2520 Lincoln Park

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CHICAGO-A joint venture of RMI Development LLC and General Electric Pension Trust has begun demolition of the former Columbus Hospital in the city’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. The companies are building Lincoln Park 2520, a 314-unit condominium building at 2520 N. Lakeview Ave., as well as 13 townhomes along St. James Place and Deming Place, for roughly $300 million.

John Murphy, a co-principal of RMI, tells GlobeSt.com that though the city is seeing record condo projects going up, as well as a drop in buyer interest, his project is still unique enough for condo seekers. “We believe in this market,” he says. “The Lincoln Park area hasn’t seen new construction like this in more than 40 years. There’s no competition for something like this in the area, there will be sightlines to the water on three sides of the building.”

He says the current hospital buildings on the site are being taken down within the next month, except for one tall facility that will feature a complete model of one of the new condos on the 11th floor. “The model will really give it some perspective of what the views are going to look like,” he says. The firm bought the property, vacant since 2001, for $45 million from American Invsco Corp.

The condos will range from one-bedroom units for about $550,000 to penthouse floor plans that could top out at $10 million, Murphy says. Amenities will include 10.5-foot high ceilings and hardwood floors, as well as a 625-car parking garage, a one-acre park and an indoor swimming pool and fitness center. Though the complex will be one single building, the design will make it appear as three, with one 39-story central core, and two “shoulders” one 21 stories and the other 30 stories.

He tells GlobeSt.com that there’s been tremendous interest for the building, which the venture hopes to open in 2009. Sales will begin in February 2007, and groundbreaking is expected by fall 2007, Murphy says.

Murphy is joined on the project by co-principal Peter Ricker, both of MB Real Estate. The pension trust is advised by GE Asset Management. Lucien Lagrange is the architect. Other team members include Chicago-based the Walsh Group and consultant Charles P. Reiss, formerly with the Trump Organization.