The Loop hasn't seen a new apartment complex in several years, but Jupiter Realty is developing downtown's first LEED-certified apartment building at 215 W. Washington. The 389-unit tower near the Washington and Wells L stop opened its parking garage in December and started pre-leasing this year. Most of its green elements come from the building's efficiency, says Jupiter’s Don Smith. Its 70% glass exterior allows copious natural light. A green roof on top of the garage collects rainwater and offers residents a yard. And of course, low-flow toilets and low VOC paints.
Don says he's not worried much about competition since no new projects are under construction in the Loop, and the few just outside it will probably be the last until job growth allows current units to be absorbed. He expects younger renters to be attracted to the building because of its green elements, but also luxury renters who can afford $1,500-$6,000 rents on the studio up to three bedroom apartments.