On Monday evening, Chicago-based LG Development Group unveiled a new version of its previously approved proposal in the West Loop. Known as the "Amylu Collection," the two-building project will occupy the former site of Amylu Foods on the 1100 block of West Lake Street.
The revised plan shrinks the apartment high-rise slated for the southwest corner of Lake and May Street from 550 units and 33 stories to 486 units and 29 stories. An 11-story office building slated for the north side of Lake has been eliminated and replaced by an 18-story, 179-unit residential tower.
According to the development team, the changes were made in response to shifting post-COVID market conditions as well as the recently updated Fulton Market Innovation District Plan which now permits new residential development on the north side of Lake Street.
"This a project that went through the community process over a year ago and was already approved at Plan Commission," said zoning attorney Michael Ezgur at a virtual community meeting hosted by Ald. Walter Burnett Jr. (27th) and the West Loop Community Organization.
"With COVID, office has become something that is very difficult to finance and we don't quite know the demand," explained Ezgur. "The new guidelines allow residential north of Lake, so that portion of the Planned Development will be amended to eliminate the office and add more apartments."
The overall number of rental units across the two Gensler-designed buildings remains at 550, though the commercial retail space has been reduced from roughly 44,000 to 37,000 square feet. The transit-oriented development will still provide a total of 290 parking spaces.
A pedestrian-friendly alleyway flanked by small "pop-up" retail spaces will pass beneath the Amylu South apartment building to "activate the interior of the site," according to Gensler architect Matt Majack.
Twenty percent of the development's apartments will be offered at an affordable rate, although LG is still deciding how many of the units will be located on-site versus off-site.
The development team hopes to go back before the Chicago Plan Commission with its revised design in June. If approvals go as planned, LG estimates that it will take eight to ten months to receive permits and break ground, plus another 18 months to complete each of the buildings.
"We're likely going to build these one at a time," said LG founder Brian Goldberg at Monday's meeting. "We haven't yet decided which one we'll do first but we think the larger building, 'Amylu South,' will anchor the site."