Developers to bring over 9,000 apartments to Chicago’s West Loop

Much of the area’s development is coming in the hot Fulton Market District

Chicago /
Mar.March 30, 2022 12:06 PM

Sterling Bay’s Andy Gloor with aerial view of 160 and 180 N Morgan Street (Sterling Bay, bKL Architecture)

The West Loop is having an apartment development boom unlike anywhere else in Chicago.

The neighborhood has 9,065 units planned or under construction — more than the rest of downtown Chicago neighborhoods combined.

Much of the development is coming within the Fulton Market District, an up-and-coming area of the city where both apartments and offices are in demand, according to Crain’s.

“It’s a pretty staggering amount,” Matt Letourneau, president of Neighbors of West Loop, a residents’ group, told Crain’s. “We often ask questions about whether there are enough tenants” to fill all those apartments.

Chicago-based Sterling Bay will begin construction this week on a 30-story building at 160 N. Morgan St. The project is one of 19 multifamily developments planned or under construction in Fulton Market. One reason for the staggering growth: Google and other tech companies moved into the area within the last several years.

“With its strong pipeline of incoming corporate headquarters, innovative retailers and promising tech ventures, the area now needs more multifamily options that can accommodate a young, modern workforce,” Sterling Bay CEO Andy Gloor says in a statement.

The additional apartments, and the tenants they bring, will likely transform the neighborhood, with additional density and a modern neighborhood where residents have access to housing, jobs and retail. The new residents also will put additional strains on infrastructure.

Sterling Bay is also planning three more buildings with 1,371 apartments in the neighborhood, one at 1245 W. Fulton St. and two at 1300 W. Carroll St. Related Midwest is constructing a 43-story, 300-unit apartment tower at Randolph and Peoria streets. And a venture led by Chicago developer Tom Roszak is building a 27-story, 375-unit project at Randolph and Elizabeth streets, and Shapack Partners is planning two Fulton Market projects totaling 591 apartments, while Fulton Street Cos. plans two buildings with 833.

Much of the boom came because Fulton Market lifted a residential zoning ban last year.

The projects in the planning stages aren’t a done deal. Rising interest rates, increased construction costs, city approval and a recession could all factor into whether they will actually be developed.

Rents in the downtown area continue to climb, while other cities are still rebounding from pandemic departures, data show.The average rent in Chicago was $2,332 a month in January 2022. That’s an increase of 6.1 percent from that time last year, according to data from Redfin.

[Crain’s] — Miranda Davis






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