For those counting, tally another 61 units for Michigan Avenue Real Estate's portfolio of West Loop apartment ventures. And hike the project count from three to five. That's right — this one developer, based in Northbrook and in cahoots with Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf, has closed on the purchase of five separate development sites within a roughly 10-square-block area. No projects have reached their groundbreaking, but if and when they do expected units will total 220. In each instance, the buildings will top off at four stories.
High-rises may cluster along Halsted, but this developer sees smaller, cheaper stuff as the ticket to building fast and getting leased up quickly. "Because of our time to market we're going to build and lease before most of the big projects finish," Michigan Avenue's prez Thomas Meador tells Crain's. They also have a leg up if eventually deciding to convert to condos. And rents will average less: roughly $2,400 for a two-bed. Of the five plans, the one at Madison & Aberdeen (at right) is the largest at 81 units. And it's the only one to have scored a construction loan to date. The sort of small grain development that Michigan Avenue is looking to master often rankles the upsize! crowd, but there are legions of vacant lots throughout the West Loop (it gets much worse west of Ashland) in need of attention. Not to mention that good human density is what often gives a neighborhood its staying power.
·Reinsdorf-backed developer plans 61 more apartments on West Side [Crain's]
·West Loop Apartment Watch [Curbed Chicago]