Chicago has selected the first three developers to spend a total $550 million to convert three office buildings to residential and mixed-use spaces in the LaSalle Street Corridor, a tax-increment-financing district that gives developers financial breaks to cover some costs. The city hopes to revitalize the historic street, which is lined with aging office high-rises and plagued by high vacancy rates. 

The city launched the LaSalle Reimagined initiative last September, specifically to oversee the transition from office to residential. Candidates were required to meet the city’s goals of revitalizing an under-performing historic property, providing 30% of the total housing units at affordable levels and creating neighborhood-oriented building amenities that contribute to a mixed-use, downtown environment. The city's goal is for 1,000 affordable housing units in the corridor. 

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the selections are the culmination of months of work to solicit, review and identify submissions. “By converting underutilized office space to residential units, we will make the Loop a safer, more dynamic and vibrant place to live and work,” she said in a news release. 

The finalists, selected from nine applicants, still need to undergo the city's standard review, underwriting and approval processes, including evaluations by the Community Development Commission, the Commission on Chicago Landmarks and the City Council. Tax-increment-financing (TIF) requests are tentative until approved by the City Council. 

The city selected the Prime Group Inc. and Capris Interests LLC for a $180-million adaptive re-use of 610,000 sq ft at 111 W. Monroe Street, called the Monroe Residences & Hotel. Plans are for 349 studio and one- and two-bedroom units on the upper stories of a 1910 National Register high-rise. Other improvements would include lobby renovations, a bar and restaurant, and basement parking. The proposal’s TIF request is $40 million. A separate, 226 unit hotel project would proceed concurrently on the building’s lower floors.

Riverside Investment & Development and AmTrust are moving ahead with a $258-million redevelopment of the Field Building to create 430 studio and one- and two-bedroom units at the 1934 landmark high-rise at 135 S. LaSalle Street. Related improvements would include more than 80,000 sq ft of multilevel retail space. The proposal’s TIF request is $115 million.

The Prime Group’s $140 million development for the LaSalle Residences at 208 S. LaSalle Street would convert 222,500 sq ft to 280 studio and one- and two-bedroom units within the high-rise that dates to 1914. Other improvements would include 6,900 sq ft of retail space. The proposal’s TIF request is $33 million.

The city reports that there are presently no affordable apartments on or near LaSalle Street.