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CHICAGO-Kingsbury Plaza, a new 420-unit apartment complex at 520 N. Kingsbury, is now more than 50% rented. Habitat Co., based here, developed the 46-story luxury apartment tower. Leasing began about six months ago and the tower officially opened on June 29, says Erin Christman, director of leasing for the project.

Habitat Co. reportedly received a $104.3-million construction loan from GMAC Financial Services and the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA). Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP arranged the financing for the project.

Habitat Co. decided to develop an apartment complex, as opposed to condominiums or another type of development, because “definitely, the market is right for rentals,” Christman says. Kingsbury Plaza is located in the River North neighborhood, which allows people to walk to work, restaurants, night-time spots, galleries and shopping. “River North is a very up-and-coming neighborhood. It is becoming more popular than traditionally [popular] Gold Coast,” she says. “People are moving down from the Gold Coast and the north suburbs.” The building was designed by Solomon Cordwell Buenz. Construction began in the summer of 2005 on the 1.19-acre site acquired by the Habitat Co., according to property records, in 1988 for $4.1 million.

The complex has more one-bedroom units than other types but also has a mixture of studio, convertible and two-bedroom units, Christman says. The average unit size is 800 sf. Rental rates start at $1,200 for studio units up to $2,652 for two-bedroom units. The most popular units have been one-bedroom units with a workspace. People use the workspace as a second bedroom or just for additional space and the units have been popular with families, couples and individuals, she says.

The units have been leasing well because the building is newly constructed and has amenities such as each unit having a washer and dryer, she says. Additional amenities include a terraced garden, sundeck, landscaped river walk, an outdoor pool, whirlpool spa, party rooms with a plasma television, fitness room business center, dry cleaner, bicycle storage and garage parking.

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