Home » New apartment tower off Mag Mile in Streeterville planned – Crain's Chicago Business

New apartment tower off Mag Mile in Streeterville planned – Crain's Chicago Business

by Arifa Rana

Mavrek Development wants to build a 248-unit high-rise at the northeast corner of East Grand Avenue and North St. Clair Street.

A local development group is planning a 21-story apartment tower a block east of the Magnificent Mile, the first rental project in the Streeterville neighborhood in what could be five years.
A joint venture led by Chicago-based Mavrek Development wants to build the 248-unit high-rise at the northeast corner of East Grand Avenue and North St. Clair Street, according to a statement from the venture. Designed by NORR, a Chicago-based architecture firm, the building would also include 41,000 square feet of office space, 8,000 square feet of ground floor retail space and 100 parking spaces.
Downtown apartment construction downtown has rebounded over the past year as rents and occupancies have recovered from steep declines in the early months of the pandemic. But most of the action these days is in the West Loop, especially the Fulton Market District.
Streeterville, a hot spot for apartment development in the last decade, has been quiet the past few years. The most recently completed project, One Bennett Park, at 514 N. Peshtigo Court, opened in 2019. Mavrek aims to break ground on its development by the end of the year, putting it on track for an early 2024 completion date.
One reason development in Streeterville has slowed: After a wave of construction over the past two decades—first condominiums, then apartments—developers have gobbled up most of the best high-rise development sites in the neighborhood. Only three big multifamily projects are in the works in Streeterville: a two-tower, 1,200-unit development at 1400 N. Lake Shore Drive, the former Chicago Spire site, and a skyscraper planned just east of Tribune Tower that would include 439 apartments, according to Integra Realty Resources, a consulting and appraisal firm.
Mavrek has teamed up with GW Properties, a Chicago-based retail developer, and Luxury Living Chicago Realty, a Chicago-based apartment marketing and consulting firm, for its project at 535 N. St. Clair, currently the site of a three-story parking garage. The property is just east of the Shops at North Bridge mall and down the street from the InterContinental Chicago hotel and a Whole Foods Market.
“With a Whole Foods steps from the development site and easy access to Lake Shore Drive and Michigan Avenue, this is a prime location well suited for retail, office and multifamily,” Mavrek Partner Adam Friedberg said in the statement.
The developers don’t need the City Council’s approval for their proposal because their project is allowed under current zoning for the property, Ald. Brendan Reilly, 42nd, who represents the area, wrote in a newsletter to constituents. But they still need to secure equity financing and a construction loan for the development.
The project will feature lots of small apartments, with studios ranging from 492 to 706 square feet accounting for half of its 248 units, according to a slide presentation provided by Reilly’s office. One- and two-bedroom units will round out the mix. Most of the apartments will have balconies. The building will include a co-working lounge, fitness center and a rooftop outdoor pool and deck.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, “we have seen a shift in renter demand asking for more one-bedroom and den spaces and paying premiums for units with private outdoor space,” Luxury Living Founder and CEO Aaron Galvin said in the statement.
Though Luxury Living has worked on multiple high-rise apartment developments in downtown Chicago, the project represents a step up for Mavrek. Founded in 2010, the firm has developed low-rise multifamily projects in Chicago neighborhoods but nothing vertical in the central business district. The firm’s biggest apartment project to date is a 171-unit building in Cleveland, their website shows.
GW Properties, meanwhile, is mainly a retail specialist, with recent acquisitions including Church Street Plaza, a shopping center in downtown Evanston. 
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