The effort to transform the outdated high-rise at 1926 W. Harrison Street into contemporary apartments is nearing completion in the Illinois Medical District on Chicago's Near West Side. Dubbed Atrio, the project has finished re-cladding the 18-story, 1960s-era Medical Center Apartments by swapping out the existing structure's precast concrete panels for new floor-to-ceiling glass.

The renovation work, led by general contractor Focus Construction, is far more than skin deep. The tower's existing 306 residential units were gut-rehabbed into modern 272 rental units offered in studio, one-, two-, and three-bedroom layouts. Fifty-two of the apartments are set aside as affordable housing.

Developed by Marquette Cos. and designed by Brininstool + Lynch, Atrio features new amenities including a resident lounge, a fitness center, and co-working spaces. The estimated $40 million renovation also extended elevator access to the tower's roof, which was reimagined as an outdoor terrace boasting new seating, grilling stations, and sweeping skyline views. 

Views from the new rooftop deck.Atrio Apartments

Atrio welcomed its first new residents in late May. As construction work winds down, the project's developers will next set their sights on a pair of new-construction residential buildings that will rise 22 and nine stories on open land just south of Atrio, reported Chicago YIMBY

These projects, along with the upcoming Gateway Apartments and the ongoing Harrison Square redevelopment of Cook County Hospital real estate, are all encouraging signs for the Illinois Medical District. Given the area's easy access to the Blue Line, I-290, downtown, and the booming West Loop, the future of the district is looking brighter every day. 

A rendering of the future buildings (right) planned south of Atrio (left).Brininstool + Lynch