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They’re Back

Ralph Johnson and CMK reunite for another downtown tower

An architect and a con do developer whose past collaborations yielded several dramatic downtown structures—most notably, River North’s Contemporaine—have teamed up again to produce 235 Van Buren, a rare residential foray into the business district just south of the Board of Trade.

The 46-story building, designed by Ralph Johnson and built by Colin Kihnke’s CMK Development, features projecting balconies that dot the façade in assorted patterns, as well as an ascending vertical line that shifts to the horizontal as it wraps around the summit. Because the building has a low-slung ComEd cooling station to the west and an expressway cloverleaf to the south, residents on those sides will enjoy wide-open views.

LOOP

From $179,000
to $555,900

The condos’ interiors, not entirely ready at presstime, will be sleek and contemporary to suit Johnson’s design, says Heather Gustafson, a CMK salesperson. Condo prices are unusually low, due in part to the untried location and the smaller units. A $179,900 studio, for instance, has a modest 522 square feet, while the top price—$555,900—buys a 1,446-square-foot two-bedroom penthouse with northeast views. Plans call for the building to be ready for move-ins by the second quarter of 2009.

Photograph: Courtesy of CMK Realty Corporation

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