CHICAGO-Despite objections from a community group, a $200-million multifamily rental project in the 300 block of E. Ohio Street is moving ahead. OGM Investors, LLC, an entity created by Golub & Co. is planning to break ground a 48-story, 481-unit tower on the western half of a two-acre site two blocks of Navy Pier before the end of the year.

The second phase will include a second tower with 420 units, which will average 950 sf and are expected to command rental rates in the neighborhood of $2.30 per sf when occupancy begins in the second quarter of 2006. Both buildings will include parking garages as well as a combined 21,000 sf of retail space.

The property is being sold by the Teachers’ Retirement System of Illinois, which also owns the Time-Life Building immediately to the west at 541 N. Fairbanks Ct. While Golub & Co, is partnering with AEW Capital Management, L.P. on the project, Michael Newman of the company tells a major pension fund will finance the project once ground is broken.

The two-acre development site is surrounded by a chain-link fence. The soil had been contaminated by former users, had been cleared of commercial buildings and used as a parking lot. City officials closed the parking lot to allow for the removal of contaminated soil.

However, the parking issue reared its head Thursday, when the plan commission unanimously recommended a proposed planned development allowing the project to move ahead. The project is more than 50% larger than current zoning allows. The Streeterville Organization of Active Residents sought to delay action on the proposal, as well as changing the plans to put parking spaces underground.

Alderman Burton Natarus noted SOAR negotiated the size of the project down 30 units as well as divided into two separate buildings, a connection between Ohio Street and Grand Avenue, a land donation for a park and a donation to a trolley system that shuttles residents and tourists to Navy Pier. A hotel as well as office component were eliminated from the plans as well, says Natarus, whose 42nd Ward includes Streeterville.

“We met with almost every building in the immediate vicinity,” says John George, attorney for OGM Investors, LLC. “We did make a number of significant changes.”

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