How an Older Community Earned LEED Silver

Waterton Residential's process of modernizing a Chicago community.

Presidential TowersChicago—Waterton Residential’s redevelopment of the three-decade-old Presidential Towers, a 2,346-unit apartment community in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood, has earned LEED Silver certification for two of its four buildings by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Towers 3 and 4, located at 605 and 625 W. Madison St., achieved LEED certification by meeting certain performance standards relating to site maintenance and operations, including water and energy consumption, waste mitigation and use of sustainable and locally sourced products.

“Achieving LEED certification is an accomplishment for any building, but it’s particularly special for older properties like Presidential Towers, whose developer couldn’t take advantage of all the green building technologies that exist today when the community was built almost three decades ago,” David Schwartz, Waterton Residential’s co-founder, said. “Since acquiring the community in 2007, we’ve made it our goal to create a healthy, eco-friendly environment for our residents.”

Presidential Towers earned credits for its use of sustainable cleaning products, energy-efficient lighting systems, and by offering residents alternative forms of transportation in the form of on-site Zipcars, a Divvy bike station, green taxi pick-up and GO Airport Express shuttle.

“It wasn’t enough to simply modernize individual residences and common areas, which we did, but to look at Presidential Towers holistically to ensure it had all of the services and amenities that would help residents not just enjoy living there, but be proud to call it home,” Schwartz said.

Other LEED credits were earned for indoor environmental quality, as Waterton recently added a no-smoking clause to all new leases, a policy that earned the community a Smoke-Free Housing Recognition Award from the American Lung Association, and prohibits smoking in all common areas.

“As a company, we are dedicated to creating the healthiest living environment possible, and going smoke-free is an important part of that,” Schwartz said. “Accomplishing this in a community of Presidential Towers’ size is no simple undertaking, but it shows how serious we are about promoting and protecting the health of our residents.”

Waterton also improved the community’s common areas and retail space, home to several restaurants and a two-story FFC athletic club featuring a Protein Bar restaurant, indoor lap pool and outdoor recreation pool complete with a multi-tier sun deck and cocktail bar.

Located immediately west of the Chicago River, the community is a short walk from the central business district and popular shopping, dining and entertainment destinations. It’s also steps from the Ogilvie Transportation Center, Union Station and Clinton Green Line stop, as well as several CTA bus routes.