center, the developers said. There will be a rooftop deck with a pool.
Adam Friedberg, partner at Mavrek, said the site at the northeast corner of St. Clair and Grand Avenue is well-suited for a blend of uses, including street-level retail and parking for 100 cars.
“We have seen a shift in renter demand asking for more one-bedroom-plus-den spaces and paying premiums for units with private outdoor space,” said Aaron Galvin, founder of Luxury Living Chicago Realty.
The building will fit within the current zoning on the site, so there will be no City Council vote on the project. Downtown Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd), who announced the project in an email to constituents, said developers agreed with his request to reduce the parking allotment from 138 spaces.
Development in Streeterville has slowed in recent years, with many prime sites gone or awaiting a construction go-ahead as investors gauged the effects of the pandemic and rising crime around downtown. But activity could be due to pick up. A hotel has been approved for an empty lot at 150 E. Ontario St. Residential plans include two towers eyed for 400 N. Lake Shore Drive, site of the failed Chicago Spire proposal, and a high-rise east of the condo conversion at Tribune Tower.
Even with rents that have topped pre-pandemic rates, demand for downtown apartments remains strong, with occupancies about 95%, said Ron DeVries, senior managing director at Integra Realty Resources. “The pandemic has not abated the demand for urban living,” he said in a market analysis published in January.
Mavrek has built new homes in Chicago neighborhoods while GW specializes in retail space.