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Oak Park's Tallest Tower Shaping Up While Workers Prepare for Another

This neighboring suburb is gaining some height

As one new 20-story building in near west suburban Oak Park enters the last stages of construction, another is about to begin foundation work. At Lake and Forest avenues, Vantage is beginning to be clad in the glass curtain wall which will wrap most of the exterior of the 270-unit apartment tower. Windows are also being inserted into the precast concrete portion of the western facade which rises to 13 stories at the northwest corner of the building and has window openings set into a zig-zag pattern of alternating widths. Along Lake Street, the structure’s southern facade is also coming together along the podium which will eventually house the parking garage and 27,000 square feet of retail stretching Oak Park’s downtown business district eastward.

The parking garage will contain 588 spaces, 300 of which will be owned by the village of Oak Park as a replacement of the previous municipal garage which had stood on site and had reached the end of its design lifespan, requiring substantial renovations to remain in use. The roof of the garage podium will then soon be transformed into an amenity deck for the apartments.

The tower, which topped out its 20 stories in November of last year, has the highest floor count of any building in Oak Park at this time. Vantage can command the streetscape view, such as when looking west along Lake Street; but from other angles, such as within downtown Oak Park to the west, it does appear to blend in and extends the streetwall of the urban district. From the north, where most of the opposition to the project concept initiated due to the very close proximity of the Frank Lloyd Wright Historic District, the tower is barley visible at times due to the extensive tree canopy. Forest Avenue does indeed live up to its name.

Previous Lake+Forest coverage [Curbed Chicago]

Meanwhile, closer to Harlem Avenue at the edge of downtown and the village’s western boundary, work is about to begin on Oak Park’s next high-rise on what has been referred to as the Colt site. This 20-story rental building would be constructed on a village owned surface parking lot adjacent to the transit station serving Metra and CTA trains, as well as a handful of bus routes. The project contains a total of 271 units, 1,000-square-feet of retail and 428 parking spaces spread among the high-rise located between North Boulevard and Westgate Street, as well as a low-rise building fronting along Lake Street to the north, filing in a gap of the streetwall where the surface lot now stands. The parking lots have since been closed off to public use, and as of this past weekend, it appears a soil test boring hole has been drilled through the asphalt where the upcoming high-rise will soon be constructed.

·Previous Colt site redevelopment [Curbed Chicago]

·Historic Districts of Oak Park [Village of Oak Park]