One of Lincoln Park’s biggest developments in years is now delivering nearly 200 luxury apartments and a stretch of new retail space for Lincoln Avenue, signaling the completion of just one of several high-profile projects that are set to reshape the popular North Side neighborhood.
The first move-ins for the Elevate apartment complex are underway, but the project faces stiff competition from the many new rental towers throughout the greater downtown area. Like much of its competition, Lincoln Park’s Elevate is fully loaded with luxury amenities and sprawling outdoor spaces which its developer believes will help win over tenants. And with little direct competition in Lincoln Park, the project has the chance to take an early lead in the new wave of development.
However, the development has been a long time coming.
The project comes from Baker Development Corporation, which first unveiled its plan to demolish the Lincoln Centre condos and retail over four years ago. While Baker owned the retail space in the development which previously stood at the site, the company had to acquire 30 privately-owned condos in order for the plan to proceed.
“Their association bylines were that in order to deconvert from condominiums, one hundred percent of the owners had to vote in favor to sell,” Baker Development principal Dan Slack says in regards to the tricky process of buying out the existing homeowners at the site. “We were trying to get the proposal approved at the same time the Children’s Memorial Hospital redevelopment was moving forward and did exactly what the alderman asked us to do and it worked out for everyone.”
Slack says that Children’s Memorial Hospital’s exit had a major impact on the area, but believes that the new Elevate development will help breathe new life into Lincoln Avenue by bringing in hundreds of new residents. “The Children’s Memorial Hospital was really the economic driver for the area,” Slack says. “You had 2,000 people plus going there each day but when they left, it was noticeable.”
Other major new projects for the corridor include a pair of four-story apartment buildings at Lincoln and Montana, the new School of Music building on DePaul University’s campus, and the biggest of them all, the redevelopment of the former Children’s Memorial Hospital site.
Until the pair of 19-story apartment towers at the Children’s Memorial site are completed, Elevate has an early lead on the upscale rental market in Lincoln Park, but it’s also delivering new units during a period of fierce competition among developers of new luxury rental buildings. Slack says that his company’s Lincoln Avenue project is squaring up directly with the high-profile towers being built downtown, and the rents are certainly reflective of this. Pricing starts just below $1,800 per month for a studio apartment and goes all the way up to an eye-watering $13,995 per month for a multi-level penthouse unit.
To further differentiate Elevate from the crowded pack of new luxury apartment buildings, Slack says that the development will feature 20,000 square feet of amenity space, including two large rooftop deck spaces and an expansive fitness center.
Its biggest sell, Slack suggests, may be its location in the heart of Lincoln Park and the dramatic “postcard views” from Lincoln Avenue. Standing at 11-stories in height, Slack says that the development is tall for central Lincoln Park, offering a clear look at the city’s downtown core. And, Slack adds, with Lincoln Avenue running at a diagonal, residents from multiple sides of the building will be able to take in the views of downtown Chicago, adding one more advantage to the project’s offerings.
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