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An early look inside the West Loop’s ‘Landmark’ apartment tower

The 30-story rental building is New York architect Morris Adjmi’s first project in the Windy City

While the 30-story apartment building rising just north of the Eisenhower Expressway at 1035 W. Van Buren may not open until later this summer, developer Related Midwest was keen to get us on site for a sneak peek at its upcoming rental project. Dubbed Landmark West Loop, the 300-unit high-rise was designed by New York architect Morris Adjmi in collaboration with local architect of record GREC. The result is a bold and rather masculine looking building that would be equally at home in both Chicago’s West Loop and Manhattan’s Meatpacking District.

Nick Fochtman

“Morris is known for his work within historical districts and coming up with successful strategies for bringing a modern intervention to a more historical context,” explained Ann Thompson of Related Midwest. “He’s adept at working in these kind of environments and I think this building is a good example of that. It’s clearly different from its surroundings as far as overall design and scale, but it plays off the details and visual vocabulary of the neighborhood.”

Sporting a minor grid set within a larger framework inspired by steel I-beams, the facade of the Landmark project embraces a very industrial aesthetic. While the neo-warehouse look is starting to become a cliche, Landmark’s exterior features a rich three-dimensional depth that elevates the whole design. Creating such architectural depth is typically more expensive, so it’s obvious an extra effort was made to refine the building’s details.

The large parking podium may be unapologetic in its function, but its architectural screening provides another layer of depth and looks much more interesting than pictures and renderings convey. The tower will meet the street with warmer brick cladding, though this portion of the building was unfinished during our tour. The ground floor will eventually be home to Landmark’s lobby, a retail space fronting Van Buren, and a community-supported agricultural drop-off.

Nick Fochtman

With amenities playing an increasingly important role in determining where renters will choose to live, Related did its homework to make sure the communal spaces in Landmark will be optimized. The developer took a look at how current residents were using (or not using) amenities in their other buildings to inform Landmark’s programming. For example, the West Loop project will forgo a media room after the development team found that residents were primarily using such spaces as a quiet place to work rather the screen films.

On the theme of working from home, Landmark aims to bring a “WeWork” aesthetic to its so-called Living Library. Featuring multiple places to plug-in, handsome copper accents, and no distracting TVs, the room is one of many communal spaces created by New York-based interior design firm Reunion Goods & Services. Other amenities include a landscaped outdoor pool deck, dedicated party room, demonstration kitchen, “pool house” themed gaming room, and a 3,500 square foot gym topped by a graphic ceiling inspired by a gymnasium floor.

Nick Fochtman

While the majority of new multi-family developments built in the West Loop have been pretty generic in design and execution, Landmark is taking some risks in an effort to be different. Much like The Parker Fulton Market, the project tries to convey its sense of place by incorporating locally-sourced art objects. The development recognizes that it is in a trendy neighborhood and makes a conscious effort to bring some of that coolness indoors.

Views from Landmark’s amenity level are great and only get better as the tower rises. From the higher-ceilinged penthouse level, the vistas are downright spectacular and highlight the tower’s unique positioning along the border of the West Loop and the nearby Illinois Medical District. Though still under construction, units will eventually feature roller shades, high-end appliances, Nest thermostats, and fully-built closet spaces.

Landmark West Loop expects to welcome its first residents in August. Rents in the building will start at $1,700 per month for studios, $1,975 for convertibles, $2,150 for one-bedrooms, $2,925 for two-bedrooms with one-bath, and $3,295 for two-bedrooms with two-baths. Landmark’s four three-bedroom penthouse units will be priced from $6,195 per month.

The soon-to-open tower at 1035 W. Van Buren Street isn’t Related Midwest’s only Chicago project currently in the works. The busy developer is erecting the 67-story skyscraper known as One Bennett Park in Streeterville and recently revealed new details regarding its plan to redevelop a vacant 62-acre riverfront parcel in the South Loop into Chicago’s newest—and 78th—neighborhood area.