Steve Fifield: More Units, Please
Fifield Cos CEO Steve Fifield (snapped at our last summit) tells us we don’t have nearly enough new construction to meet rabid renter demand. (It's The Hunger Games out there for tenants.) K2, his latest project that serves as a bridge between the West Loop and River North, has achieved rents of $3.15/SF, he tells us. Recent rent ranges suggest North Side buildings will continue to be the most profitable, but land sites are scarce and many proposed projects won’t secure financing or get off the ground, he says. Looking at deliveries and likely new projects from 2010 to 2016, the market will have built about 14,000 units in seven years, or 2000 units/year, making it one of the most dynamic metro areas in the US, he says.
The key to these new growing neighborhoods, like Fifield’s K Station, is walkability, job access, and amenities. (Steve and his wife Randy inside K2, above.) Building amenities across K Station include the latest gyms, game rooms, and outdoor decks, but equally important was getting the basics in (park, grocery, bank, etc), Steve says. K2 just opened a bridge from the building’s plaza deck to the Jewel across the street. (Sounds like a welcome treat in snowy weather.) Fifield has applied for zoning for its new 305-unit tower at Orleans and Chestnut in River North, with plans to deliver in late 2016 for a 2017 lease-up (after the current buildings have completed theirs).