Upping the Cool Factor

by Melanie Kalmar

Nothing like 900 West, an exclusive, newly constructed boutique condominium, has been available in the West Loop until now. The sleek, 10-story building on Washington Blvd., which is being brokered by Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty, offers homebuyers the ultimate in luxury, privacy and walkability.

With 900 West, developer Taris Real Estate has achieved its goal of delivering a luxury product with low operating costs by forgoing amenities — everything residents could possibly need or want is available in the neighborhood — and investing in the newest energy-efficient technologies. “We wanted to build a building that was different from anything else ever built,” says Patrick Buck of Taris Real Estate. “There is not anything of this caliber in the West Loop.”

Let’s make a deal

Agents will appreciate dealmakers included in the building, such as private elevator access in all of the units that open to a spacious and dramatic foyer, perfect for displaying artwork; open-concept floorplans; dramatic, sound resistant, floor-to-ceiling windows that capture breathtaking views of the city; spectacular high-end finishes; outdoor living spaces; and a radiant heated parking garage with spots wired to charge electric vehicles.

All units come with a parking space and vertical lift to accommodate a second car, a feature real estate broker Amy Pritchard of Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty (buyer broker for 900 West) describes as “very New York.” Displayed in the lobby and outside, on the building itself, is a video projection of artwork by Czech artist Jakub Nepras that ties in nicely with the local scene. “It adds to the whole experience of entering the building,” Pritchard says. “It ups the cool factor.”

Cost-saving features

In recent years, the West Loop has transitioned from an industrial hub to an up-and-coming area, due to its mix of posh restaurants, trendy boutique hotels, tech companies and residential properties. As an homage to that history, the building’s exterior combines concrete and Reynobond aluminum panels, offering a modern-day version of the loft-warehouse look, carefully crafted by Northworks Architects to fit in with the neighborhood. Built to LEED GOLD standards and energy efficient from the inside out, 900 West features 22 spacious, 1,500-square-foot to 5,500-square-foot contemporary homes — two or four units per floor — priced from just under $1 million to $5.5 million.

The building’s low maintenance features extend to its perimeter. In winter, radiant heated sidewalks, set to a thermostat, melt snow and ice before it accumulates. The same flooring is utilized inside the entire building, beneath its polished concrete floors. “We did the first radiant floors in a high-rise building like this in the country,” says Buck. “You don’t have that heating system where you hear the fan running all day long in winter. It’s more pleasant and uniform throughout the unit.” A Carrier cooling system, with heat exchangers and diffusers, discretely cools the homes in summer.

When you consider the total cost of owning a home is made up of three expenses: mortgage, property taxes and assessments, the savings on operating costs alone are substantial, Buck noted. “You pay more upfront, because we invested in the actual property,” he says. “But what it costs you to operate and keep it up will be about 50 percent lower than typical buildings at this price point.”

It’s a savings that allowed a client of Pritchard’s to increase his purchasing power. She recently sold a home to a young entrepreneur who works in Fulton Market. “The building itself checked all the boxes for him: top-notch quality construction, eco-friendly, very clean lines, contemporary finishes and a design-forward look,” she says, noting he wanted to be able to walk to work and the city’s prized restaurants. A pet owner, he was happy the dog-friendly building doesn’t put a weight limit on furry friends.

A neighborhood in demand

Located in the heart of the West Loop, the building is within walking distance of Chicago’s famous Restaurant Row on Randolph Street, chic hotels like Soho House, and the corporate headquarters of McDonald’s and Google. “The West Loop has done a good job of blending old with new, integrating great new hospitality brands and commercial investments while maintaining the charm of the neighborhood,” says Brad Brondyke, a real estate professional with Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty at 900 West. “It makes it a cool place to visit and a great place to live.”

To date, three homes have closed and three are scheduled to close soon. “People are coming from areas like the Gold Coast and moving here,” he says. “Five years ago, you wouldn’t see that. They’re looking for something a little more unique that still has great investment potential.”

Finished to impress

Wired for technology, each home comes with a ButterflyMX system, an added security feature that allows residents to monitor their homes using an iPad that attaches to a wall mounted charging station. While they’re away, their smartphone enables them to give remote access to service providers who may need to drop off a package in the mailroom or take the dog for a walk.

Buyers can choose between two-bedroom and four-bedroom units. In every home, each bedroom has its own ensuite with walk-in showers and walk-through closets, Buck says. Master bedroom ensuites have adjoining offices or dens. All of the homes come with powder rooms for guests. Expertly planned, the four-bedroom homes include three bedrooms in the front of the home and the fourth — a master bedroom with den, his and her closets, and a full bathroom — in the back. Penthouses are duplex-up and feature one bedroom on the main level, four bedrooms on the upper level and a 1,000-square-foot terrace that wraps around the building. For added convenience, a second elevator opens to the master suite.

Luxury lines included

In Brondyke’s opinion, it’s the details that appeal most to buyers at this level. “I’ve been selling new construction for 15 years in the city and never worked with a developer that was as hands-on and meticulous about the quality of construction and finish levels as Taris Real Estate,” he says. “It’s refreshing to see.”

All of the bathrooms and kitchens are decked out with Scavolini cabinets from Italy and a matching media console in the living area. Complementing the high-end look in the kitchen, which is equipped with Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances, are bathroom fixtures from celebrated brands such as Hansgrohe Axor. Ann Sacks marble finishes shine in the master bathrooms, where Robern mirrors make an elegant statement above Jack and Jill sinks.

Models are now open, with Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty as the exclusive listing broker. Visit 900washington.com to learn more or make an appointment.

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