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Another downtown parking lot may become an apartment tower

Hundreds of new rental units may sprout up at the southwest corner of Canal and Kinzie

Yet another downtown surface parking lot may be replaced by a new residential tower with hundreds of apartments. According to Chicago Tribune real estate reporter Ryan Ori, the New York-based property owner and manager Vornado Realty Trust is looking to plant a new tower at the southwest corner of Canal and Kinzie on what is currently a self park. And with current zoning in place, Vornado could build a tower of around 30 stories with 228 apartments.

Vornado, which also owns and manages the Merchandise Mart, has not been an active builder in Chicago during this development cycle. However, the news could position Vornado as a big player in the Fulton River District with such a development. The site’s location near the booming Fulton Market and new office towers like 150 North Riverside and River Point would certainly be ideal for West Loop office workers. And similar to the glassy new 150 North Riverside and River Point towers, a high-rise at this location would help fill in what is otherwise a relative dead pocket between the West Loop and the rest of the central business district.

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However, Vornado enters the rental game at a point where there are concerns about a downtown apartment market saturation. Nevertheless, thousands of apartments have been delivered over the last few years and thousands more are still on the way. Another 200 or so would only make a small impact on the list of downtown rental units that are currently in the pipeline.

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