RIVER NORTH — Plans to develop two mixed-use residential and retail buildings at 167 W. Erie and 720 N. LaSalle streets were presented to the public Monday at a deveopment meeting jointly sponsored by Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) and the River North Residents Association.
"I always try to approach development proposals like this as though I lived across the street," the downtown alderman said. "In this particular case, I do live across the street."
At 167 W. Erie St., the plan calls for a building with a 410-foot tower that abuts an existing office building at 640 N. LaSalle. The building would include a total of 444 residential units and add amenities atop the adjacent office space, including a pool and sun deck.
The plan calls for 121 new parking spaces split between the building's basement and towering 41st-floor roof, and includes 7,140 square feet of retail at the tower's base.
At 720 N. LaSalle St., developers want to build a 38-story tower with 298 units and 114 parking spaces. The 397-foot tall tower would include 12,188 square feet of retail space and an 8,400 square foot public park maintained by the building.
"We want it to be a very active park, that will be open to the public," said Tom Kerwin, principal at bKL Architecture. "It will close at a certain time for security reasons, probably 11 p.m. There will be dog park as a subset of that park open to the public, open to the neighborhood."
The site is currently a dilapidated Howard Johnson's hotel.
"Obviously, it's not in the best of shape and doesn't create the best pedestrian experience," Kerwin said of the existing site.
Both projects will use primarily brick on the buildings' facade to fit more cohesively into the neighborhood, per a recommendation from the neighborhood group, RNRA President Mike Riordan said.
Chicago-based Mac Management and Magellan Development Group are driving the project, working with Lowenberg Architects on 167 W. Erie St. and with bKL on the former Howard Johnson's site.
Citing a robust rental market downtown, the development team said the initial plan is to rent the 742 new units, though that could change based on demand.
Pricing would be "toward the top of the class A market," with rentals at Erie Street costing $3.25 per square foot, and at $3.40 per square foot in the LaSalle Street building, said Sean Linnane, vice president at Magellan.
The LaSalle Street development is expected to cost between $90 and $95 million, and the Erie Street plan will cost roughly $125 million, developers said Monday.
If the project starts in "very early 2015" as planned, both buildings will take about 18 months to construct, Linnane said.
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