K2, Last Skyscraper at K Station, Officially Breaks Ground

Drawing of K2

Groundbreaking ceremonies were held earlier today for K2, the 34-story apartment tower that represents the final piece of the development known as K Station.

With the rumble and squeal of 120 caissons being laid in the background, the architects, developers, partners, backers, bankers, and others showed up in a dusty lot next to the construction site for the ceremony this morning.

Instead of turning dirt with a brass shovel, a time capsule was sealed with mementos of life in 2011.  It will be opened in 2111.  Among the items in the time capsule are a copy of Crain’s Chicago Business, a Chicago Tribune, a printed Google satellite map of the area, a Chicago Blackhawks pennant, and someone’s old Blackberry.


Here are the vitals on the building:

  • Developers: Fifield Companies and Wood Partners
  • Architecture firm: Papageorge/Haymes
  • General contractor: McHugh Construction
  • Anticipated completion: 2013
  • Floors: 34
  • Apartments: 496
  • Address: 365 North Halsted Street
  • The building will connect at ground level on West Kinzie Street, and to the bridge level of North Halsted Street.
  • Plank flooring.
  • Higher ceilings than previous K Station buildings.

If you visited the site a little over a decade ago, all you would have seen is railroad tracks, vacant lots, a couple of die hard bars, and Blommer’s Chocolate Factory.  Today, there are thousands of people living in a mini-neighborhood that enjoys close proximity to downtown Chicago, but still manages to maintain its distance.

Brain Kidd, David Haymes, and George Pappageorge, of Pappageorge/Haymes

Brain Kidd, David Haymes, and George Pappageorge, of Pappageorge/Haymes

Unlike other urban pioneer projects like Presidential Towers, this one was better thought out, with a park, a strip mall, and a big grocery store that has named its aisles after local streets.  A nice little connection to the neighborhood.

Though the developer, Fifield Company, likes to call this the “far West Loop,” it is actually the Fulton River District, which has gained its own reputation lately for edgy restaurants and interesting living. When K2 is finished, K Station will have 2,145 apartments.

There is video of the event over on YoChicago.

Read the full press releases after the photo gallery.

Fifield Companies and Wood Partners Break Ground on K2,
Fifth and Final Luxury Apartment Tower at K Station in Chicago

CHICAGO (Nov. 2, 2011) – Seven years after ground was broken on the first apartment tower at the K Station master-planned community, Chicago-based Fifield Companies and national developer Wood Partners announce they will start construction this month on the development’s fifth and final apartment building, K2.

K2 will be built on a one-acre site at 365 N. Halsted St., and is a joint venture between Fifield Companies and Wood Partners, one of the top five multifamily real estate companies in the United States. The 34-story apartment tower will include 496 units and 348 parking spaces. McHugh Construction is the general contractor and Pappageorge/Haymes is the architect for the project, which is scheduled for completion in 2013.

“We’re thrilled with the continued success of K Station, and look forward to K2 being the grand finale of this incredible development,” said Randy Fifield, vice chair and principal with Fifield Companies. “Anticipating market demand and being ahead of the curve on trends is what we do best. The construction of K Station coincided with the downturn in the for-sale residential market, and we were able to fill a need for upscale apartments with stellar on-site amenities.

“In fact, our work with the two-tower Alta at K Station apartment building helped us earn the Developer of the Year award at the 2011 Chicago Commercial Real Estate Awards, but we’re not resting on our laurels,” continued Fifield. “If anything, we want K2 to set a new bar for downtown apartment amenities, services and finishes.”

K2 is the first Chicago-area development for Wood Partners and will contribute to the more than 4,000 units started nationwide by the company this year.

“With our recent expansion to the Pacific Northwest and the Northeast regions, Chicago is one of the last major metropolitan areas Wood Partners has yet to enter and it really rounds out our national presence,” said Central Region Director for Wood Partners Patrick Trask. Wood Partners’ Central Region includes Texas, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and the Midwest. “Chicago has seen very little new supply of apartments over the last few years, and combined with recent positive job announcements, it makes an attractive market for us.

