New West Town Tower Liked by Neighbors, the Savior of a Beloved Bank

Drawing of 171 North Halsted

Drawing of 171 North Halsted

Last night, residents of Greektown, West Town, and the West Loop gave a collective thumb’s up to the new residential tower proposed for the intersection of Lake and Halsted Streets.

The skyscraper, which is currently using the name 171 North Halsted, will replace a dilapidated hardware store and provide much-needed apartments in an area where the residents have traditionally been wary of  those of us with transient lifestyles.  It is perhaps the building’s location at the edge of the Fulton River District that makes it more palatable to the West Loopers who so often fear apartment buildings.  As has been expressed repeatedly in public fora, apartment buildings bring “those kind of people” to the neighborhood.   “Those kind of people” must be a condo-owner code word for “high-earning two-income couples with no children.”  How terrible.

Our own reporter Mary Chmielewicz was at last night’s meeting and fills us in on the details:

  • Architecture firm: Booth Hansen
  • Developer: Shapack Partners
  • Developer: Focus Development
  • Developer: Atlantic Realty Partners
  • Height: 320 feet
  • 227 apartments, renting for about $3 per square foot
  • Townhomes with private terraces on levels 5 and 6
  • 170 car parking spaces
  • 60 bicycle parking spaces
  • Parking garage entrance off of West Couch Place
  • Loading dock is on West Lake Street
  • Halsted sidewalk will be widened
  • Amenity levels include dog run and dog wash, indoor/outdoor kitchen, cabanas and a lawn
  • Planning Department has already signed off on the project
  • No zoning change is required to build this tower
  • Halsted and Lake intersection will be reconfigured with left turn lanes to mitigate traffic impact
  • LEED Silver certification
  • Groundbreaking expected in 2015
  • Union construction labor

In order to get a little extra height for this project, the developers have decided to use the city’s “Adopt a Landmark” program.  They pledge to fix up the former Mid-City Trust and Savings Bank building at 2 South Halsted.  The building has been empty for a very long time and is in rough shape, but it’s a neighborhood landmark and loved by those who pass it every day.

Location: 171 North Halsted Street, West Town

 Chicago Architecture Blog reporter Mary Chmielewicz contributed to this report.


Author: Editor

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

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