To kick off the new year we will take a look at the proposals submitted for the city’s LaSalle Street Reimagined initiative in The Loop. Announced in fall 2022, the program looks to revitalize part of the once bustling financial center with rising vacancy rates as companies relocate to newer towers with modern amenities, leaving behind their historical structures. Led by the Department of Planning and Development along with the Department of Housing, applications were due on December 23rd for the area relatively bound by W Van Buren Street to the south, N Wells Street to the west, and N Clark Street to the east.
With a focus on affordable housing, the initiative will provide $196 million in financial incentives for the residential conversion of buildings within its boundaries, this will come from the untapped LaSalle Central Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District that stretches into West Loop Gate. Requirements for all of the proposals received were to contain a purchase and sale agreement for their individual properties and at least 30 percent of the units proposed to be affordable, a more in-depth breakdown can be found here. All together over $1.2 billion in projects are being proposed:
111 W Monroe Street
Developer Prime Group who also purchased part of nearby 115 S LaSalle to relocate the government offices from the Thompson Center, have crafted a proposal for the 23-story 1974-built structure that previously housed BMO Harris. Their plans include creating 349 apartments, of which 105 will be affordable, along with a hotel on the lower seven stories with a spa, rooftop pool, and a restaurant with an estimated cost of $180 million.
208 S LaSalle Street
This nearby structure has competing bids, with the first coming in from the Prime Group who already led the conversion for the two hotels within it that include the JW Marriott which recently faced foreclosure. Their proposal for this site would turn part of the upper floors into 84 apartments with access to hotel amenities for the cost of $130 million. However the competing bid from Sims Property and Brinshore Development is proposing 102 units for the same space at a cost of $50.2 million.
400 S Lasalle Street
Developer Urban Resolve is proposing to redevelop the massive structure that once held the CBOE Global Markets headquarters and trading floors, with its plan focusing on student housing for the over 10 higher-education institutions within downtown. Plans include 226 beds for students along with a food court, fitness center, and a mental health center, however one of the more unique aspects will be a new e-sport arena with a total price tag of $104 million.
135 S LaSalle Street
One of the larger projects, developer Riverside Investment & Development who helped develop the initiative is looking to turn the former 44-story, 1934-built Art Deco Bank of America tower into 430 apartments. Collaborating with the structure’s owner and Blue Star Properties, the plan seeks to create 80,000 square feet of mixed-use space at its base with a new lobby, retail, restaurant, event and gathering spaces, and potentially a grocery store, all for the cost of $258 million.
30 N LaSalle Street
Building owner AmTrust, who also owns 135 S LaSalle Street, was recently hit by a foreclosure on the 44-story 1975-built tower and is partnering with investor American General Life Insurance on its $186 million conversion. Their plan would seek to create 432 new apartments within the building including additional ground-floor retail along with reimagined green spaces and seating along its main streets.
105 W Adams Street
The 41-story 1927-built structure is easily seen from the new federal plaza and has been in disuse for many years, its tapering form now has two competing bids after multiple failed attempts in the past. The first is from Maven Development Group who wants to convert the upper 31 floors into 432 apartments for $167 million. The second bid comes from the Blackwood Group and Celadon Partners who want to build out 185 apartments, a two-level food market, and Stockyards Coffee House for $192 million.
170 W Washington Street
The final and smallest of all the proposals comes for the five-story 1930-built structure from its owners Scott Cochrane, Kevin Killerman, and Carmen Rossi who are hoping to execute $2 million worth of work. Inside they hope to create four apartments with new ground-floor retail and commercial spaces, most likely to hold a restaurant as one of the owners is a restaurateur.
With nearly 2,000 residential units proposed in total, more than the 1,000 Mayor Lori Lightfoot hoped to create, the proposals will also include over 600 affordable apartments. City officials will now review all of the bids properly and determine how much assistance each one will need, hoping to announce the first set of winners in the first half of 2023 to start construction in 2024 for those first approved.