(To read more on the multifamily market, click here.)

CHICAGO-McCaffery Interests Inc., based here, expects to break ground this spring on the first phase of Loyola Station, while work on a second phase will likely begin next year. The project is adjacent to Loyola University, in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood. The $400 million development will be built on 5.4 acres and is expected to have up to 60,000 sf of retail, 400 residences and 600 parking spaces. The area is part of a tax increment financing district.

The land is now used for surface parking, says Jennifer Clark, Loyola University’s director of community relations. A focus group conducted with students found that they were leaving the area for all of their shopping and entertainment. Clark says the goal is for Loyola Station to bring retail and other uses to the site that will be beneficial to both the students and the surrounding community. “I believe that this project is really going to jumpstart commercial development along Sheridan Road and Devon Avenue,” Clark says.

McCaffery was chosen as the developer for the first phase about 16 months ago, Clark says. One building will be eight stories with 152 luxury residential rentals with retail on the ground floor. The second building will be three stories with retail on the ground level and 205 parking spaces above. Representatives from McCaffery were unavailable for comment.

There will be a total of 33,000 sf of retail for both of the phase one buildings. The buildings are expected to open in the fall of 2008. “We do not have any retail leases signed yet but it is desperately needed by both the university and the community,” Clark says. There has been a lot of community interest in a restaurant, bookstore and “general retail” such as an ice cream shop.

A 75-year ground lease was signed with McCaffery for the first phase of the project, and the university will negotiate a long-term lease with the developer of the second phase of the project as well, Clark says. The university does not have a need for the land now but, by retaining ownership of the property, the land can be used for the expansion of the campus at a later date, if needed.

The deadline for proposals for the second phase of the project is April 27, says Peter Tortorello, vice president and project manager with Newcastle Limited, the broker for the project. There are two separate parcels that total 3.26 acres. One parcel is 77,567 sf and is bounded by Albion Avenue, Sheridan Road and the Chicago Transit Authority Red Line. The train stop near the parcel is the third busiest stop for the Chicago Transit Authority with 130,000 riders per month, he says. The second 64,259 parcel on West Loyola Avenue currently has a student residence and an apartment building on it. Tortorello says he expects proposals will be for a mixed-use development with retail on the ground level and residential rental units above. A developer will be chosen for the second phase of the project by late summer or early fall, with construction to possibly begin in 2008, says Tortorello.

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