Author: Jay Kozlarz, Curbed Chicago
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A previously-approved Fulton Market office project at the corner of Lake and Halsted is back with an all new and much larger design. The changes are a result of a joint venture comprising of Shapack Partners and Focus Development acquiring an additional parcel along Green Street. Previously owned by Bridgford Foods, the piece was earmarked for a five-story boutique office building as part of Bridgford’s future mixed-use redevelopment plan.
The bigger footprint has allowed Shapack and Focus to ditch plans for a smaller 14-story office structure known as 176 N. Halsted for a considerably more dense building. Clad in brick, metal, and glass, the now 17-story design has grown to 725,000 square feet. Parking has also increased from around 50 spaces to 129, but is visually concealed deep within the structure.
While the previous plan for 176 N. Halsted building came from GREC architects, the new building design is by Gensler. The global architecture firm is no stranger to large West Loop office projects and is responsible for McDonald’s upcoming corporate HQ at 110 N. Carpenter and the recently opened Dyson and Glassdoor offices at Fulton West.
Spanning the majority of the block, the Shapack/Focus project is known by both the addresses of 167 N. Green and 170 N. Halsted. The developers actually propose to connect the two parallel streets via a high-ceilinged passageway known as “the mews.” The ground-floor corridor would pass beneath the main mass of the building.
This publicly accessible pedestrian connection would lead to the office lobby as well as five individual retail bays. According to the development team, one of the spaces could house rotating exhibitions or possibly even a permanent museum. The mews would also provide room for three shipping container-sized retail pop-up shops.
As the overall proposal grows in size, so has its contribution to Chicago’s Neighborhood Opportunity Fund—up from roughly $2.5 million to $5.5 million. The revised project will require a return trip to the Plan Commission and Chicago City Council for approval.
Already a hot spot for new office development, Chicago’s Fulton Market District was listed as one of ten possible sites in the city’s bid to land Amazon’s HQ2 headquarters. With or without the tech giant, the neighborhood’s evolution shows little signs of slowing down. London-based advertising company WPP recently committed to 253,000 square feet in a unbuilt 24-story tower planned at the former Coyne College parking lot at 333 N. Green Street.
Read the original article on Curbed Chicago.