Crain’s Chicago Business reported that the beloved stalled project located at 111 W. Wacker Drive has officially been purchased by developer Related Midwest who plans to turn the unfinished tower into a 65 story, 500 unit apartment building. Related is also planning to build a luxury apartment tower at 500 N. Lake Shore Drive in the Streeterville / River East neighborhood.
Several other Chicago developers tried to put together a deal for the old Waterview site, however their plans to build a hotel / office tower concept were crushed mostly due to the difficulty of financing for such a project. At the current multi-family construction, financing and investment is almost as hot as the condo market was in 2004.
Related Midwest plans to start construction in the first quarter of 2012 and plans to complete the project 18 to 24 months after which would put final completion right before or right after the 2014 New Year. The question is will the multi-family market stay hot until then? Will this developer be able to flip this building in 3 years like so many others are currently doing? The fundamentals of 111 W. Wacker are phenomenal. From a “Apartment Building” stand point, you cannot find a better location. It is walking distance to any building in the loop, plus only a short walk to River North, Michigan Avenue and the Lake. My hope, for the sake of Related Midwest, is that they are building this tower based on valuations of rents in the CURRENT MARKET and not future rents in 2014 which many are foolishly predicting double digit year over year rent increases.