An inside look at Chicago real estate

South Loop Condos Continue to Go Up, But Not Out

Mark.Miles By
Mark Miles
   | Chicago Neighborhoods

Since the 1990s there has been an initiative to build mixed-use structures in the South Loop of Chicago, effectively boosting the interest and appeal of the area with both homeowners and business owners. In addition to townhouses, flats, condos and lofts, the new construction has opened up a lot of retail and parking space, giving this once neglected area a fresh start that has attracted many homebuyers in the past decade.

Now, even with the residential real estate market in trying times, growth continues in the South Loop (where construction cranes are a common sight) and slender high-rises are becoming the bread and butter of housing in the neighborhood. Tall condominium towers are shooting up along Grant Park, affording great views, luxury amenities and a range of pricing.

The trend toward these sleek, skinny buildings is escalating as more and more developers opt to build up, instead of out. The reason? The structures not only look modern and sophisticated, but the narrower designs incorporate fewer numbers of condos on every level, therefore offering bigger and better views from each unit.

As a result, residential developers who have previously had their projects approved by the city are going back to the City Council with revised blueprints that include taller maximum heights and slimmer widths. These altered proposals are making a statement on the new construction scene in the South Loop and have already been well accepted by buyers in the region. With additional condominium towers in the works (some 83-stories high), the tendency toward thin and tall is hitting the streets south of downtown Chicago like a Hollywood fad.