New South Loop Tower To Deliver Maxwell Street Market Views

Diagram of 571 West Polk Street

If you wanted to build a new residential tower downtown, but also wanted to be an urban pioneer at the same time, where would you put it?  Streeterville’s pretty much full.  River North’s a cliché.  The South Loop has been done to death or has it?

What if you put your shiny new residential tower in that quadrant north of Roosevelt Road and south of Congress Parkway sandwiched between the Dan Ryan Expressway and the Chicago River?  It’s quiet.  Tube socks and used records are readily available at the new Maxwell Street Market a block away.  And real estate marketers haven’t given it a silly New York-style abbreviated name yet.  It’s a hipster paradise, without having to suffer the indignities of an Orange Line  commute from Bridgeport to the West Loop.

All that and more is the potential of 571 West Polk, a 22-story residential block proposed for the southwest corner of West Polk Street and South Jefferson Street.  The tower portion actually sits mid-block in the western half of an existing surface parking lot.  A three-story brick building on the corner is incorporated into the design.

Even though the building will be just 22 stories tall, it’ll really stand out because all of its immediate neighbors are one, two, and three stories; with an eight-story building on West Cabrini Street.

Aside from its location, there’s not too much remarkable about this building.  But it could signal a new wave of residential development in this quadrant of the South Loop.  Already retail development is flourishing on its southern border, along and adjacent to Roosevelt Road.  And while there are some early-adopter loft-type residential buildings scattered around, there are plenty of surface parking lots just begging to have a nice skyscraper stabbed through their black, asphalt hearts. Proximity to the Loop and the West Loop for work is excellent, though the CTA’s coverage of the area is pretty minimal.

It’s worth keeping an eye on this building to see if it becomes the first sapling in another Chicago submarket skyscraper forest.

Here’s the firehose:

  • Address: 571 West Polk Street
  • Address: 805 South Jefferson Street
  • Developer: 571 W. Polk, LLC
  • Architecture Firm: Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture
  • Floors: 22
  • Height: 265 feet
  • Length: 256 feet
  • Width: 80 feet
  • Residences: 110
  • Gross Site Area: 35,491 square feet
  • Net Site Area: 20,453 square feet
  • Current Zoning: DS-5
  • Floor Area Ratio: 7
  • Loading docks: 1
  • Parking spaces: 112

Location: 571 West Polk Street, South Loop

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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