Corner pocket: Printers Row tower designed with only corner units

Printers Corner, 170 W. Polk

Baseball pitchers love corners, and so does Bob Horner, president of Winthrop Properties. Winthrop is developing Printers Corner, a 17-story condo tower where every home is a corner unit.

“Obviously that has to be the first thing you mention when someone asks you about the building,” says Mike DeRouin, of FitzGerald Associates Architects, the firm that designed Printers Corner, located at 170 W. Polk St., in the South Loop’s Printers Row enclave. “But the building brings a unique presence to the neighborhood in another important way.

“The lower portion blends in with the brick façades of the neighborhood, yet you know something is happening above it because we brought the tower design down through the base to ground level.”

The top 11 floors of the glass-and-concrete tower step back to create eight corner units per floor, while the six-story brick base pays homage to the historic brick manufacturing buildings so characteristic of Printers Row, most of which have been converted to lofts.

The base houses a lobby, a bicycle room, storage, 4,000 square feet of first-floor commercial space and five levels of parking. The design of the base disguises the parking garage, and it’s materials used in the base, and commercial space give Printers Corner a sense of belonging in a neighborhood that converted from manufacturing to residential and commercial.

“This neighborhood has developed very quickly,” says Horner, who points out that the nearby Roosevelt Collection development, under construction along Roosevelt Road between Clark and Wells streets, will add 300,000 square feet of retail space to the South Loop, along with mid-rise and high-rise residences. And several big-box retailers, including Target, have set up shop along Roosevelt.

The growing South Loop has drawn a broad spectrum of buyers, Horner says. “We’ve had everyone from young professionals to empty nesters to suburbanites looking for a weekend home in the city.

“I know that the boutique nature of the building is a big attraction,” he says. “With just eight units per floor, you feel like you’re in your own private lobby when you get off the elevator. It’s not like big buildings where there’s a dormitory effect.”

The building has units with one bedroom and one bath or two bedrooms and two baths. The one-bedrooms are 743 or 769 square feet, while the two-bedrooms are 1,145 or 1,168 square feet.

Features include 10-foot ceiling heights, eight-foot solid-core doors, floor-to-ceiling windows, hardwood floors in living areas, balconies and crown moldings throughout. Bathrooms include ceramic or marble per plan, and kitchens have GE stainless steel appliances, granite countertops and Italian cabinetry from Creative Design. All of the units come with washer and dryer hookups, 42-inch plasma TVs in living rooms and closet organizers in master bedroom closets.

Almost every prospective buyer reacts to the high ceilings, large windows and oversized doors, says Timon Bernstein, sales manager for the property, which Garrison Partners is marketing. Architect DeRouin echoes Bernstein’s sentiments, emphasizing that the large windows and doors are much more impressive than he had imagined during the design phase.

“Because every unit is a corner, your eyes are drawn to the outside,” says DeRouin. “It creates a sense of spaciousness, and you feel like you’re a part of the city.”

Prices for the one-bedrooms range from the $280s to the $350s. The two-bedroom units are priced from the $360s to $480s. Deeded parking is $36,000.

In mid-October, floors seven through 12 were expected to be ready for delivery in November 2007, and the remaining floors to be available the following month. According to Bernstein, by mid-October, around 75 percent of the units had sold.

At a glance
Address: 170 W. Polk St.
Stories: 17
Units: 88
Bedrooms: 1 – 2
Bathrooms: 1 – 2
Price: $280s – $480s
Sales: 170 W. Polk St., 11th floor
Phone: 312-880-1800
Web: PrintersCorner.com

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