K2 Reports Leasing Surge

Another bit of evidence (if any is needed) that the demand for apartments is still brisk in Chicago: K2, a new 496-unit apartment tower in Chicago’s Near West Side, has managed to ink 125 leases in the two-and-a-half months since leasing started, according to co-developer Fifield Cos.

Chicago—Another bit of evidence (if any is needed) that the demand for apartments is still brisk in Chicago: K2, a new 496-unit apartment tower in Chicago’s Near West Side, has managed to ink 125 leases in the two-and-a-half months since leasing started, according to co-developer Fifield Cos. The activity brings the building, whose other co-developer is Wood Partners, to roughly one- quarter leased.

Marketing has helped leasing along as well, the developers say. On the occasion of K2’s grand opening in early May, Fifield Cos. and Wood Partners hosted a K2 Designer Showcase. The event, which was open to the public, featured seven models from three Chicago-area designers, and drew more than 1,200 people.

The property’s common amenities include an exercise facility with men’s and women’s locker rooms, steam rooms, showers, and lockers; a basketball court/yoga studio; a theater room with a 120-inch projection television system; and a business center with 10 computers and a separate boardroom for residents.

Built to LEED Silver standards, K2 also supports sustainability by providing a bike storage room, a “bike kitchen” and GE charging stations for electric vehicles. The bike kitchen provides residents with a vending machine that dispenses bike products and Gatorade, a work stand with tools, and an air pump. The property is also about two blocks from a Blue Line CTA station.

The developers also took note of the fact that tenants are demanding amenities for their dogs, too. Adjacent to the building is a half-acre, fenced-in dog park with a dog run and hills, as well as indoor and outdoor dog-washing stations. K2 works with a third-party vendor, Urban Outsitters, to provide dog walking and dog daycare services for residents.

Though metro Chicago isn’t enjoying the strongest of economic recoveries, demand for apartments is expected to increase this year. According to investment specialist Marcus & Millichap, job growth in the area—about 66,900 this year, it forecasts—will spur household formation, pushing vacancies down 40 basis points to 4.3 percent by year’s end. Apartment completions this year (including K2) will add 5,450 units to the market, or only about 1.6 percent.