North Union is a new mega-development on the Near North Side, from developer JDL and Hartshorne Plunkard architecture. The five phase development will take up roughly 8 acres of land that Moody Bible Institute land.
The $1.3B project will be constructed in five phases and is expected to include over 2600 rental units, lots of commercial space, and over 2.5 acres of public park space. The park will feature open lawn space, a dog park, and a playground area.
878 N Wells Street will be the first of three buildings in phase one of the North Union development. It will also be the largest, with 428 units and over 5000 square feet of ground level commercial space.
The next building in phase one will be 232 W Chestnut, a five story building with 35 units, followed by a four story building at 871 N Franklin. The units at 232 W Chestnut will be larger than the others and have balconies on corner units. The final step of phase one will be a portion of public green space.
The master plan has already been approved by the city department of planning and development with the final phase expected to break ground in 2027.
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The Southbank development in the South Loop has changed names, hands, and plans over the past few years. With such a prime riverfront parcel and over two acres of park space, it’s easy to see why this land has been in such high demand. What began as one mega-development has now split into two multi-phase developments: the northern portion, Southbank, is being developed by Lendlease and the southern portion is being developed independently by CMK.
In 2018, The Cooper was the first of the residential Southbank buildings delivered. The rental building leased up its luxury apartments quickly and was known for having some of the most creative and useful amenities in the area. The next residential building to pop up at Southbank will be The Reed, a luxury building with condos for sale and state of the art amenities in line with those at The Cooper.
The Reed will feature sprawling outdoor amenity space both inside and outside the building. The outdoor rooftop pool and lounge will be complete with fire pits, serene landscaping, lawn furniture, outdoor event space, grilling spaces, a three season outdoor yoga space, and an outdoor kitchen. When you step outside The Reed, the outdoor amenities will continue with a quarter mile of riverwalk, a two acre park, a river side amphitheater, and a water taxi stop just outside the building.
The state of the art fitness center will feature Peloton bikes, free weights, a yoga studio, and will be maintained diligently with nightly cleanings. Condo owners at The Reed will also enjoy the ample quiet study and co-working spaces as well as the VR sports and media rooms to unwind after a long day of working from home. Other on-site conveniences will include 24 hour door staff, package receiving with cold storage for grocery deliveries, on-site management and maintenance, valet dry-cleaning, garage parking with electric car charging ports, storage lockers, and a bike storage and maintenance room.
Each home will feature modern interiors with soaring ceilings, soft loft accents, top quality appliance packages, and floor-to-ceiling windows for taking in the stunning views of the river, skyline, and Lake Michigan. Owners will have a choice between three different finish packages.
The Reed at Southbank is slated for delivery in 2023. Upon completion, there will be 216 luxury condos. Condos are now for sale at The Reed ranging from $400K-1.4M.
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Megadevelopments, or grand-scale developments combining residential, commercial, and public use amenity components, have been the trend as of late. One Central is one such megadevelopment in the pipeline with a transit-based focus.
Under current plans from developer, Landmark, One Central will transform about 32 acres of rail yards between the McCormick Place Convention Center and the Museum Campus on the Near South Side into a new neighborhood. According to the Chicago Department of Planning and Development, this “new neighborhood” will consist of high rises totaling 9,050 residential units, 1.5 million square feet of retail space, 9.45 million square feet of office space, 1.5 million square feet of hotel space, 350,000 square feet of event space, and parking, all anchored by a new multi-modal transit hub.
In an interview with the Sun Times, Bob Dunn, president of Landmark development, says he looks at the transit hub as “being transformative for the next generation”. He explained that the 3.8 billion dollar transit project would be a game changer in Chicago transportation by connecting the Metra (which mostly services Chicagoland suburban commuters), the CTA (which services neighborhoods of Chicago proper), the Amtrak (which services neighboring suburbs as well as other states), and a new fourth transit line that would connect McCormick Place convention center directly to downtown. Dunn projects this new hub where the four transit lines would converge would eventually serve twice as many people as Union Station currently does and went on to frame One Central as “a civic project” because of all the people it would serve.
