Plans change for Fulton Market Mixed-use Development

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By Judy Lamelza

Special to Chicago Construction News

Fulton Market is on the verge of a monumental transformation with the introduction of a striking mixed-use development at 800 W. Lake St. Ascend Real Estate and Intercontinental Real Estate Group, along with GREC Architects, have unveiled a re-designed plan for this multi-plot site.

The initial blueprint for the site envisioned a hotel; however, the design evolved significantly over time. In March, the first glimpse of the new design suggested a modest increase in height. As the final plan prepares for its presentation to the Committee on Design later this month, it promises a taller, more imposing edifice. The height has climbed from the original 270-foot proposal to 412 feet, manifested in a 36-story building. This represents a four-story increase compared to the March plan, which proposed a 32-story, 389-foot structure.

Maintaining the overall building form, the structure will retain its rectangular box design with inset corners, with a principal focus on the eastern side of the site. The west side will feature a convenient vehicle drop-off point, sheltered by the overhanging podium. The podium will house parking for 102 vehicles and an impressive 406 bicycles. Meanwhile, a landscaped plaza will grace the east end of the site, creating an inviting streetfront, complete with a retail space and a residential lobby.

Parking will be located on floors two through five. The sixth floor will host an expansive 10,500 square-feet amenity space, complete with a large outdoor deck and pool. The subsequent floors up to the 35th will include 406 residential units, an increase from the 349 initially planned.

The final floor includes 5,300 square-feet of amenity space. A rooftop deck crowns the building, with a multi-story crown hiding the building’s mechanical equipment. The exterior will be mostly covered in a standard curtain wall facade, punctuated by an opaque-gold finish on select panels, gold vertical fins on the podium, and gold metal panels on the balconies.

Following the receipt of zoning approval earlier this year, the project now awaits review by the Committee on Design, a crucial step towards construction approval. No official construction timeline has been shared yet, but developers have hinted at a 2025 completion date.

This proposal contrasts sharply with the original 476-room hotel concept that won city approval in early 2020. Intercontinental and North Park Ventures paid $19 million for the site, demolishing the existing low-rise buildings in 2021. However, the hotel project did not proceed.

Today, with residential demand soaring and rents reaching record highs, Intercontinental, Ascend, and North Park are joining forces to ride the wave of multifamily projects sweeping the neighborhood. Over the past quarter alone, developers have introduced plans for nearly 2,700 units, including two towers reaching 52 and 46 stories, set to become Fulton Market’s tallest buildings.

The 800 W. Lake Street development is not just another construction project; it is a testament to the dynamic evolution of Fulton Market, promising to reshape the neighborhood while meeting the demands of a thriving residential market. The commercial construction field eagerly anticipates its completion, marking another milestone in Fulton Market.

Judy Lamezla is an editorial reporter at Databid.com.

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