FULTON MARKET — Prominent developer Sterling Bay received City Council approval Wednesday to build a 28-story tower in Fulton Market, capitalizing on last year’s green light to finally allow new residential developments north of Lake Street.
The 314-foot building, designed by Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture, will bring 350 apartments — 70 set aside as affordable units — and ground floor retail to 1245 W. Fulton Market St.
Situated between the Ashland and Morgan CTA stations, the building will include 95 parking spaces and 199 bicycle stalls.
When Sterling Bay introduced the plans in July 2021, Ald. Walter Burnett (27th) said he was withholding support until a deal there was a deal on the building’s affordable housing commitments.
The plans, approved unanimously by City Council on Wednesday, include 70 units of on-site affordable units, including 13 studios, nine convertible studios, 28 one-bedroom, 19 two-bedroom and one three-bedroom units.
Zoning attorney Rich Klawitter said Sterling Bay will work with the city’s Housing Department to make an additional 35 units affordable “if sufficient city assistance can be obtained.” The city approved rules last year to subsidize additional affordable units in private developments in the Fulton Market Innovation District to reach a goal of 30 percent affordable units in the area.
The developer will also contribute $1.8 million to the city’s Neighborhood Opportunity Fund, most of which will be allocated to Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s Invest South/West initiative.
Burnett said Tuesday he supported the Sterling Bay project as well as the larger building boom in the nearby area, arguing the property taxes “helps us with our tax situation with our budgets.”
“This area is not only an economic engine for the city, we’re bringing more people to the city, and more businesses and visitors, but we’re also a lifesaver for the city in a lot of different ways,” he said.
Hopkins Shoots Down Old Town Project
In Old Town, the City Council rejected long-stalled plans to demolish a three-story mixed use building with a rear coach house to make way for a seven-story building at 1628-20 N. Wells St.
Introduced in February 2021, the project would have brought 48 units next door to the 32-story Americana Towers condo building. Nick Ftikas, the zoning attorney for the project, said the requested zoning change would fit in with the zoning in the immediate area.
The Zoning Committee deferred the item for months, prompting the property owner, 1628 North Wells, LLC, to sue the city, Ftikas said. Ftikas did not comment on the status of the lawsuit.
The building would have triggered the city’s affordable housing requirements, setting aside 20 percent of the units as affordable.
Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd) said he opposed the project because of “neighborhood opposition,” it was “out of character” for the surrounding neighborhood and the current site is “completely unsuitable for the proposed development.”
Following the alderperson’s opposition, the City Council’s zoning committee rejected the zoning change.
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