Chicago–EnV Luxury Apartments is a 249-unit, 29-story project in Chicago. It is located in the River North section of town across the street from the Merchandise Mart and caters to those seeking an amenity-rich lifestyle without the hassles of owning a home. EnV is also one of the first LEED-certified rental properties to come on line in the city of Chicago.
Developed by Lynd Development Partners, EnV offers studio units and one-, two- and three-bedroom units, as well as larger penthouse units. Rents average $2.96 per square foot, the highest rate in the city for Class A apartment units.
The project is noteworthy because Lynd managed to get financing for it at a time when the economy was in the doldrums. “In December 2007 most financial institutions were not even quoting a $75 million loan, so we literally got no quotes until we really worked that effort to find someone who would take on the lead banking role,” A. David Lynd, COO of Lynd Development Partners, tells MHN. MB Financial stepped in and took the lead on the project, but the loan didn’t close until June 2008—about six months after Lynd Development began the process. “MB Financial was a phenomenal partner and they never re-traded the terms, even when it seemed like the world was melting,” he adds. At this point, he says the question for the development company was whether there are 249 people in the city of Chicago who would like to live in a condo quality building but have the flexibility of being a renter.
Lynd says, “We believe this is the first product of its kind in Chicago and so far we’re getting great response from the market. Our hope is that EnV changes the expectations of renters in Chicago forever.” The project includes unique finishes such as bamboo floors, stainless-steel appliances, built-in wine racks, all glass balconies and floor-to-ceiling windows in all the units. Community features include full-service concierge services, a media room, a juice and coffee bar, and wireless Internet throughout the entire building. The rooftop has a pool terrace with chaise lounges, a 24-hour fitness center overlooking the city skyline and a catering kitchen.
“We always thought Chicago was underserved for a luxury lifestyle product such as EnV, but you never know for sure until you finally hang your ‘Rooms for Let’ sign out,” says Lynd. “Now that the property is on the market, I think the city was definitely ready for something edgy and trendy.”
Lynd also says the overall demand for apartment rentals—especially in downtown urban areas— is heating up, giving the project an additional boost.
EnV also plans to host regular VIP events for residents and their guests, such as live cooking demonstrations and scotch tastings. “This underscores the fact we didn’t just create nice living space, but space where people can live a great lifestyle right in the middle of all the action,” says Lynd.