A new factor in the equation of One Central is the Chicago Bears’ decision to move their stadium to suburban Arlington Heights from their current stadium at Soldier Field, adjacent to the site of One Central. Although there is hardly any concrete information on what’s to become of Soldier Field, given Dunn’s existing plans for the surrounding area, one can speculate he’ll have a vision for the space.
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Developer, R2, recently proposed a new development that would bring office, entertainment, retail, and dining space, as well as over 500 feet of new riverfront space to the Morton Salt warehouse site. Upon approval for a zoning change from warehouse to commercial of what’s been dubbed the “Salt District”, R2 will also seek landmark status. R2 plans on keeping the famous “Morton Salt Umbrella Girl” sign, which is visible from the expressway.
R2 purchased the site at 1357 N. Elston in 2017, roughly two years after Morton closed down their factory after 86 years of use. The public sentiment seems to be overwhelmingly popular, with the project bringing hundreds of jobs and public green space to an area that has been out of use for several years.
The Morton Salt warehouse is located in a prime location along the north branch of the river in Lincoln Park. This 760 acre corridor of Lincoln Park and the Near North Side has been known for housing industrial sites, until the city changed its zoning to allow for (and encourage) other mixed use development in this “North Branch” corridor.
Among other office and public recreation developments underway in the area, Sterling Bay announced it’s plans for Lincoln Yards, a mega development bounded by the Kennedy Expressway to the west, Webster Ave to the north, Clybourn Ave to the east, and North Ave to the south. Plans for the massive Lincoln Yards development include public riverfront space, residential, office, retail, and hospitality space, bike paths, art installations, and other recreation space. This stretch of Lincoln Park has only grown in popularity with developers.
The video above is an overview of the neighboring Lincoln Yards mega development. See the gallery below for renderings of R2’s proposed Morton Salt redevelopment.
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JDL Development has proposed a multiphase mega-development with both commercial and residential properties, as well as public green space, near Old Town. The proposed Near North Side development, North Union, would span 8.1 acres and cover half of the current Moody Bible Institute’s Near North Side campus.
North Union would bring over 30,000 square feet of commercial space, 2680 rental apartments, and 1.3 acres of green space to Moody Bible Institute’s campus. JDL currently has a deal to buy the land and Moody Bible plans to continue to operate on the remaining 9.4 acres of their current Near North Side campus.
The proposed development would be situated between Wells Street and the CTA brown line tracks, bounded by Hill and Chestnut Streets as the northern and southern boundaries. Current plans include three high rises along Oak Street at 44, 47, and 55 stories respectively. Plans also include over 200 low rise units like town homes. Once approved, the development could take 7 to 10 years to complete.
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In keeping with the mega development trend of the last two years, Southbank is bringing luxury rental apartments, restaurants, retail, green space, and culture to the south branch stretch of river front in the South Loop. Southbank is being developed by Lendlease.
The Cooper at Southbank is the first residential rental high rise to be completed in the development. With 452 apartments and town homes, this property is making a splash in the South Loop’s rental market.
The Cooper at Southbank offers state of the art amenities including an expansive fitness center, music room, outdoor movie theatre, a large outdoor roof deck with a pool, hot tub, bocce ball court, hammocks, grills, and an herb garden, an upper level skyline terrace for taking in panoramic views of the city skyline, a game room with ping pong and billiards, a chef’s kitchen, a library, curated resident events, co-working spaces with private offices and conference rooms, a shop and craft space, entertaining spaces, 24 full service concierge, and even a salon!
Southbank’s new two acre park will use the foundations of the demolished Grand Central Park and is being designed by Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects. Prairie grasses and landscape features (like the bird houses created in partnership with UIC students) were selected for their low maintenance qualities and with local wildlife in mind. The .2 miles of continuous river walk will feature ample seating, lighting, and a mural created by Pilsen artist, Ruben Aguirre. The Southbank development will also include 15,000 square feet of retail space.
Southbank strives to be an oasis in the center of the city, just minutes from the Loop and easily accessible from most of Chicago.
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