Lendlease Development, along with co-developer The John Buck Company and partner Intercontinental Real Estate Corporation, today announced that Porte has been named Multifamily Development of the Year by REjournals. The two-tower, mixed-use project beat out four other finalists at the annual Illinois Real Estate Journal Awards, held on July 22 at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare Chicago in Rosemont, Ill.
Situated on a full city block in Chicago’s West Loop, Porte features 586 apartments, including a collection of rental townhomes, and ground-level retail space. The LEED Gold-certified property comprises two 17-story towers offering studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom units to the spectrum of professionals, growing families and rightsizing empty nesters that are attracted to the burgeoning neighborhood. The community also features a selection of two-story, two-bedroom townhomes, each with private outdoor spaces and private entrances. This mix of living options allows residents to grow within the development while enjoying the flexibility of the rental lifestyle in a highly amenitized building.
“We endeavored to create a unique residential experience in the West Loop that prioritized community and placemaking above all else,” said Ted Weldon, executive general manager of development for Lendlease’s Chicago office. “That’s why we’re so honored to receive this award, which recognizes how we delivered on that goal despite the challenges posed by the pandemic.”
Porte began pre-leasing in March 2020 – just as COVID-19 was declared a pandemic. Despite coming online during this uncertain period, the on-site leasing and management teams successfully pivoted, offering live virtual tours via FaceTime and recorded video tours through Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and the Porte website.
A sense of community was maintained during the height of the pandemic, with resident programming shifting to virtual and socially distanced formats. These collective efforts, which included online cooking classes and book clubs as well as outdoor fitness classes and film screenings on Porte’s 1-acre pool deck, resulted in a strong first year for the property, which today is 88% leased.
“Porte is a very special property, delivered during a challenging time,” said Ariana Rasansky, Senior Vice President of The John Buck Company. “We’re thrilled that the judges saw what our residents already know – that this is a one-of-a-kind residence in Chicago.”
Connectivity to the surrounding neighborhood was a guiding design principle for the project team. The developers collaborated with G|R|E|C Architects to create a stepped, three-tier facade that transitions from glass on the upper floors to masonry at street level. This mix of materials helps maintain the aesthetic of the existing streetscape and complements the post-manufacturing architecture of the surrounding neighborhood.
“Architects, designers and union members across the trade spectrum collaborated to deliver a first-class multifamily building that integrates seamlessly into the rich fabric of Chicago’s West Loop,” said Joseph A. Sweeney, regional director – asset management, at Intercontinental Real Estate Corporation. “Receiving this accolade and recognition is icing on the cake.”
A block-long mural adorning the building’s eastern facade further reinforces Porte’s connection to place, paying homage to Oprah Winfrey, whose eponymous talk show was filmed nearby. The development team commissioned the composition from B_Line Projects, Chicago’s largest curator of public art murals, who worked with five celebrated artists to bring their distinct visions to life in one unified masterpiece. This is just one example of Porte’s commitment to enriching the neighborhood and its community through art.
Porte’s two towers were positioned to maximize natural light and connectivity with the neighboring 2.7-acre Mary Bartelme Park, which houses a fountain plaza, children’s play area, dog park, open lawn area, viewing hill and seating. The community is also steps away from Randolph Street’s famed restaurant row and numerous shops throughout the West Loop. The Kennedy and Eisenhower expressways offer convenient access to the site, as do the Ogilvie Transportation Center, Union Station and several CTA bus and rail lines connecting to the Loop and Illinois Medical District.
For more information, visit www.porteapts.com.