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New Loop Apartment Tower Begins Construction, Goes Green

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After securing $91 million in financing, architect-developer Thomas Roszak and partner Dan Moceri are digging-in at 215 W. Lake with an updated design for their 265-unit Loop rental tower. Compared to a previous iteration, the downtown building has ditched the neon green and gold Green Bay Packers scheme in favor of a more subdued mint green appearance. After selling the aptly-named JeffJack rental building at Jefferson and Jackson in July for $82 million, the Rosak and Moceri partnership moved quickly on 215 W. Lake without seeking a zoning change for the project. The process began rather controversially with the bulldozing of the historic Osborne & Adams Leather Co. building at 209 W. Lake, one of the Loop's few remaining post-fire era structures. Once the site was cleared, things became even more interesting after the demolition revealed an early noughties Gustav Klimt-inspired mural that was briefly mistaken for a long-lost artistic gem.

New renderings show an ivy-covered green wall above the proposal's 5,300 square feet of ground level retail, presumably to disguise the building's parking. One curious if not upsetting aspect of the updated design is a featureless concrete wall existing exactly where 209 W. Lake once stood. If keeping this section of the tower's base blank was the architect's intention, one can't help but wonder how difficult it would have been for the developers to incorporate the Osborne & Adams Leather Co. building's vintage Italianate frontage by way of a relatively straightforward facadectomy. Instead, the grey wall will simply shadow what was lost. The 33-story tower is shorter than all of its neighbors and certainly won't be transforming Chicago's skyline. The increased residential density should contribute nicely to the area's vibrancy as the Loop moves towards not only being a business district where people work but also a 24/7 neighborhood where people choose to live. With foundation equipment on site and drilling underway, 215 W. Lake joins three dozen other Chicago highrises currently under construction.

·Luxury Loop apartment project lands $91 million in financing [Crain's]
·Developer Wants to Replace Loop Parking Garage With 33-Story Rental Tower [Curbed Chicago]
·One of the Loop's Oldest Buildings is Being Demolished [Curbed Chicago]
·Mysterious Mural Revealed After Demolition of Loop Building (UPDATED) [Curbed Chicago]