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CHICAGO-AMLI Residential will break ground this December for a 24-story, 440-unit rental apartment building at 900 S. Clark St. within the 22-acre, master-planned LaSalle Park. The locally based national multifamily specialist owns and operates 12 AMLI-branded properties with an aggregate of 4,853 units in the Chicago suburbs, and AMLI 900 represents its first move into Downtown.

“We have been watching the residential and retail growth in this neighborhood, looking for an ideal opportunity to enter the market,” says Stephen Ross, the company’s EVP of development. “With this location near Clark and Roosevelt, we have found exactly what we wanted.”

LaSalle Park already contains a Target store, and locally based Centrum Properties has 420,000 sf of retail under development in the community where for-sale condos are also in the planning. Ross says AMLI is targeting young professionals, graduate students and staff at Illinois Medical District, including people renting with roommates.

Locally based architect Solomon Cordwell Benz designed the building, which is located on 2.2 acres. It calls for a mix of studio, convertible and one-bedroom units, which together will constitute 70% of the total; two-bedroom layouts, which will account for 20% of all, and three-bedroom floor plans to make up the final 10%. There will be a garage, fitness center, internet café and other amenities.

Ross declined to disclose the estimated project cost. He tells GlobeSt.com studios average 550 sf; convertibles in which a partial wall separates the sleeping area, average 650 sf; one-bedrooms average 750 sf, while two- and three-bedroom units average 1,125 sf and 1,400 sf, respectively. Rental rates are not yet final, but he expects them to range from $1,300 a month for studios to $2,400 a month for three-bedrooms. He expects to deliver the first units in second quarter 2008 and complete the last ones a year later.

A once-public REIT, AMLI became a subsidiary of Prime Property Fund, a privately held fund managed by Morgan Stanley Real Estate, in a buyout this February. The entire AMLI portfolio contains 66 multifamily assets containing about 25,000 units in six states with an additional 1,600 units under development.

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