Author Archives: Julie Rosenthal

Circa 922 Receives the Crystal Key Award

November 20, 2015

Circa 922 was among the winners at the Key Awards – put on by the Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago – bringing home a Crystal Key for Innovation and Creativity for Technical Innovation. The project’s architect – FitzGerald and Associates submitted the entry, which focused on the building’s Girder-Slab structural system–the first time used in Chicago–which was chosen for its value, speed of erection, and low floor-to-floor heights. Girder-Slab is a prefabricated system of modified steel girders that allow precast concrete slabs to sit within the channel between beams–rather than on top of those beams–so floor-to-floor heights are greatly reduced. As a result, the building includes an additional floor in the same overall building height when compared to traditional steel structure design.
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Aiming to ride tech wave, developers to sell West Loop apartments

By: Alby Gallun

The developers of a 149-unit apartment project in the West Loop have put the property up for sale, betting that its proximity to Google’s future Chicago offices and other technology companies will attract hefty bids from investors.

A joint venture including Northbrook-based Focus Development has hired CBRE to sell Circa922, a recently completed multifamily project at 922 W. Washington St. The property is close to the city’s emerging technology sweet spot, four blocks from the Google project and about eight blocks west of Gogo, Uber Technologies and Twitter’s new offices.

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Update from Lake Forest on Municipal Service Site

By: Adrienne Fawcett

Submitted by the City of Lake Forest
Lake Forest’s City Council on Sept. 2 approved a recommendation to select Focus Development to develop the City’s former Municipal Services site.

The selection of a developer for this site concludes a process that initially started in 2007, was then put on hold until the economy stabilized, and was re-initiated in December, 2013 with the issuance of a Request for Developer Qualifications. Continue reading

Wheaton Courthouse Square Development Work Could Start in 2015

By: Jessica Cilella

After many years of planning and dispute, Wheaton’s Courthouse Square development is back on track to be fully built in the near future.

The Wheaton City Council approved two ordinances Monday, both with a 6-1 vote, that amended the original Courthouse Square development agreement for a fifth time and granted the developer a special-use permit to construct two luxury apartment buildings near Willow Avenue and Naperville Road. Continue reading

Meet the West Loop’s Newest & Curviest Apartment Tower

UntitledBy: AJ LaTrace

Developers Shapack Partners and Focus Development are joining forces to bring a new glassy, curvy mixed-use tower to the West Loop, and unveiled their proposal to a group of area residents last evening. The new 28 story development is set to include 227 residential units with parking for 162 vehicles and about 60 bicycles. In addition to its residential component, the LEED Silver tower will include approximately 9,700 square feet of ground level commercial space. Apartment rental rates at the new tower, which will be situated near popular restaurants and nightlife, are expected to fetch $3/foot. Designed by Booth Hansen architects, the tower with its curved shape certainly

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This Week’s New West Loop Apartment Proposal

By: Joe Zekas


It’s not quite a weekly occurrence, but you can be excused for feeling that each week brings the announcement of a new West Loop apartment development.

Two weeks ago we wrote about a proposal to build 131 apartments on a site currently occupied by Carmichael’s Steak House. Last week the Chicago Architecture Blog revealed plans for a 32-story apartment tower front I-290 at 1061 W Van Buren.

Two days ago Crain’s Chicago Real Estate Daily reported that Focus Development is part of a group planning a mixed-use development at the southwest corner of Lake and Halsted on a site whose current zoning would allow 155 apartments.


Another Apartment Development Brewing in West Loop

By: Alby Gallun

With one West Loop apartment project winding down later this year, Focus Development Inc. and an Atlanta investor have found a site for their next one just a few blocks away.

A joint venture including Northfield-based Focus, Atlanta-based Atlantic Realty Partners and Chicago developer Jeffrey Shapack paid $4.7 million for a pair of properties at the southeast corner of Lake and Halsted streets, according to Cook County records. The group plans

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New Evanston Apartment Building Sells for $70 Million

By: Alby Gallun

1717The developers of a brand-new 175-unit apartment building in Evanston sold the project for a hefty gain even before leasing up the project, a sign of the strong investor demand for multifamily properties in the Chicago suburbs.

Atlanta-based pension fund adviser Invesco Ltd. paid about $70 million for the eight-story building at 1717 Ridge Ave., according to people familiar with the transaction. At $400,000 a unit, it is likely the highest per-unit price ever paid for a suburban Chicago apartment property. Continue reading