The growth of Chicago’s Fulton Market District has been nothing short of incredible over the last decade. Underbuilt land, proximity to The Loop, and a “me, too” attitude by developers and tech companies trying to gather the crumbs falling from the Google gravy train have vaulted the area from urban workhorse, over hipster haven, straight into bustling tech hub. It’s a taxman’s dream come true.
The latest Next Big Thing™ proposed for the former slaughterhouse district is an enormous commercial development from IBT Group and Lamb Partners. This kind of urban transformation isn’t new to IBT, which is walking distance away. It’s the firm responsible for the Near West Side Target store.
IBT doesn’t have a name for the 1.2 million square-foot building, which will eat the entire 3.3 acre 1200 block of West Fulton Market. It was designed by New York’s S9 Architecture, which has made a name for itself stacking blocks on top of blocks and making them hang over each other from Brooklyn to the bluffs of Saint Paul. If you’re into that sort of thing, this Fulton Market project won’t disappoint.
Crain’s Chicago Business was the beanspiller-in-chief on this one, and reports that it the block’s tower will be 24 stories tall. A boutique hotel is also planned, along with streetfront retail all for the bargain price of a half-billion dollars.
Buried in the Crain’s piece is a note that Chicago officials are asking Metra to consider a new West Town station at Ashland Avenue, which would help bring even more office development to the neighborhood. Marketing material for this project, however, shows the potential new Metra station at Ogden Avenue, which would also be welcome. It also shows eight adjacent city blocks ripe for complementary development, and potentially Amazon’s HQ2. However, most non-Chicago analysts rank Chicago’s chances of getting HQ2 at a distant fifth or worse, with New York and San Francisco currently leading the pack.