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Controversial Gold Coast parking lot ready to bite the dust for new apartments

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The eight-story project will be the first new building to rise along North Lake Shore Drive in many years

Booth Hansen

A Gold Coast parking lot at 61 E. Banks Street—the city’s only undeveloped lakefront parcel between Diversey Avenue and the site of the defunct Chicago Spire project—won’t be around for much longer. Yesterday, a $23 million construction permit was issued for the eight-story apartment development slated to replace the Lake Shore Drive-fronting asphalt lot.

The prominent but underutilized waterfront location was previously pitched as the site for a 40-story high-rise development in the late 1990’s. Drawing complaints—and legal challenges—from its Gold Coast neighbors, the project was shelved after the parcel was down-zoned to support a less-dense building.

Working within these restrictions, the upcoming mid-rise comes from developer Draper & Kramer and will contain 58 high-end rental units. Chicago architect Booth Hansen designed the structure with a traditional-looking stone facade punctuated by modern bay-like window protrusions.

The development will include a minimum of 42 below-grade parking spaces but can accommodate up to 68 vehicles through use of a valet service. A planned rooftop amenity deck will provide unobstructed views of Lake Michigan.

Booth Hansen
Booth Hansen
Booth Hansen