Sterling Bay plans 45 story mixed-use tower


Judy Lamelza

Special to Chicago Construction News

The project by Sterling Bay at 345 N. Aberdeen marks a significant chapter in the evolution of Chicago’s urban landscape, particularly within the vibrant Fulton Market district.

Acquired for just over $20 million, this full-block lot, currently a one-story industrial building, will be transformed into a 45-story mixed-use development. The developer is also marketing the property for sale.

Sterling Bay’s acquisition of the former Cougle Commission poultry processing facility underscores a strategic move towards revitalizing underused industrial spaces. The choice of Gensler for architectural services highlights a commitment to innovative design and sustainability. The inclusion of 255 parking spaces and extensive bike parking facilities speaks to a forward-thinking approach to urban mobility.

Additionally, the project’s high-profile nature and the involvement of renowned firms like Gensler and Hariri Pontarini Architects provide valuable learning opportunities and the chance to contribute to a landmark project.

The design features a a four-story podium with a tower, leverages the full potential of the site while respecting the urban fabric. The decision to clad the podium in brick with opaque infill panels nods to the area’s industrial heritage, blending the new with the historical context of Fulton Market.

The metal and glass curtain wall of the residential tower promises a modern aesthetic that aligns with the district’s dynamic evolution.

The metal and glass curtain wall of the residential tower promises a modern aesthetic that aligns with the district’s dynamic evolution.

The new development will include:

  • 45 floors tall building
  • 559 residential units
  • 20% or 112 of which will be set aside as affordable at an average of 60% AMI
  • Residential lobby
  • 10,000 square feet of retail space on ground floor

The residential tower component will be a slender rectangular massing oriented north/south and justified towards N. Carpenter St. The facade will be made up of a metal and glass curtain wall.

The transition from M2-3 to DX-7 zoning, coupled with the pursuit of a planned development designation, illustrates the intricate process of aligning urban development projects with municipal regulations. The application for a 4.5 FAR bonus, facilitated by contributions to the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund, showcases a strategic approach to leveraging zoning incentives for community benefit. This process not only requires adept navigation of the legal landscape but also a commitment to contributing positively to the urban environment.

The project’s emphasis on sustainability, from bike-friendly amenities to the potential for LEED certification, underscores the construction industry’s shifting priorities towards environmentally responsible development.

The integration of green spaces, energy-efficient building systems, and sustainable materials will set a new standard for urban projects in Chicago and beyond, presenting both challenges and opportunities for professionals in the field.

The transformation of 345 N. Aberdeen from an industrial site to a mixed-use development epitomizes the broader revitalization of the Fulton Market district.

Judy Lamelza writes‘s newsletter


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