What would you do if you had a tiny lot just begging for improvement? Why, you’d build tiny apartments on it, naturally. Which is just what Chicago’s LG Development Group wants to do with the empty lot at 776 South Dearborn Street in the South Loop.
At Monday night’s community meeting, hosted by the Near South Planning Board Monday night at the Hilton Chicago, LG announced plans to erect a 14-story building (with a 15th-story amenity deck) on the 4,700-square-foot property at the south end of Printers Row. The Transit Oriented Development, designed by Evanston firm Myefski Architects, would consist of 90 micro-units and 40 extended stay units, with retail space at ground level.
The micro-units, becoming all the rage in today’s bang-for-your-buck real estate rental market, would come with flexibly furnished and cater to those looking to spend more time at work and at play than at home. Interestingly, small pets would likely be welcomed in the small units, but roommates would not; leases would stipulate one person per apartment, and would begin with a 12-month minimum stay.
The extended stay units would be geared toward corporate housing. Also fully furnished, leases would run month-to-month, with just a one-month minimum stay.
The retail space, originally envisioned to occupy the Dearborn facing of the building, has been swung around to the south onto Polk Street to provide a presence to the south facade, while the min entrance would be placed on the Dearborn “front” of the structure. In another nod to public request, the Federal Street facing would contain service entrances, but would be built with the same styling as the front, so as not to burden the Federal Street facade with a “back of the building” vibe. being a fully-furnished project, with only a small amount of retail space, 776 South Dearborn can avoid building a loading dock, so that won’t ever be an issue.
Also not an issue: Cars entering and exiting the building.. There are precisely zero parking spaces included, the ultimate TOD.
Planned as it is for inclusion in an Historical District, the Chicago Landmarks Commission has been very active in determining how 776 looks fit into the South Dearborn streetscape. Initially pegged as a shorter tower, the Commission instead requested the building match the height of its next-door neighbor to the north, The Franklin Building at 720 South Dearborn. The development team obliged, and also designed the top-floor amenities to occupy the southern portion of that upper-most level, so as to lessen the infringement on The Franklin residents.
LG Group, which will also serve as the general contractor for 776 South Dearborn, hopes to break ground this summer, and expects a 12-13 month build time for completion.