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Massive 442-unit, three-building apartment project planned for West Loop block

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There appears to be no end to the neighborhood’s development boom

There seems to be no stopping the runaway freight train that is the West Loop’s real estate development boom as news of yet another proposal for the red-hot Chicago neighborhood emerges. The latest plan comes from developers ZOM Mid-Atlantic & Verde Communities who look to add an ambitious, multi-parcel rental and retail project to the block bordered by Washington, Sangamon, Morgan, and Madison.

While some recent West Loop proposals of similar scope have been wide, squat, and over-parked, this most recent project — known as Union West — calls for a trio of much more slender 8-, 17-, and 19-story buildings. Bucking local trends, the proposal’s combined 442 rental units and roughly 9,400 square feet of ground floor retail space would share just 169 parking stalls.

The three development sites in question are currently owned by Haymarket Center and carry a DX-3 zoning designation. Union West’s developers hope to bump allowable density up to a 7.0 Floor Area Ratio (FAR) via a Planned Development (PD) and tack-on an additional two points of FAR through bonuses — likely through contributing to Chicago’s Neighborhood Opportunity Fund.

While no renderings of the buildings were provided, the designers at bKL Architecture have been tapped to penned the three-tower project which is expected to be clad with brick, precast concrete, metal, and a window wall system. We wait with bated breath to see what the Chicago-based firm — known primarily for its more contemporary design language — has in store for the West Loop.