Last night, Ohio based Pizzuti Companies officially unveiled their proposed 32 story glass tower to the public at a community meeting in the West Loop. The tower is planned for a plot at Van Buren and Aberdeen, with the building pinned up against the Eisenhower Expressway. Current zoning for the property would only allow for four to five story buildings so the developer is hoping to win over the hearts and minds of the West Loop community to erect the tall glass and metal Arquitectonica-designed tower. Residents who attended the meeting were decidedly split on the project, with much of the criticism aimed at the height and the design of the building. Several West Loop home owners discussed the importance of the old industrial character of the neighborhood, and their concern that the building would "stick out like a sore thumb", and perhaps open a flood gate of new tall, glassy, out-of-place, towers developments. One resident even referred to the polarizing glass tower as an "insult" and a "monster".
All issues aside, the 32 story tower would contain 402 apartment units, all at market rate. The residences would be made up largely of studios and one bedroom apartments, with about 20% of the units dedicated to two and three bedroom units. As far as the mixed use component is concerned, the building would host roughly 9,000 square feet of ground level retail, and two stories of parking, with 236 spaces. Pizzuti reps also stated that the project would qualify as a Transit Oriented Development (TOD) due to its close proximity to multiple public transportation hubs, and the ratio of parking to residences.
In addition to its emphasis on transit, and car-free living, the developer also wants to incorporate sustainable features to the building, and perhaps attain LEED certification. The building sports two outdoor green spaces, to act as recreation areas, but also to make the building appear less imposing.
The developer agreed to host more meetings to discuss the project, and to present the conclusions of a shadow study to West Loopers. If the development moves forward as planned, Pizzuti hopes to begin the city permitting process within four to five months, and ultimately have the project completed in two years.
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