900 W. Randolph (Related Midwest/Tucker Development)

(Refer to a prior presentation on this property here.)

Development Proposal

On Monday, October 9, Curt Bailey, Ann Thompson, and Mike Ellch of Related Midwest and Rich and Aaron Tucker of Tucker Development presented an updated proposal for a high-rise residential project on Peoria Street just north of Randolph. This project is included in the development known as 900 W. Randolph, in which Tucker renovated a group of low-rise office buildings on the block.

Tucker Development had previously proposed a 19-story building on the site in the spring of 2016. They subsequently partnered with Related Midwest, who had recently delivered the 30-story, 303-unit Landmark residential building at 1035 W. Van Buren. The combined team’s proposal is to upzone the entire group of holdings on the block (which excludes Pastorelli Foods on the northwest corner and Leña Brava on the southeast corner) from C1-1 with a 1.46 FAR (maximum allowable height of 38 ft) to DX-5 zoning with an 8.1 FAR. The result is a proposed 570 ft (51-story) structure that includes a 6-story parking pedestal. The increase in density would require a $4M payment to the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund.

Designer Morris Adjmi Architects drew from their experience in the meat packing district of New York and the nearby “L” to develop the building’s composition, which includes steel & glass rising above the brick-shielded podium.  The site would have an active retail/restaurant face along Peoria with an amenity level atop the podium.

The developer is considering using a valet parking system with sidewalk bump-outs on Peoria. A traffic study for the site is underway.

When asked what benefit the rezoning would bring, the developer cited the $4M NOF payment but could not identify other positive results for the community.

Committee Feedback

Our committee provided a number of comments for consideration by the development team:

  • Height is the committee’s primary concern. The group considered this building – which would be the tallest (existing or proposed) West Loop structure west of Halsted by a factor of three – to be too tall, with too much density for the area. Additionally, the group was concerned that this building would set the new height standard for the West Loop.
  • Members of the committee questioned the technique of reassigning floor area ratio from landmarked building that could never use the FAR to propose a structure of this height.
  • The parking pedestal was described as unsightly, with its anonymous red brick covering parking as opposed to active uses above the first floor.
  • Our committee would like more information about how the developer intends to meet the affordable housing requirements.
  • The group felt that underground parking should be provided for this development, consistent with the West Loop Design Guidelines.
  • The group liked the curved steel window frames, but did not fully appreciate the other architectural elements.
  • Concerns were raised about having the service on Peoria, suggesting that a different off-street circulation pattern would be more effective.

Next Steps

A community meeting will be scheduled for this proposed development in the coming weeks or months.  The NoWL Development Committee will issue a position letter based on resident feedback collected before and through the community meeting.

Related Links

Date:  Sunday, October 22, 2017

By:  NoWL Development Committee Chair, Matt Letourneau