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Lakefront apartments planned for Chicago’s Gold Coast finally moving forward?

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The proposed building would replace a parking lot in the heart of the Chicago’s priciest neighborhood

Booth Hansen

An eight-story residential proposal along North Lake Shore Drive has filed Planned Development (PD) paperwork with the City of Chicago—a clear sign that the long-discussed Gold Coast project is getting closer to becoming reality. Currently occupied by a parking lot, the prominent lakefront location was discussed as a the site of a potential 40-story high-rise in the late 1990’s. Drawing the ire of its influential neighbors, the project was abandoned after the parcel was down-zoned to a less-dense designation.

Operating within the site’s fairly restrictive building guidelines, developer Draper & Kramer and architect Booth Hansen designed the current mid-rise proposal. If approved, the 58-unit rental building known at 61 E. Banks would feature a conservative stone-clad facade with modern bay window protrusions and a rooftop amenity deck with unobstructed views of Lake Michigan. While previous reports pegged the number of on-site parking spaces at 47, the figure appears to have been reduced to 42.

Though the City of Chicago’s recently adopted Neighborhood Opportunity Bonus system allows developers to essentially purchase extra height and density for their projects, such a move at 61 E. Banks would first require a major change to its underlying zoning. Considering that the previous proposal for the site resulted in a lengthy legal battle that made it all they way to the Illinois Supreme Court, there’s likely very little political will to go down that path once again.

Booth Hansen
Booth Hansen
Booth Hansen