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Chicago Plan Commission OK’s massive West Loop apartment development

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The block-sized project will add 586 units to the booming downtown neighborhood

Rendering of 845 W. Madison

Development in Chicago’s hot West Loop is moving into overdrive as the city’s Plan Commission gave the official nod to a dense apartment project slated for the parcel bordered by Monroe, Peoria, Madison, and Green. While the zoning change approved today must also pass Chicago’s Zoning Board and the full Chicago City Council to take effect, planned developments generally tend to face little to no bureaucratic opposition after gaining the approval of both their respective alderman and the Plan Commission.

Spanning a full city block, the project would replace the shuttered H2O Plus facility at 845 W. Madison, across from the West Loop’s Mary Bartelme Park. The mixed-use plan from developer John Buck Company and architect GREC includes a whopping 586 rental units spread across two 17-story towers and 14 individual townhomes. Though very dense, an earlier, more monolithic iteration of the proposal had called for 627 residences.

The development will also engage the street with new retail space and conceal its 293 parking spaces out of view. Based on an updated rendering of the project, it appears that the six-story massing at the corner facing Bartelme Park will now step back and be replaced by a low-rise commercial component.

According to the Chicago Department of Planning and Development, the project will include the required 59 affordable units on-site and will also contribute $2.3 million into the city’s Neighborhood Opportunity Fund in exchange for density bonuses. Once approved by the Chicago City Council, the project will seek permits to demolish the vacant shampoo factory and begin foundation work.

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