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New design for Gold Coast apartments guided by fresh approach from city planners

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Here’s the latest plan for 1212 N. State Street

An 11-story building on an urban corner. It has a brown brick exterior and commercial space at its base.
A rendering of 1212 N. State.
CallisonRTKL/Newcastle Ltd.

A proposed 11-story rental development at the northwest corner of State and Division streets is back with an updated look. Typically, design changes are a result of work between the alderman, developer, and community—however, under new leadership, the city’s Planning and Development Department is becoming more involved in smaller neighborhood projects.

The most notable changes to 1212 N. State include a lower unit count, from 102 to 91, and the building growing in height from 121 to 128 feet. The tower is shifted back 15 feet from the northern property line to provide extra space between it and neighboring residential buildings.

The revised design, which comes from Chicago developer Newcastle Limited and architecture firm CallisonRTKL, features more warm-tone brick compared to the gray-colored renderings revealed at a public meeting in April. There’s also 30 parking spaces, a ground-floor retail component, and roughly 15,000 square feet of publicly open space.

The latest changes were a result of ongoing discussions with not only the local alderman and neighborhood, but officials from the city’s Department of Planning and Development (DPD), which is looking to take a more holistic approach to neighborhood development under the leadership newly appointed Commissioner Maurice Cox.

“Newcastle worked closely with DPD staff and the Alderman’s office through a number of iterations and refinements over the past year to finalize the current proposed design,” said Kurt Pairitz, managing director at Newcastle, in a statement to Curbed Chicago. “Modifications were made in response to feedback received from both the Alderman’s community input process and the DPD and City Department staff reviewer comments and direction.”

A drawing of a rectangular building with rows of balconies and a red brick exterior stands at a corner. There are shops and a sidewalk cafe at is base.
The latest design features a primarily brick facade and new upper-level setbacks.
CallisonRTKL/Newcastle Ltd.

Although the downtown site’s underlying zoning won’t change, the developer will need to go through the city’s Planned Development process which includes votes by the Chicago Plan Commission and full City Council.

Before that can happen, Alderman Hopkins plans to host a follow-up public meeting to collect additional feedback from neighbors. The event is scheduled to take place at First Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church on Tuesday, November 12, at 6:00 p.m.

If all goes to plan, Newcastle hopes to start demolition at 1212 N. State this winter, break ground in the first quarter of 2020, and open their new building by spring 2021, according to the project’s newly launched website.

It’s unclear, however, if the developer has a new plan for the nearby Barnes & Noble site at 1130 N. State Street. Newcastle had pitched a 39-story apartment tower for the parcel only to have Alderman Hopkins reject the proposal in September.