Big developments from heavy hitters greenlit for 1,500 apartments

Chicago Plan Commission OK’d plans from Sterling Bay, and Weldon Development Group and Mark Goodman & Associates amid explosive demand

Sterling Bay, Weldon, Mark Goodman Greenlit for Apartment Projects
Sterling Bay’s Andy Gloor, developer Mark Goodman and Weldon Development’s Theodore Weldon (LinkedIn, MGA Chicago, Weldon Group, Getty)

The Chicago Plan Commission greenlit three large multifamily projects in the West Loop and Near Northwest Side neighborhoods, which have seen explosive growth and surging rental demand in recent years.

The projects are expected to yield nearly 1,500 new apartments, with 294 of them being affordable, the Chicago Tribune reported

The largest of the three is spearheaded by Weldon Development Group and Mark Goodman & Associates. Their $300 million plan calls for a two-tower complex with up to 794 units, at 400 North Elizabeth Street, in the Fulton Market district. It will feature a public dog park and lawn. The estimated cost comes to almost $378,000 per unit.

Chicago heavyweight Sterling Bay is at the helm of the two other projects. One is a 29-story, 390-unit apartment tower, at 370 North Carpenter Street, in Fulton Market, which will rise next to  Trammell Crow Company’s life sciences facility.

The other apartment building, on the Northwest Side, will rise 24 stories and feature 355 units, at 2033 North Kingsbury Street. Notably, the site is just east of Sterling Bay’s planned $6 billion mega development Lincoln Yards

At 400 North Elizabeth, Weldon and Mark Goodman previously planned a 16-story life sciences building, but they pivoted to apartments due to rising interest rates and decreased venture capital funding. 

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Their proposal faced some pushback, with neighbors concerned about insufficient community outreach and the potential impact on the neighborhood. The project’s supporters, including John Bosca from Neighbors of River West, acknowledged neighbors’ resistance.

“Any time there is dramatic change, there are going to be those that have a difficult time with it,” he said.

Alderman Walter Burnett, of the 27th Ward, pointed out that the developers conducted at least eight community meetings. He argued that the two-tower complex would provide much-needed green space and vitalize the area, potentially attracting retailers, restaurants and other businesses.

The three projects, which are headed to city council for final approval, reflect confidence in the strength of Chicago’s multifamily market, while addressing the city’s glaring affordable housing shortage. 

Last summer, Chicago led the nation in rent growth, increasing by 3.6 percent year-over-year. That number was triple the national average.

—Quinn Donoghue 

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