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The Loop’s Clark Adams Building to become Chicago’s largest coliving project

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The 1927 building is poised for a massive residential makeover

An aerial image of an 41-story office building with a mismatched brick exterior of beige and brown bricks. The building is surrounded by other tall high-rise buildings.
Built in 1927, the Clark Adams Building is Chicago’s tallest all-brick building. Years of mismatched masonry repairs give it a patchwork appearance.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

A 92-year-old Loop office building will become Chicago’s largest coliving project yet. Local developer CityPads is planning to purchase the upper floors of the 41-story Clark Adams Building and invest $80 million to create shared apartments with 505 beds plus 159 traditional apartments with a total of 172 beds, the Chicago Tribune reports.

CityPads is teaming up with New York-based coliving firm Common to manage the project. The company is currently working with CityPads on the Common Addams project in Pilsen and plans to expand into River North, replacing a currency exchange at the corner of Chicago Avenue and LaSalle Drive with a nine-story development.

The Clark Adams Building project fully embraces the coliving trend, which offers an affordable dorm-style housing option with shared kitchens and other common areas, on a scale not seen before in Chicago. The city’s largest coliving property is currently the 175-bed Quarters development in the West Loop.

The proposal is also the latest development to take advantage of vacancies in downtown’s older office buildings as firms migrate to newer towers and emerging neighborhoods like the Fulton Market District. Many of these old structures are finding a second life as apartments or hotel rooms. The office space at 105 W. Adams is roughly fifty percent occupied, according to the Tribune report.

Designed by the Burnham Brothers and completed in 1927, the 476-foot Clark Adams Building was formerly known as the Bankers Building and is Chicago’s tallest brick-clad structure. Over the years, mismatched masonry repairs have given the facade an inconsistent patchwork appearance. It is unclear if the upcoming residential conversion will attempt to address the building’s blemished exterior.

The Clark Adams Building coliving conversion will be called the “Common Burnham” and will welcome residents in early 2022, CityPads founder Andy Ahitow tells the Tribune. The Club Quarters hotel, which occupies the building’s lower floors, will remain in place and is not part of the redevelopment project.