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13-story apartment project proposed for Lake & Ada in Chicago’s red-hot West Loop

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The plan is expected to be publicly presented to the community in the coming weeks

Rendering by Brininstool & Lynch via NoWL

With Chicago’s booming West Loop experiencing an unprecedented level of attention and investment, it’s perhaps no surprise that the surface parking lot at the southwest corner of Lake and Ada is poised for redevelopment. Purchased by Sterling Bay in 2014, the property at 172 N. Ada could be the site of a new apartment building from Naperville, Illinois-based developer Marquette Companies and Chicago architecture firm Brininstool & Lynch.

While the team filed a preliminary zoning application with the City of Chicago in March calling for a ten-story building at the site, an update plan posted by the Neighbors of the West Loop shows a revised layout and the first decent rendering of the proposed project. As it stands now, the development has grown taller near the ‘L’ tracks of Lake Street and steps down along Ada to the south.

The taller, glass and steel portion will top-out at 13 stories and connect to an eight-story Ada Street mass clad in brick and Corten steel. The development’s ground level will include a residential lobby, a 2,500-square-foot retail or restaurant space fronting Lake Street, and 97 parking stalls. The garage would be topped by a second floor amenity level featuring a pool, fitness center, resident lounge, and outdoor grilling stations.

The upper floors of the development will contain a combined 264 rental units with at least ten percent offered at an affordable-rate. The preliminary mix calls for 42 junior one-bedroom or convertible units, 161 one-bedroom apartments, and 61 two-bedroom dwellings. The developer tells NoWL that they are open to tweaking the plan to address the group’s request to include some larger, family-oriented three-bedroom units.

Lake & Ada.
Google Street View

According to the Neighbors of the West Loop, the developer is expected to meet with the West Loop Community Organization (WLCO) to discuss the project this month. That meeting is expected to be followed by a public presentation at a date yet to be determined. Based on the community feedback received, the neighborhood groups will then draft letters of support—or opposition—that ultimately inform the local alderman’s decision-making process.

The site is currently zoned C1-3 Neighborhood Commercial with Marquette seeking a zoning change in the form of a Planned Development. If approved, the request would bump the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) from 3.0 up to 6.2 and contribute $1.2 million into Chicago’s Neighborhood Opportunity Fund. The Marquette Companies is also in the process of seeking approvals for a 160-unit apartment building at the intersection of Walton and Noble in Chicago’s Noble Square neighborhood.