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05.29.2014
Split in the West Loop
New Arquitectonica tower in Chicago brings controversy, density to area.
The split facade would face Chicagoos Eisenhower Expressway.
Courtesy Arquitectonica / Pizzuti

A developer’s $100 million proposal for high-rise living in Chicago’s West Loop has divided the neighborhood, with some welcoming the glass tower’s density and others calling it out of place among the former industrial area’s stout building stock.

The 32-story building, designed by Arquitectonica, features a split facade that appears pulled apart along a jagged diagonal line. It was unveiled in April at a community meeting. At issue was its density and scale, which is far above current zoning, which permits only four or five story buildings. The site in question is at 1061-1107 West Van Buren Street, where Aberdeen Street splits into South Tilden Street along the Eisenhower Expressway (I-290). Renderings indicate the building would cut off that block of Aberdeen.

Columbus, Ohio-based Pizzuti Companies (the company has an office in Downers Grove, Illinois) is the developer. The tower would add 402 market-rate apartment units, made up mostly of one bedrooms and studios. At street level it would offer 9,000 square feet of retail, beneath two floors of parking totaling 236 spaces. That nearly two-to-one ratio of apartments to parking spots qualifies the development as transit-oriented development in the eyes of the developer, which points out that the proposed building is just blocks from the CTA Blue Line and positioned along a bus route.

Catering company Blue Plate currently occupies a portion of the property, as does a residential three-flat. A surface lot and stretch of South Aberdeen Street comprise the rest. If the developer can acquire the land and secure the desired zoning changes, they hope to build the project in two years. At the moment they have a ways to go.

Chris Bentley