Another developer is joining the party in putting up a residential tower that will help insulate West Town from the Eisenhower Expressway. Friends of the blog, Related Midwest, is stepping into a new downtown Chicago sub-market with its proposal for 1035 West Van Buren Street. The news was first reported by Crain’s Chicago Business.
Related’s planned 23-story apartment tower joins another proposal immediately next door at 1061 West Van Buren. That 33-story proposal was designed by Arquitectonica and is being developed by Pizzuti Companies out in Columbus, Ohio.
We last heard from the 1061 project in April of 2014, when it was presented to the neighbors at a public meeting. While the usual cadre of vocal NIMBYs were in attendance, Chicago Architecture Blog reporter Bill Motchan told us that overall, it got a much better reception than most local projects.
It may not seem like both the Pizzuti and Related projects could fit in that space. But back in April, Mr. Motchan reported that the Pizutti plan included buying the southern stub of Aberdeen Street from the city and demolishing the building where Blue Plate Catering was located. Blue Plate, Crain’s recently reported, has found a better location in the West Loop and will move soon, perhaps clearing the way for 1061.
There are indications that Related may be in a hurry to get 1035 built, as CBRE lists the 15,129-square feet of ground floor retail space as, “Anticipated delivery in the fourth quarter of 2015.” With both projects potentially moving by the time the ground thaws, we could see dueling cranes in the city’s skyline once again.
Related isn’t the first developer to plant a flag at 1035 West Van Buren. Early in this century, Fitzgerald Associates put together a residential building for this location for Smithfield Properties. It was originally planned to be 333 feet tall, but was reduced to 260 feet in 2008. That plan, and the zoning that went with it, officially died June 3, 2009.
The Related and Pizzuti buildings help fulfill one of the major design goals for Greektown and West Town — to build a fence of tall buildings between the neighborhoods and the noisy, ugly freeway. You can see the Greektown portion of this plan taking shape in buildings like Arkadia and Skybridge. Now it’s the southern edge that’s getting a little treatment.