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With Residential Projects Allowed North Of Lake Street, Developer Proposes 32-Story High-Rise In Fulton Market

Fulton St. Companies wants to bring 433 apartments to 1201 W. Fulton Market St., an area that had long been off-limits for new residences.

Chicago developer Fulton Street Companies looks to bring 433 apartments to 1201 W. Fulton Market St.
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FULTON MARKET — A developer is pitching plans for a 32-story apartment high-rise after a decades-long moratorium on new housing in that part of Fulton Market.

Chicago developer Fulton St. Companies wants to bring 433 apartments to 1201 W. Fulton Market St., according to a zoning application filed with the city. Situated just north of Lake Street, the building is being pitched for an area that had long been off limits for residential development until Ald. Walter Burnett Jr. (27th) dropped his opposition last year in the midst of the pandemic.

The 381-foot-tall building would include 20 percent affordable units, 84 parking spaces and 13,100 square feet of ground-floor retail space, according to the development team.

The building, which would replace the Revel Fulton Market event space at the corner of Fulton Street and Racine Avenue, would have studios and units with up to three bedrooms, but a more detailed breakdown had not been finalized, said Ross Babel, co-founder of Fulton St. Companies.

The development team decided to pursue a residential project once the opportunity presented itself to add to the “work, live” spirit of the neighborhood, Babel said. 

“We are excited … . We are trying to create something that is unique to the characteristics of Fulton Market,” Babel said.

The development is a joint venture with Chris Merrill of Chicago-based real estate investment firm Harrison Street Real Estate Capital, according to Crain’s, which first reported on the project. New York-based Morris Adjmi Architects designed the building.

The stretch of Racine has sparked recent interest among developers. Last year, Sterling Bay received approval for a 14-story building at Carroll Avenue. Ryan Companies and partner IBT Group has pitched two office towers, 18 and 14 stories tall, at 1200 W. Fulton Market.

RELATED: Fulton Market Rush: Banned Until Now, Alderman Wants To Open Floodgates To Apartments And Condos

Burnett opted to open that portion of Fulton Market to residential development to try to kickstart the economy during and after the pandemic, he said last year.

The development would need to go through the city’s planning and development and housing departments and be presented at a community meeting before Burnett takes a position on the proposal, he said.

“We are taking it a step at a time,” Burnett said.

Carla Agostinelli, West Loop Community Organization executive director, said the neighborhood group had not yet made a decision on the proposal and is waiting to see the “full, final proposed plans, including renderings … unit mix and traffic plans.”

“We understand that the city, the alderman and the neighborhood [are] ready for residential north of Lake. We need it to activate our retail corridors. We want to make sure it’s done responsibly,” Agostinelli said.

Matt Letourneau, president of the Neighbors of West Loop group, said their development committee took issue with the project’s “size, appearance and lack of public green space.” The group also said members are worried about such a large building on an “already constricted Racine Street.”

“We look forward to gathering feedback from the community at the public meeting,” Letourneau said.

Armando Chacon, president of the West Central Association, said a residential project north of Lake would diversify the types of buildings in the area and support existing businesses. It would bring in more foot traffic after office workers leave the area, Chacon said.

The group also is waiting for additional details.

“There are some exciting aspects of the project,” Chacon said.

If the project is backed by Burnett, it would need approval from the city’s Plan Commission and Committee on Zoning before going to the full City Council. A community meeting will be held next month.

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