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Guess what? A vacant lot exists near Chicago’s West Loop! Yes, it is true. Despite the booming development in recent years in Chicago’s near west side neighborhoods, there are indeed a few dusty parcels of gravel that remain vacant … for now.

The site of a future apartment building at 354 N Union in Chicago's Fulton River District
Future site of a new Fulton River District luxury high-rise apartment between Union and Halsted.

Take a look at that sliver of land. Isn’t it mind-blowing that a 32-story tower will rise up in that space?! It’ll take the lot from dirt and weeds to brand-spankin’-new apartments.

This building is going to be a beautiful and welcome addition to this corner of downtown. As a nearby resident, I’ve seen not only how quickly this neighborhood has grown in popularity, but how beautifully it has been developed architecturally.  So, the news of another gorgeous new apartment building always gets me a little giddy. 

Located at 354 N. Union Avenue, this new tower will take root along the western edge of the Fulton River District. It’ll lie just south of the Grand/Halsted/Milwaukee intersection to the north, and is bound between Union Street on the east and Halsted Street on the west. 

You’ll notice the white building in the photo above and in the rendering below; that’s K2 luxury apartments, which has stood in the spot since 2013. This new development is going to be quite similar. In fact, aesthetically speaking, the two buildings will look like cousins.

A rendering of 354 N Union apartments in Chicago's Fulton River District
A 2018 rendering of the new apartment high-rise coming next door to K2 Apartments in the Fulton River District. Image: Pappageorge Haymes Partners.

Development and Design 

Vancouver-based Onni Group is the developer for this new construction on Union. They’ve recently made a splash in the Chicago luxury apartment market, leading several impressive new construction projects. Their Chicago portfolio includes the Old Town Park’s three-tower complex at Division and Wells Street, The Hudson on Chicago Avenue in River North, and a nearly-completed high-rise at 369 W. Grand.

A look at The Hudson apartments in downtown Chicago
Contemporary-designed living space at The Hudson in River North. The Onni Group and Pappageorge Haymes Partners collaborated on this luxury apartment development in 2017.

Onni Group tapped the influential Chicago architecture firm Pappageorge Haymes Partners to take the reins on the design front. From residential properties to historic landmarks, these seasoned pros have been making their mark in downtown Chicago since 1981. 

Take a walk around Fulton Market and Fulton River District and you won’t be able to avoid bumping into Pappageorge Haymes’ award-winning projects. They’ve led the design of several of the newest apartment buildings in and around the neighborhood, including this new project’s neighbor, K2 as well as River North stunner Wolf Point East. 

An interior amenity space at Chicago's K2 Apartments
A luxurious lounge where residents hang out at the award-winning K2 Apartments in Chicago’s Fulton River District, designed by Pappageorge Haymes Partners.

What’s the Plan?

A foundation permit was issued for the project back in March 2020, but aside from the exterior rendering (which dates back to 2018), the developers have remained tight-lipped when it comes to releasing any details. However, based on the prior work of both Onni and Pappageorge Haymes Partners, I’m expecting nothing short of wall-to-wall luxury.

Daydreams and Views  

Let’s start on the outside. She’s a pretty one! The renderings show the building exterior has green-blue glass walls framed by white horizontal metal strips, with glass and aluminum balconies. 

There’s also a distinguished sharp-angled parapet at the top. Any guesses on what it’ll hold? A resident lounge? State-of-the-art-gym? Full-floor indoor dog park?! How about a fully-stocked private library with an authentic French patisserie and full-time barista?! Hey, a girl can dream, right? 

No matter what sits atop the tower, the views of the downtown Chicago skyline and cityscapes to the south and west will be pretty amazing. And, they won’t be obstructed any time soon. The I-90 expressway and metra train line create a natural buffer around the south and west sides of this property.

The Apartment Units and Amenities 

We do know that the 32-stories will include 373 units and 143 car parking spaces. And I’m assuming there will be the usual mix of studios, convertibles, 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom apartments, similar to what we see at the majority of newly constructed downtown Chicago luxury apartment high-rises.

There appear to be balconies on at least the southeast corner units. Residents who nab one of these apartments will be greeted each morning by spectacular views of the downtown Chicago skyline, all aglow in the morning sunshine.  

From that 2018 rendering, we can see there will be a south-facing pool deck. So, sun-worshippers – put this on your radar. There won’t be obstruction of those rays from the south or west, giving you Miami-style summers right in downtown Chicago. 

To keep up with the best nearby apartments, they’ll have to cover what have become luxury-but-standard amenities, and it’ll be super fun to see what sort of design aesthetic the architects land on. You can expect several shared amenity spaces including a fitness center and event room with kitchen.  

To keep up with other pet-friendly apartment buildings in Fulton River District, I’m betting on some terrific dog-focused spaces too. I’m hoping for a dog run but if they skip it, there’s a fantastic neighborhood park just up the street on Kinzie and Des Plaines. Neighbors love to bring their pups to run the hilly grass lawn or play with their fuzzy buddies in the fenced-in dog park. 

A view of the dog park in Chicago's Fulton River District
Dogs love to run this long sloping lawn at Fulton River District Park. Located at Kinzie St and Des Plaines this will be about a block away from the new apartments coming to 354 N. Union St.

About the Fulton River District Neighborhood 

Fulton River District is an ideal location whether you commute or live close-by.. It’s a great connector neighborhood between River North and the West Loop with dozens of amazing restaurants, bars and entertainment hotspots all within a leisurely stroll. 

Perfect Spot to Rent and Commute 

With two CTA train lines just a short walk away, commuting to the Loop, or anywhere really, could not be easier from this area. The Blue Line station is just north at Grand and Halsted, and the Green Line station is about a half-mile south on Lake Street at Clinton

Also, the #56 Milwaukee Avenue bus is a Loop Link route, with a bus stop about a block away in front of the Jewel grocery store. Regional trains are also close by at the Ogilvie Metra Station, which is a walkable three-quarters of a mile away. 

Drivers in this area have convenient near-instant access to I-90 and also the interchange for I-290 is just a few minutes south. So, if your commute takes you away from downtown or if you are heading to the airport you won’t have to worry about being stuck in any crosstown traffic on your way to the expressway. 

A map of the neighborhood around 354 N Union, new apartments in Chicago's Fulton River
Area map surrounding the future site of 354 N. Union apartments.

Close to the Loop and West Loop 

The Fulton River District is also a popular area for folks who want to live adjacent to the Loop, but not right in it. Within ten minutes or so you can get to any workplace in the downtown Chicago central business district, the West Loop or even the Illinois Medical District.

Fulton River District also typically has slightly more affordable apartments than the surrounding options in West Loop, River North or River West. So, move to Fulton River to live the luxe life while pinching more pennies for your piggy bank.  

Everything you Need is Nearby 

Are you ready to try living the high-rise life in Fulton River District? Our team of Chicago’s best leasing agents are ready to get you there. Reach out to HotSpot Rentals to connect. We’re ready to help you find an amazing apartment here or anywhere in downtown Chicago.

Blog Author Signature: Sarah
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