Ever-Transforming Fulton Market Could Soon See Its Most Massive Development Yet
By Stephen Gossett in News on Nov 2, 2017 6:40PM
As far as neighborhood transformations go, Fulton Market is way up there in terms of starkness of change: the onetime meatpacking, food-processing district has been thoroughly transformed into a playground of design firms, upscale hotels, buzzy restaurants and tech upstarts. If the radical transformation needed any punctuation, it just arrived in the form of a mammoth, multimillion-dollar mixed-use development proposal, reportedly the largest yet—if realized—to hit the neighborhood.
As reported by Crain's, the proposed block-long (!) development would include office space, a retail component and—say it with us—a boutique hotel. The 24-story development, which is heavy on dramatic, glassy protrusions (see rendering above) and represents a team-up between developers IBT Group and Lamb Properties, would tower on 1200 block of West Fulton Street. The 1.2-million-square-feet project would reportedly cost $500 million.
If such a large-scale development proposal in the heart of Chicago's tech country has you anticipating the "A" word, well, you're correct: developers told Crain's they hope the complex could play a role in Fulton Market's potential to house Amazon's HQ2. A person involved in the project said the site could potentially be included with neighboring properties for a headquarters. (The city and Illinois included Fulton Market as one of its 10 possible sites in their bid to Amazon, although somewhat ambiguously, as "Fulton Market" encompasses a lot.)
Amazon or no, the proposal would be a massive one for a neighborhood that shows no signs of slowing its whirlwind metamorphosis. (Developers even reportedly said there's been chatter of a new Metra station, near Fulton and Ashland, from officials.) The mixed-user would of course require a zoning change from Ald. Walter Burnett (27th) and a thumbs up from the community—the latter of which isn't always a sure thing for big ambitions in the West Loop/Fulton Market corridor.