Tiny West Loop Park Getting a Great Big Skyscraper

“There’s plenty of room for a thousand new homes next to Heritage Green,” said nobody ever. But that’s what’s about to happen now that the Chicago Plan Commission has approved Jamal Properties’ commissioned plan to put up two SCB-Designed skyscrapers on a pair of surface parking lots between the over-loved patch of grass and the five-building Presidential Towers complex.

August, 2021 rendering of 601 West Monroe.
August, 2021 rendering of 601 West Monroe.

601 West Monroe is one project of two towers sharing a common podium, and as such will be constructed in two phases. The first being the tower along West Monroe Street, followed by the tower along South Desplaines Street, across the street from the Frances Xavier Warde School’s Old Saint Pat’s campus.

Even though the elimination of a large blotch of surface parking has us giddy as a $100 T-shirt vendor outside of the Aragon Ballroom during a Twenty One Pilots concert, we can’t help but wonder what will become of the tiny park. In a section of downtown Chicago that is already tragically undergreened, it has been hugged nearly to death by an increasing number of people and their perpetually leaky dogs over the last ten years. That’s not mud you’re tracking onto your soft loft’s bespoke sustainable bamboo floors.

The developer of this project has pledged to construct a small public dog park on its property, and to add eight Norway Spruce trees to the park. That’s great. But contrary to local ordinances, Heritage Green is already effectively one massive dog park. Even if only two in ten of the new apartments has a dog (a gross underestimation), that’s two hundred more dogs. Which means a minimum of four hundred daily additional “uses” of the available space. In a word: Eeeeeew.

Here’s the rest of what this project is barking about:

  • Address: 601 West Monroe Street
  • Residences: 1,053
  • Affordable housing:
    • 26 units on site, all on the lowest floors of the buildings
      • Four bedrooms: 3
      • Two bedrooms: 4
      • One bedroom: 9
      • Studios: 10
    • $14,847,181 paid instead of building 79 more affordable units
  • Length: 248 feet, 10 inches
  • Width: 196 feet, 10 inches
  • Retail space: About 20,000 square feet
  • Automobile parking: 430 spaces
  • North tower
    • Floors: 45
    • Maximum height: 535 feet
    • Mechanical roof height: 522 feet, four inches
    • Roof height: 490 feet
    • Podium height: 64 feet
    • Residences: 537
  • West tower
    • Floors: 38
    • Maximum height: 465 feet
    • Mechanical roof height; 454 feet, four inches
    • Roof height: 420 feet
    • Podium height: 64 feet
    • Residences: 516
  • Distance from Presidential Towers IV: 100 feet

Location: 601 West Monroe Street, West Loop

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at chicagoarchitectureinfo@gmail.com.

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