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CHICAGO-With pre-sales of a 112-unit building at 550 N. St. Clair St. hitting the 70% mark, developer Mark Sutherland is able to look across the street for his next project. Sutherland Pearsall Development’s plans for a 38-story, 316-unit building at 535 St. Clair St., 47% larger than allowed under existing zoning, were endorsed by the plan commission.

Units will range from 600-sf studios in the “mid” $200,000 range, Sutherland tells GlobeSt.com, to 1,800-sf penthouses in the $1-million neighborhood. The lender for the project across the street has expressed interest in financing the second phase of Sutherland Pearsall Development’s makeover of the block running from Grand Avenue to Ohio Street, he adds.

“I think this project is a model for future projects with its sustainable development features,” says architect Linda Searl, vice chair of the plan commission. Among the features, she notes are a greenhouse that will harvest energy and a drainage system that will recycle rain water.

The building will include 7,700 sf of ground-floor retail space as well as garage parking for 275 vehicles. The plans also include keeping a four-story building on St. Clair Street, which will be converted to nine units, as well as a four-story parking garage.

In addition, the project won over an important community group, notes plan commission member John Nelson. The Streeterville Organization of Active Residents deemed the proposed building “a very good project” in a letter to John George, the developers’ attorney. “It seems like any time we look at something in the neighborhood, SOAR would have something to say,” Nelson says. “This is a first.”

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