New York developers file for Fulton Market High Rise

David Meneret of Mill Hill Capital and Joseph McMillan Jr of Azur Cos (LinkedIn, Studio Scrivo, SCB)

New York developers Mill Hill Capital and Azur Cos. transitioned from a hotel to a purely residential project for their planned metal and glass tower at Fulton Market.

Their proposal for Chicago’s 1234 West Randolph Street is set to rise 470 feet and 42 stories, according to a city zoning application, Urbanize reported.

It’s a shift away from the hospitality market, which in Chicago has recovered from the pandemic more slowly than other major cities and has been more dependent on the return of trade shows and conventions. Earlier this year, California hotel investor Sunstone called the Chicago hotel market oversupplied as it sold two assets at a loss to their purchase prices.

Still, Fulton Market hotels such as Hoxton and SoHo House and their retail offerings have contributed to the work-play-live scene that has made the Chicago neighborhood one of the hottest in recent times.

The development team consists of Joseph A. McMillan, CEO and chairman of Azur, and Mill Hill founder and CIO David Meneret, according to the companies’ websites. McMillan also runs luxury developer DDG, which was the company working with Marc Realty of Chicago to bring a 13-story, 250-room Standard-branded hotel to the Randolph Street site, according to previously published reports.

It’s unclear if Marc is still involved with the project, and the development companies didn’t immediately return requests for comment.

The shift to residential adds the project to the ongoing boom in apartment development in the West Loop and particularly in Fulton Market, where housing and offices are in demand. The West Loop had more than 9,000 units planned or under construction — more than the rest of Chicago’s downtown neighborhoods combined — as of March. Much of this development came after the city council removed the ban on residential zoning in this area in April 2021.

The tower is planned for the western portion of the site at the corner of West Randolph Street and North Racine Avenue, overlooking the intersection of North Willard Court and West Randolph. It is expected to include 400 rental units, 80 of which will be marketed as affordable housing to meet the city’s 20% Affordable Requirement Ordinance.

The project must be submitted to the zoning committee and the city plan commission, as well as to the city council, for approval. There is no public timeline yet for its completion.

Other glass skyscrapers recently proposed for Fulton Market include Chicago developer Fred Latsko’s plans for nearly 40 floors at 375 North Morgan Street on the site of the Guinness Brewery and Tasting Room under construction. Emerging developer Joy Jordan is also moving forward with a 17-story mixed-use tower on Sangamon Street, which will include office and retail space. Construction of Sterling Bay’s first multi-family development in Fulton Market is also underway at 160 North Morgan Street.

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