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Could a tower block land in Pilsen?

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A property owner in Pilsen wants to plant a 30-story rental tower in the neighborhood

The Lacuna Lofts development in Pilsen.
Google Maps

Pilsen could be in for another big development battle in the coming weeks as a new proposal for the neighborhood is sure to make waves. Joe Cacciatore, a longtime Pilsen property owner and proprietor of the Lacuna Lofts—a mixed-use loft conversion which features office space, residences, and a popular wedding venue—has unveiled plans for a 30-story apartment tower addition for the site, Crain’s Chicago Business reports.

According to Crain’s, the tower would feature 208 apartment units and 210 parking spaces and could cost up to $60 million to build. The Pilsen neighborhood place stringent affordable housing requirements on new developments that seek zoning changes, however Cacciatore envisions 43 affordable units for the development, Crain’s reports. Dubbed Punta Lacuna, the tower proposal is certainly a dramatic one for the Pilsen area.

A rendering of the proposed tower block obtained by Crain’s.
Joseph Cacciatore & Co.

Visually, the tower would stand much higher than anything in the Pilsen community—a topic which is likely to point of contention of such a plan. A rendering reveals a tower with a glassy exterior that is contrasted with precast concrete balconies that flank the sides. The rendering also shows staggered rooftop spaces landscaped with mature trees. Aesthetically, the design is more reminiscent of tower design from the postmodern era than the structural expressionism revival that has become popular in Chicago during this development cycle.

A largely industrial stretch, the area surrounding the Lacuna Lofts development is not exactly a transit-rich environment. While the Stevenson and Dan Ryan expressways are nearby, the closest ‘L’ station is over a half-mile away at Halsted. As the proposal does not qualify as a transit-oriented development, the tower will feature the city’s mandated 1:1 parking ratio.

Pilsen residents and elected leaders have already spent years wrangling with developers over other dense residential proposals for the neighborhood, so it’s difficult to see how this proposal would be received any differently. However, the developer tells Crain’s that he plans on pushing forward with the proposal.