As the pipeline of proposals for ambitious and transformative megadevelopments continues to expand, other developers are wrapping up tower projects and delivering more luxury rentals to the downtown market this summer. One such tower is the new 465 North Park in Streeterville—a glassy 48-story high-rise that features 444 rental apartments in a location between the sites of two major supertall tower proposals for the neighborhood (one at the Tribune Tower site and another at the location of the failed Chicago Spire). Preleasing is now underway and the new upscale apartment building will officially open August 1.
Fully aware of the increasingly intense competition for downtown renters, members of the development team behind 465 North Park, which includes developer Jupiter Realty Company and architect Pappageorge Haymes Partners, say that one of the secrets for this tower’s success in attracting tenants and inking leases will be in its curving elliptical design which offers sweeping views, spacious floor plans, and some new visual interest in the Streeterville skyline.
“One of the first things we looked at was the context of this building and how you emerge from lower Illinois Street,” says Brian Kidd of the Chicago-based Pappageorge Haymes Partners. “A lot of the buildings in that area are very boxy and very rectilinear. Creating a counterpoint to the boxy building was the starting point—it won’t be the tallest building in the neighborhood but still wants to contribute to the skyline.”
Streeterville’s stretch of skyline features some of the city’s most recognizable skyscrapers, and will likely include a few future icons should demand and economic conditions allow for the construction of more recent proposals, but the downtown neighborhood is also equally known for value-engineered boxes. In a recent column on Related Midwest’s plan to fill the Chicago Spire hole with two tall towers designed by global architecture heavyweight SOM, Chicago Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin described Streeterville’s building stock as a “cacophony of mediocre high-rises,” a not-so-subtle slight at the tower construction from recent decades.
And in the past, Kamin has not always had the most flattering things to say about the work of Pappageorge Haymes, but 465 North Park is a new opportunity to add some needed visual dynamism to the Streeterville skyline and another example of how developers and architects continue to up the ante in terms of design and construction quality in order to stay competitive.
For instance, to help 465 North Park stand out in the crowded skyline, the tower will be capped with a glowing crown that will change colors to signal special events and holidays—not exactly a groundbreaking feature, but one that amplifies the chorus of downtown buildings that already participate in this practice. And to reduce the footprint of the tower, both in its girth and the use of reinforced concrete and steel, a sloshing tuned-mass damper was utilized in the construction of the tower, an engineering tool which is generally employed in much taller skyscrapers or buildings constructed on challenging sites (such as 150 North Riverside).
There’s yet another function of the tower’s curvy shape, says Michael Pompizzi, President & CFO with Jupiter Realty. The shape also helps minimize the impact on the views of owners in neighboring buildings—a common issue that is brought up at public meetings for new tower proposals in the Streeterville community. “This building is the least intrusive building to its neighbors while also offering the best views for its residents. During the community meeting process, it was well received by residents,” says Pompizzi. In addition, other architectural tricks, such as inset balconies and making the street-level focus on the main entrance at the corner of Illinois Street and Park Drive, were used to narrow the building’s profile.
Expect upscale finishes and a plethora of building amenities for residents—such has been the standard for rental towers completed during this development cycle. The developers say that the tower will boast an acre of total amenity space over different levels, including a sprawling outdoor roofdeck located on the 38th floor. There’s also a large ground-level retail space designed for a restaurant tenant, although Pompizzi says that no deal has been inked on the space just yet. However, there may be new news on that front in the coming weeks, Pompizzi suggests.