“We want a big presence here and are excited to team up with Fifield on our first deal,” said Trask. “The two companies really complement each other and have a vast amount of local expertise.”

Construction funding for the project came from a consortium of commercial banks including, The PrivateBank Chicago, which was the leading lender for the project and represented by James Turner, Jason Baeten and Nathan R. Podratz; Comerica Bank represented by Laura Anderson in Houston; Fifth Third Bank represented by Elizabeth Hozian; Cole Taylor Bank represented by John Parsinen; and Bank of the West represented by Mark Wortmann.

Trask noted that K2 follows the delivery of five major towers in downtown Chicago between 2009 and 2010 with more than 2,200 units that the market readily absorbed, including the two-tower Alta at K Station, Park Huron, EnV and Flair Tower.

“With the shift from home ownership to rental, as well as positive job growth in downtown Chicago, the city continues to absorb 2,000 new rental units per year,” said Fifield. “Even with the recent announcement of 2,000-plus new apartment units at Coast at Lake Shore East, 500 Lake Shore Drive, AMLI River North and K2, the staggered deliveries of these buildings in 2013 and 2014 will only satisfy half of the current rental demand.”

Residences at K2 will include studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. Interiors will feature luxury finishes such as nine-foot ceilings, stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops, plank flooring and Grohe fixtures. Rental rates have not been determined.

K2 will feature a two-story entrance and lobby with a floor-to-ceiling window wall showcasing views of Chicago’s Loop. All on-site amenities will be located on the building’s first floor.

Residents will have access to a variety of high-end amenities at K2, including two lounge and party areas, each featuring large flat-panel televisions with surround sound, multiple seating and table vignettes and pool tables. Each lounge area will have a fireplace and open to the outdoor pool deck.

“The pool areas at our other K Station towers have become mandatory destinations for residents, so we wanted to make sure the deck and pool area at K2 would take it up a few more notches to offer Chicago’s most exclusive outdoor experience,” said Fifield.

At the center of K2’s outdoor amenity area is a 70-foot lap pool with four full-sized swimming lanes. The pool deck will feature four cabanas, including two that can be completely enclosed for outdoor massages. The outdoor lounge area comes with a gas fire pit and direct access to both interior party rooms and lounge areas.

Inside K2’s business center will be six computer stations and a separate boardroom for residents’ business needs. A theater room will feature a 120-inch projection television system with THX 5.1 surround sound and 17 reclining leather seats in stadium-style seating.

The building will also offer a state-of-the-art exercise facility, including a 27-station, two-story workout area overlooking the deck and pool. The exercise area will offer a full complement of weight training and aerobic equipment. All aerobic equipment will feature iPod docs and flat-panel televisions. A dual-purpose, wood-floored room will serve as a yoga and basketball court. The exercise facility will also have men’s and women’s locker rooms complete with steam rooms, showers, and lockers.

Bicycle storage was also a top priority in the design of K2 due to the building’s proximity to downtown Chicago’s existing and future protected bike lanes. K2 has been designed to offer bicycle commuters an ideal ingress/egress point and can accommodate storage for 200 bicycles in its three-story parking garage.

“There may be other new apartment buildings on the drawing boards, but K2 is the only one under construction in the West Loop that offers such direct access to the restaurants and boutiques of Randolph Street and Greek Town,” said Fifield. “Plus, its location on Halsted Street puts residents just minutes from the Halsted/Clybourn/North intersection and shopping corridor. And its proximity to the train stations and Loop is excellent for the business force.

“In some ways, we’ve saved the best for last with K2 – it’s the peak of luxury and lifestyle,” added Fifield.

For more information on K2, visit www.k2apartments.com.

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at chicagoarchitectureinfo@gmail.com.

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