LOGAN SQUARE — More small luxury apartments are renting near the California Blue Line station with the debut of Motif on Belden.
Construction is nearly complete on the 100-unit, six-story building at 2845 W. Belden Ave. from Inland National Development Company. Motif on Belden offers apartments geared toward young professionals and creatives, a mix of 60 studios and 40 one-bedroom units, along with amenities such as a dog spa and a rooftop deck.
A 498-square-foot studio starts at $1,652 per month, while a 779-square-foot one-bedroom unit is renting for $2,366 per month, according to the building’s website.
Leasing started in December and will continue in the coming weeks as construction crews put the finishing touches on the building and secure more approvals for occupancy, said Tom Lithgow, of Inland National Development Company.
Just less than 20 percent of the units have been rented so far, Lithgow said.
The building has a green roof with native plants, bike spaces along with a bike repair station and electric car charging stations, a fitness center, a fenced-in dog area called Bark Avenue and a ground-floor dog spa, Lithgow said. The rooftop deck has fire pits, grills, internet and cable access and skyline views.
Of the 100 apartments, 15 will be reserved for households earning 60 percent of the area median income under the city’s Affordable Requirements Ordinance.
Lithgow said they’re marketing the building to young professionals and people who appreciate Logan Square’s cultural attributes.
“With Logan Square featuring beautiful boulevards and an ever-expanding selection of restaurants, bars and more, we believe this residential community will also attract record lovers, musicians, sophisticated dining aficionados — and that’s our target market,” Lithgow said in a statement.
The apartments are hitting the market after years of planning and construction.
Barry Sidel and Mark Ordower of Ogden Partners set out to redevelop the site several years ago.
Their 2015 proposal, which called for 95 apartments and 44 parking spots, faced scrutiny from neighbors worried about the influx of luxury apartments near the Blue Line. But the developers eventually received approval from the city despite community pushback.
Inland National Development Company took the reins of the city-approved redevelopment project in 2018 after buying the site from Sidel and Ordower.
Construction stalled earlier in the pandemic, leaving a half-built structure on the site for several months. Lithgow said the project was delayed because they brought on a new general contractor.
Ald. Daniel La Spata (1st), whose ward includes the apartment building, declined to comment on the development this week, but he previously said he didn’t support the project because it doesn’t address displacement in gentrifying Logan Square.
“The project does not represent the interests of those who are thinking critically about the housing needs of our community right now,” La Spata said in 2019. “Literally every meeting I go into, whether it’s people talking about market-rate or affordable housing, people say they want to see housing for families.”
In recent years, La Spata and other community leaders in Logan Square have repeatedly called for legislation and other measures to slow displacement in the neighborhood, which many consider ground zero for the gentrification fight in Chicago.
Logan Square is now majority white after years of being a Latino enclave, WBEZ reported in 2020.
Arguably the most visible changes are around the California Blue Line station, where a flurry of luxury apartment buildings went up under former 1st Ward Ald. Proco “Joe” Moreno, such as the MiCa Towers and NoCa Blu apartments.
Some of those buildings struggled with occupancy early on in the pandemic, offering concessions like two and three months free rent to entice renters. But even before the pandemic, some residents and local leaders have insisted the neighborhood has become oversaturated with apartments for young people without cars.
Lithgow said while small apartments weren’t as desirable during “the height of COVID,” that’s in the past.
“We see the trend reversing as more and more people are comfortable with, even craving, big city living again and particularly in areas with distinct neighborhood charm,” he said. “We believe Logan Square and Motif on Belden provide that perfect lifestyle blend.”
Listen to “It’s All Good: A Block Club Chicago Podcast”: