The Chicago Plan Commission has approved the mixed-use development at 1549 N Fremont Street in the Near North Side. Located just south of the intersection with W North Avenue, the currently vacant lot is surrounded by the multi-story Toyota dealership on its two non-street facing sides. Pitched by the previous developer as an Aloft Hotel, the new team from City Pads Chicago is working with local firm NORR Architects on the low-rise building for the 145- by 184-foot site.
Rising roughly five stories and 75 feet in height, the U-shaped structure was first introduced to us late last year when the developers applied for a rezoning. This is also when plans to cap the income for future renters was revealed as it is meant to fill in the gap for the ‘missing middle’ in housing, meaning all of the units that are not considered fully affordable will be available for those making up to 140 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI) or around $100,000 for individuals.
Due to this, the developer is densely packing 132 residential units made up of 112 efficiencies, 12 one-bedrooms, and eight two-bedroom layouts. Of these 26 residences will be considered fully affordable for those making 60 percent AMI or less. The apartments will surround an outdoor atrium at the center which borders the blank wall of the Toyota dealer, it will cap the site-wide one-story podium below with a large outdoor garden featuring a few private terraces from select residences on the second floor.
The first floor did see a handful of changes from its previous iteration, four units were removed which brought down the total count with the lobby being pushed towards the southern end of the structure. This seems to have occurred as the small parking garage in the rear will now need an exit directly onto Fremont Street instead of the private driveway it previously planned to use, thus it also lowered the parking total to 20 vehicle spaces and 132 bicycle spaces. The retail space on the northern corner of the site was also enlarged to consume the remaining space at over 6,000 square feet now.
Clad in dark brick and storefront glass on the first floor, upper levels will feature a three-color fiber cement panel facade that is broken up every four windows by vertical strips of ribbed metal panel. All residents will also have access to a small rooftop deck along with multiple transit options like bus service for CTA Routes 8, 9, and 72 along with the CTA Red Line North/Clybourn station nearby. The roughly $40 million project is expected to break ground soon as developers hoped to complete construction by the end of 2024 as of last year.