West Loop residents got a preview of two proposed Fulton Market developments–and a chance to speak their minds–on Tuesday evening. Both properties will require a rezoning to C3-5 designation as planned developments.
Alderman Walter Burnett, Jr. and the West Loop Community Organization hosted the gathering at the Merit School of Music. About 60 residents listened intently to the presentation by developer Jeffrey Shapack, with follow-up questions and comments.
The meeting began with Shapack’s description of the first development at 801-811 West Fulton Market. The proposed six-story building (with a seventh floor pop-up and rooftop deck) is designed for retail at ground level with office space on the floors above. The structure will have three sides of glass and brick, and brick alone on one side. The design will be similar to the renovated Soho House (another Shapack project) a couple of blocks to the south.
Shapack said one tenant has already committed to rent the entire structure. He wouldn’t divulge the name of the tenant but offered that it was a “creative” company. After reviewing a rendering, Shapack took questions. Things started off on a bit of a sour note (pardon the Merit School of Music pun) when one resident asked the developer icily what he thought of the new Fulton Market sign just west of Halsted.
This wasn’t Shapack’s first rodeo and he didn’t take the bait.
“I think it’s an interesting way to signify a neighborhood,” he said diplomatically.
Another resident asked whether a stoplight was planned anytime soon at the increasingly busy intersection of Fulton Market and Halsted. Shapack reported that a stoplight for the intersection has been approved and funded.
Since Fulton Market is largely industrial and the Halsted-Fulton Market intersection has few neighboring residential buildings, comments were neither for nor against the design or the presence of the structure. The developers plan to bring the Fulton Market proposal to the Chicago Plan Commission for review later this month.
Shapack then provided a description of his second proposed development at 213-223 North Peoria Street. The 10-story commercial building will sit on what is now a vacant lot midway between Fulton Market and Lake Street. The first floor will have a lobby and retail space, with parking on floors two through five and offices on floors six through ten.
The original plan called for 13 stories, but after meeting with city planners, Shapack said the size was reduced a couple of times to the current ten. The height is dictated by the 2014 Fulton Market Innovation District (FMID) plan. The design is not finalized but Shapack said it would be consistent with the intent of the FMID plan as well. Floors six through ten will hold approximately 10,000 square feet of office space.
Although it’s a tall building for this area (second in height to 1K Fulton Market), he said it would be designed to not look overly tall. For example, I-beams will be placed between each set of two floors to offer the illusion of five long stories instead of 10 standard-size stories.
Comments from the residents included a common concern in the West Loop—what impact will both of these buildings have on parking. Shapack said both buildings would have assigned parking (inside the Peoria Street development and outside the Fulton Market building), but that it was likely employees would find the CTA and Uber or taxi service attractive alternatives to driving. He also pointed to a soon to be opened WeBike indoor bike parking facility with space for 223 bicycles.