New development heading to Southport and Kingsbury

From Crain’s and The Real Deal, Sterling Bay is planning a large apartment building next to Lincoln Yards, where Southport Avenue meets Kingsbury Street.

“The property is just outside the boundary of Lincoln Yards, a collection of office, residential and lab buildings planned along the North Branch of the Chicago River west of Lincoln Park. Approved in 2019, the $6 billion project stretching from North to Webster avenues is just getting underway, with its first building, an eight-story life sciences facility across the river, opening next year.

The property also is just south of a site where Sterling Bay wants to construct a nine-story apartment building that would be the city’s tallest mass-timber structure constructed since the Great Chicago Fire.

Sterling Bay plans multiple office towers within Lincoln Yards, but apartments are easier than office buildings to develop these days. Apartment rents are at record highs, and lenders are still eager to finance multifamily projects, though rising interest rates haven’t helped. But office space is in low demand these days as many professionals work remote or hybrid schedules.

Chicago-based Sterling Bay would develop the apartment building in a joint venture with Dallas-based Lone Star Funds, one of its partners in the Lincoln Yards project. The building would be more horizontal than vertical, stretching across a long, thin lot directly across the street from Lincoln Yards, according to the zoning application.

Once part of a gritty industrial neighborhood, the block and those around it are poised for a residential transformation in the coming years. Just behind the development site on Clybourn Avenue, a development group plans to convert the former headquarters of the Anixter Center into 136 apartments. Within a subsection of Lincoln Yards directly to the west, Sterling Bay plans four residential buildings totaling about 1,800 units, the tallest rising 595 feet.

“The demand for multifamily housing across Chicago continues to grow, and 2031 N. Kingsbury sits at the cross section of several of Chicago’s most populated communities like Lincoln Park, Bucktown, Wicker Park, as well as the future site of Lincoln Yards,” a Sterling Bay spokeswoman wrote in an email.

Designed by Pappageorge Haymes Partners, the building on Kingsbury would rise 168 feet, according to the zoning application for the project. The Sterling Bay needs the City Council’s approval for the building, which is not allowed under current zoning.

To comply with the city’s Affordable Requirements Ordinance, the project would include 36 units set aside for low- and moderate-income renters, according to the document. The Sterling Bay venture would also pay $5.1 million into a city affordable housing fund.”

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