Construction Update
AMLI Clark & Polk

AMLI Lofts drawing

Pre-pasonry drawing of AMLI Clark & Polk

With AMLI River North (71 West Hubbard Street) at its maximum height and rapidly approaching completion, it’s time to turn out attention to another AMLI project going up in the South Loop: AMLI Clark & Polk (800 South Clark Street), formerly known as AMLI Lofts.

Pile driving for the foundation has been going on for a couple of weeks now, and should continue through the beginning of May according to Ed Schuster, the project manager from Walsh Construction.

Pre-construction photograph showing the location of AMLI Clark & Polk

Pre-construction photograph showing the location of AMLI Clark & Polk

It’s been a little over a year since we last profiled this development, but it hasn’t changed that much. It’s still a pair of L-shaped mid-rises with 199 apartments in each. There’s also a 280-space parking garage and 5,000 square feet of retail space.

Architect Dick Mann says that in response to complaints from the community about his plan to use colored metal panels for the facade, 70% of it has been changed to masonry to better match other buildings in the neighborhood.

The first residents should move in next summer, with completion expected by October, 2014. Rents are expected to be about the same as the ALMI 900 building down the street.

This location was previously approved by the city for a project called The Avalon Clark.  It was a pair of 50-story towers with 1,000 apartments, and a 1,000-space parking garage.

The Great Recession killed that idea, so here’s the specs on what is happening now:

North Tower

  • 1.68 acres
  • Height: 11 stories
  • Residences: 199
  • Retail space: 9,000 square feet
  • Parking: 140 spaces (0.7 spaces per unit)
  • Green space: 11,000 square feet (50% more than required)
  • Polk Street setback: 12 feet for retail, 17 feet for tower
  • Clark Street setback: five feet for retail, 10 feet for tower
  • Six-foot-wide green space between sidewalk and Polk Street

South Tower

  • 1.81 acres
  • Height: 11 stories
  • Residences: 199
  • Parking: 140 spaces (0.7 spaces per unit)
  • Green space: 13,700 square feet (90% more than required)
  • Clark Street setback: +3 feet from right of way, sidewalks 9-11 feet wide. Current sidewalk 6 feet wide on Clark, 7 feet on Polk.
  • Project size: 3.5 acres
  • Amenity deck with pool, barbecue, etc…

Both towers together:

  • Residences: 398
  • Trying for LEED Silver rating
  • Trying to exceed LEED requirements by 17%
  • 75% of construction waste will be recycled (50% required by the city)
  • Built with materials with recycled content.
  • Built with locally sourced materials where possible.
  • Resident recycling program.
  • Individual climate controls.
  • One-story parking garage preserves views for many at Folio Square.
  • Architect took deliberate measure to de-canyonize the project to give it a neighborhood feel.  ”This is not La Salle Street.”
  • Rooftop sun deck
  • All vehicular access comes from West Ninth Street and West Polk Street.
  • Trying to draw people off of Roosevelt Road into the neighborhood.
  • National retail is going extremely well on Roosevelt Road, shows that there are opportunities for infill retail in the South Loop.
  • Retail setback at Clark and Polk intended for outdoor dining  in case a restaurant moves in.
  • Expected to reduce traffic in the area because people can walk to downtown; there are many transit options; and pick-up, drop-off, and loading areas are on the property, not on the street.
  • Dog run

Author: Editor

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

Share This Post On