4 New Developments Taking Shape in the West Loop

The West Loop continues to be one of the major centers for new development in Chicago. The West Loop Community Organization has discussed 52 project proposals within the past year, according to CBS Chicago.

The increasing popularity and density of the neighborhood is being met with mixed feelings. The CBS article points to residents who are unhappy about the level of construction, while a local business owner is delighted with the growth. Regardless of how people view the change in the neighborhood, new development keeps coming. For example, the 10-story luxury condo building 900 West opened in December.

As new projects keep rolling out, companies want a piece of the West Loop. Coworking spaces are a big trend flourishing in Chicago. Coworking company WeWork is bringing its ninth location to the West Loop, and women’s coworking space The Wing is opening a location in Fulton Market

Here are four new projects planned for the neighborhood:

rendering of oxxford building in west loop with streetscape
The proposed Oxxford development / Courtesy of SCB

Warehouse Turned Office Building

A West Loop warehouse building dating back to the 1940s and formerly occupied by Oxxford Clothing Company is going to become an office building, according to RE Journals. The building is currently seven stories, but the new development project will take it to nine stories and add approximately 25,000 square feet. The offices in the new development will have a loft style, while the building will feature brick and concrete detail.

Office tenants will have access to amenities like a gym, lounge, and rooftop deck, and the office is conveniently located near the Racine station on the CTA Blue Line. Construction on the building, dubbed the “The Oxxford,” is expected to wrap up mid-2019.

New Residential Tower

A vacant lot is quite the rarity in the West Loop these days, but one such space on the corner of Sangamon Street and Monroe Street is the site of a new proposal, according to Curbed Chicago. A developer is proposing a 24-story residential tower with 193 units and 156 parking spots for the lot, which was previously occupied by a warehouse, according to the report. The developer will need to secure a zoning change for the lot to move forward with the project. 

18-Story Condo Building

With so much going on in the West Loop, it’s no surprise people want to live there. Developers are clamoring to get new units ready for eager homebuyers. 

Right now, Sulo Development is aiming to double the size of its initial condo building proposal, according to another Curbed Chicago report. The condo project, planned for 19 N. May St., was first proposed as a twin to another condo building (The Hayden) in the neighborhood—this one nine stories with 28 units, according to the report. The developer’s new proposal envisions 18 stories and 73 units. 

The condo building would feature amenities like a green roof and 84 parking spaces, according to the report. Before moving forward, Sulo Development will need to gain city approval for the updated proposal.

Skyscraper Plans

The West Loop is home to one of the city’s major mega-developments: the $1 billion Union Station revamp. The massive project will add approximately 3.1 million square feet of offices, residential units, and retail space to the city’s iconic train station. 

Also, a newly announced development is set to spring up right alongside Union Station. Riverside Investment & Development and Convexity Properties are developing a 700-foot-tall, 50-story office tower that will replace a parking garage, according to Curbed Chicago. The tower will be named BMO tower, since BMO Financial Group intends 3,600 employees to occupy 14 floors of the building, according to the report. The building will feature the BMO logo on its exterior.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a press release:

"The new BMO Tower not only speaks to BMO's commitment to our city and its future, it also represents a vote of confidence in the Union Station Modernization Project as a vital link to economic, cultural and recreational investments for Chicago's residents, visitors and businesses.”

The project already has zoning approval from the Chicago Plan Commission and City Council. The new office tower, designed by Goettsch Partners, is slated to break ground in 2019 and be ready for occupancy in 2022, according to the report.

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