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CHICAGO-Fifield Cos., based here, is starting construction this month on a total of 857 apartment units in two towers, at 555 W. Kinzie and 365 N. Jefferson, as part of its K Station development. The project will have a total of 2,400 units when completed in the area bordered by Kinzie, Clinton, Halsted and Wayman streets and is expected to have a total value of $750 million, Cavenaugh says. The two towers are being developed in a joint partnership with Pacific Life Insurance Co., headquartered in Newport Beach, CA.

Fifield is betting on the continuing strength of the rental market by constructing the two towers at the same time, says Rick Cavenaugh, president of Fifield. “We are proceeding with two buildings at once, which is a pretty big play in the market place,” Cavenaugh says. “The apartment market is strong now. We do not see it getting any weaker.” The buildings are expected to be complete in 2009 when there should be “good demand and very little new product coming online,” he says. By constructing both towers at the same time, Fifield will save money on construction costs and, with two buildings, Fifield can offer more amenities to residents, Cavenaugh says.

One of the towers will be 41 stories with the other tower 37 stories. The towers will have a total of 334 studio units, 385 one-bedroom units, 116 two-bedroom units and 22 three-bedroom penthouse units. The units will range in size from about 573 sf for studios to as large as 1,400 sf for the penthouses, Cavenaugh says. The rental rate will likely be about $275 per sf, Cavenaugh tells GlobeSt.com. Both towers will be on top of a 700-car parking garage.

An amenity deck with 15,000 sf of retail space will also connect the two towers, although each building will have its own entrance and lobby, Cavenaugh says. Amenities will include an outdoor pool, spa, internet café, lounge with game room, an indoor basketball court, a business center, library and a fitness center with yoga studio, full sauna and whirlpool. The towers will also have a 20-seat movie theater. The retail will be service retail such as a dry cleaners and bank. Fifield is currently in discussions with a “boutique convenience store,” he says. Asking lease rates for the retail has not been decided yet but the current asking lease rate for the area is between $35 per sf and $40 per sf triple net, he says.

Fifield will also start construction on ThePark at K Station, a one-acre city park. The park will have an amphitheater with sail pavilion, walking paths and different areas for families and dogs. The park is expected to be completed in the spring. There will be a series of concerts each year sponsored by the K Station development, he says.

A first building of the project has been completed. Left Bank, which has 451 units, is currently 80% occupied. A second building with 350 apartment units in a 39-story building, at 353 N. Des Plaines, will be completed by next summer with first occupancies next April. Fifield first had the three-bedroom penthouse units at Left Bank and the units proved to be so successful that they were added to the designs to the two towers that will start construction this month, Cavenaugh says. Two additional buildings are planned on the west side of the development. An approximate 30,000-sf Jewel/Osco is also currently under construction and is expected to be completed by fall 2008.

K Station was designed by architects Pappageorge/Haymes. McHugh Construction is the general contractor and construction manager. The Left Bank building was developed as part of a joint venture with Prudential, which bought out Fifield’s interest in February, Cavenaugh says.

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