A curvacious eight-story apartment building is open for business at the northwest corner of Clark and School streets in Lakeview. Dubbed Panorama, the transit-oriented development replaces a single-story commercial building and parking lot with 140 luxury rental units, new retail, and parking for 22 cars. 

"In Lakeview, curb appeal is key—I knew that if the design and materials were sub-par, that we wouldn't have a chance with Ald. Tunney and his residents," developer David Blitz, of BlitzLake Partners told Urbanize. "Although expensive, the cost of high design and superior building materials was well worth it."

Created by Chicago's bKL Architecture, Panorama features a masonry exterior with large, deep-set windows. The penthouse level is home to a well-appointed fitness center, theater, and a chef's kitchen as well as a roof terrace with sweeping views that evoke the building's name. Other amenities include a dog spa and lounges that can serve as office space or private study rooms.

Courtesy Luxury Living Chicago Realty

According to Blitz, these amenities allow the building to accommodate the increase in renters working remotely, adopting dogs, and achieving their fitness goals at home. "Of course we did not forecast [the pandemic] but our preliminary plans sought to deliver more sophisticated amenities not generally found in Lakeview," he said.

Apartments at Panorama are offered primarily in studio, convertible, and one-bedroom layouts but the building also includes some two- and three-bedroom units. Each residence boasts nine-foot ceilings, hardwood floors, high-end kitchens, solar shades, custom walk-in closets, and smart locks.

With current specials factored in, the starting rents for remaining units are $1,375 for studios, $1,450 for convertibles, $2,057 for one-bedrooms, and $3,000 for two-bedrooms.

Power Construction managed to complete the Panorama project in December, roughly three months ahead of schedule, said Blitz. Leasing kicked off in January and after less than three months the building is already 70 percent leased. 

Courtesy Luxury Living Chicago Realty

"Even though we are still in the midst of a global pandemic, Panorama will be one of the fastest lease-ups we have ever completed," said Aaron Galvin of Luxury Living Chicago Realty, the exclusive marketing and leasing provider for Panorama. "This property delivered at the perfect time, offering renters an upscale yet attainable option in Lakeview."

As downtown's high-end rental market bounces back from its pandemic lows, the early success of Panorama illustrates that there's still a healthy demand for new luxury apartments outside of Chicago's central core.

"The challenge of distinguishing Panorama in the marketplace was no small task," said Blitz. "We set out to provide the Lakeview renter with an alternative to the vintage walk-ups or aging high-rises. Our goal was to deliver a unique product and I believe that we succeeded."

Courtesy Luxury Living Chicago Realty