As the Chicago rental boom continues into the new year, competition for tenants is heating up as developers flood the city with new apartments. To appeal to prospective renters, developers are looking towards their architects to come up with interesting building designs and are also loading up their developments with amenities. Rental building amenities are easily on par with condo buildings at this point, with virtually every new downtown rental tower featuring amenities like rooftop decks, fire pits, shared theater rooms and coffee bars as standard features. The new L apartment development coming to Logan Square isn't a downtown high rise, but it is targeting a similar demographic — young people who have money. The project, which began its life as a forgettable monolithic beige box was reworked by the architects at Brininstool + Lynch before its Plan Commission appearance and has since been attempting to stir up interest as its construction along Milwaukee Avenue continues.
According to developer Property Markets Group, their new 120-unit L project for Logan Square will be completed early next year. And the developer is running with the 'L' theme for the project, not just in name, but also in its amenities. One of the more notable features of the building will be an old 'L' train car that will become a part of the development's amenity deck. Surrounded by a water feature, the retired train car will be a shared amenity space where residents can hang out at. Broker Aaron Galvin, who will be heading up leasing for the development tells Curbed that the development team wants the project to be considered as a "thoughtful and neighborhood-embracing development."
While developers often get a bad rap, they're not dummies. They carefully study the neighborhoods they're building in and develop conscious marketing efforts to appeal to these residents. In this case, the L project is certainly looking to appeal to a younger, hipper crowd — a younger, hipper crowd that has some disposable income. PMG's Noah Gottlieb tells us that their marketing strategy has been about "building curiosity and building excitement." And while that may be the intention, the project has drawn some attention and excitement from Logan Square residents who believe that developments like this are leading to the runaway gentrification of the neighborhood. When asked about the concern over affordable housing in Logan Square, Gottlieb tells us that it's a complex situation. "It's a dynamic issue," Gottlieb says, "One hundred units of affordable housing are being built in Logan Square right now with private money." Gottlieb also indicated that developers have a "social responsibility" to the neighborhoods they're building in and told us that some of the building's amenity spaces would be available for community organizations and non-profit groups free of charge.
When it is completed next spring, the building will feature a combination of one-, two-, three-bedroom and convertible units. It'll also feature 5,000 square feet of ground level retail space along Milwaukee Avenue and a bike storage room that the development team describes as "the largest bike room in the city." Pre-leasing will start in late February and units deliveries will take place in May.
·Logan Square L [Official Website]
·120-Unit Milwaukee Avenue Apartment Project Ready to Dig In [Curbed Chicago]
·New Logan Square Mixed User Targets Spring 2016 Opening [Curbed Chicago]
·Large Logan Square Development Receives Dramatic Makeover [Curbed Chicago]