Developers Mark Goodman & Associates and Weldon Development Group recently presented their new plan for a mixed-use development at 400 N. Elizabeth to the local community. Fronting N. Elizabeth St, the irregularly shaped lot is bound by W. Ogden Ave to the west, N. Elizabeth St to the east, and Metra rail tracks to the north and south.
Originally approved in November 2021 as a 16-story life sciences office building, the 500,000-square-foot building designed by Solomon Cordwell Buenz would have had laboratory and office space alongside parking and retail.
Now with Archeo Design Studio on board, the development proposal will include two residential towers totaling 724 apartments, with 145 (20%) of them set aside as affordable. A total of 348 parking spaces will be split between the two buildings as well as 724 bike parking spaces.
Rather than a large podium, the development has been designed as two rectangular point towers, with the eastern tower rising 33 floors at 374 feet tall and the western tower reaching 30 floors and 342 feet in height. The towers will have gridded facades made up of metal paneling and glazing. The parking floors will have a hybrid of architectural mesh and open-air glazing.
On the ground floor, both residential lobbies will face east towards N. Elizabeth St with small retail spaces at each southeastern corner. An access drive will stretch across the north side of the site for loading and parking access including a dropoff zone.
Designed by Confluence, the site will be designed to feature a flexible turf lawn between the buildings and a dog run along N. Ogden Ave. A pedestrian path will run across the southern portion of the site, featuring seating, bike racks, and a sculpture terrace.
During the meeting, neighbors were split in favor and against the new scheme for the site, complaining about the potential added traffic to the area and expressing their opinions that the green space felt tucked away and hidden from the public.
To allow for the project to move forward, the developers would need to rezone from the DX-5 approved for the life sciences plan to a new DX-7 and Planned Development. They also plan to pay into the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund to get a 4.5 FAR bonus. Approvals will be needed from Alderman Burnett, the Chicago Plan Commission, the Committee on Zoning, and full City Council.