You have to figure one of the best things about being an architect is seeing your vision become reality. What looked good on the rendering is even more striking once the concrete is poured and design elements begin to take shape. A great example is the new JeffJack Apartments at the corner of Jefferson and Jackson in the West Loop.
The Thomas Roszak Architecture team offered the Chicago Architecture Blog a behind-the-scenes tour of JeffJack this week. I could sense the pride from Thomas Roszak, principal; Mike Moceri, project architect; and Joseph Vartanian, construction manager, as they walked me through the amenity-laden space.
JeffJack is scheduled to be available to tenants around April 1, 2015. The general contractor is Clark Construction. The leasing office will open in early January just off the lobby at 601 West Jackson Boulevard. Rental rates haven’t been established yet, but Roszak said they’d be competitive with other area developments in the range of $3 per square foot.
“We started calling it JeffJack and it just stuck,” Moceri said.
Like many other new apartment developments in and around the West Loop, JeffJack will offer residents a lot of reasons to stay in. The 8,500-square foot amenity space on the 15th floor boasts a fitness area, yoga room, indoor/outdoor pool and hot tub, library area with fireplace, media room with multiple video screens, and a business center.
“It’s not necessarily a ‘view building’ so we have a shared space where all residents can enjoy the view when they use these facilities.”
From the outside, JeffJack will offer a striking street view of glass and concrete. On the Jefferson (east) side, “you see masonry and punched openings, which is kind of reminiscent of the old manufacturing buildings,” Moceri said. “On the Jackson side, we have the new glass façade, we put on fins—or green mullions—that are reminiscent of Chicago prairie grass.”
Inside the apartments, residents will get high-grade design as well.
“Everything is condo quality from the finishing standpoint,” Rozsak said. “Apartments used to be considered kind of cheap, but these have stainless steel appliances, high quality finishes on cabinetry, granite counter tops and tile backsplashes.”
The two-bedroom apartments were also specifically designed so the bedrooms have separation, a nod to the likelihood of non-family-member roommates who prefer a little privacy.
JeffJack is very green, too—it will be LEED Silver certified. And if you venture out on the fourth floor, there will be a lot more green space—a veritable garden of grasses and sedum.
A further environmental bonus in JeffJack is the water retention system designed by the Rozsak team. Rainwater collected at the roof level will be retained and slowly released into the sewer system, meeting one of the newer city requirements.