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Condos are Back and Bigger

Chicago Multifamily

Solomon Cordwell Buenz design principal Devon Patterson (above) and his firm are working on some of the first large-scale condo projects Chicago has seen in years, so we tapped his expertise for Bisnow’s 5th Annual Chicago Multifamily Summit on April 8. The first, DRW’s proposed 25-story building at the corner of State and Elm in the Gold Coast, was just approved by the Plan Commission, and construction will kick off later this year, Devon says. And just like Sandz Development’s Webster Square at the former Grant Park Hospital site (another SCB project), the trend is large-scale units. (Not everyone wants a Murphy bed.) The Gold Coast plans even include condos as large as 2,500 SF, he tells us.


Design usually travels east, so Devon gave us the details about a forward-thinking rental project SCB just completed at 55 9th St (above) in San Francisco, across the street from Twitter’s HQ. Units have gear rooms, a large area of space dedicated to bikes, backpacks, and other accessories for the urban hipster. In terms of finishes, renters expect condo quality, and there’s no evident ceiling on the size of amenity decks, he says. In Chicago, it will be interesting to see if the latest souped-up rental towers will eventually be converted to condos, where that level of amenities is not the expectation, Devon notes. He’ll be rocking out with his 12-year-old tonight at the Imagine Dragons concert.