STREETERVILLE — A Chicago developer has shown Streeterville neighbors its plan to completely renovate Ogden Plaza Park, a $3.5 million endeavor that would allow it to build an apartment tower next door.
Jupiter Realty would add a new lawn, stepped terraces, and a "dog-friendly" area to the one-acre park at Columbus Drive and Illinois Street, according to renderings shared at a community development meeting Tuesday.
Jupiter's bid to transform the 25-year-old park, named after inaugural Chicago Mayor William B. Ogden, came at the request of Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd), who said he is seeking a "public benefit" to the area as he considers Jupiter's proposal for a 45-story apartment tower next door at 465 N. Park Drive.
Reilly said Tuesday he often fields complaints about a lack of open space in the neighborhood, and believes "everyone would agree [the park] is in horrendous shape and ripe for a refresher."
An aerial rendering of the improved Ogden Plaza Park. [Hitchcock Design Group]
Jupiter Principal Michael Pompizzi said Tuesday the firm did not know yet whether the park improvements would occur before, during or after construction of the tower it wants to build. Another Jupiter principal, Don Smith, said the firm would partner with the nearby Loews Chicago Hotel and others, including perhaps public bodies, to raise money for park renovations.
Plans also call for narrowing Park Drive, which would divert a taxi queue by the hotel elsewhere.
If built, the 444-unit luxury apartment tower would inhabit a prime Streeterville site that has sat vacant for nearly a decade. Insurance giant MetLife, which owns the property, partnered with another developer to propose a 50-story, 273-unit building before the recession, but that plan failed to launch amid the economic downturn.
Jupiter's new, oval-shaped proposal resembles "maybe three leaves that have fallen down and are overlapping each other," said Brian Kidd, a senior associate at Chicago-based Pappageorge Haymes Partners, which is designing the project.
The building, which will contain 181 parking spaces and street-level retail/restaurant space, also features balconies of different sizes, which "kind of creates an interesting swoop up the building," Kidd said.
Swoop. [Pappageorge Haymes]
If the city approves the project, Smith said his firm would like to start building the tower in the winter. The luxury skyscrapers would also include a fifth-floor amenity deck with a pool, and rents estimated between $2,600 and $2,700 per month for an average one-bedroom unit, Pompizzi said.
Neighbors were mostly favorable Tuesday, with some concerns aired about shadows cast and how the new building would impact views from nearby towers.
Gail Spreen of the Streeterville Organization of Active Residents, which hosted Tuesday's meeting with Reilly, asked Jupiter to consider adding more two- and three-bedroom units to the most one-bedroom building in an effort to attract older tenants and, in turn, more upscale retailers to the building.
Jupiter, which previously sold an apartment building at 215 W. Washington St. to MetLife and is currently building a hotel in the West Loop, is seeking city approval for its plan because the site is zoned for the pre-recession proposal. Reilly called Tuesday's meeting "the first step" in a public process toward that approval.
Check out more renderings of the project shown Tuesday.
The park looking northeast. [Hitchcock Design Group]
The renovated park's site plan. [Hitchcock Design Group]
A rendering of the proposed tower at 465 N. Park Drive. [Pappageorge Haymes]
The tower's retail space, which Jupiter hopes will include a restaurant, at night. [Pappageorge Haymes]
An aerial rendering of the tower among its neighbors. [Pappageorge Haymes]
Ogden Plaza Park as it looked Tuesday evening. [DNAinfo/David Matthews]
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