By Dan Schuyler
It sounds strange, but 1555 Wabash, New West Realty’s latest residential development at 1555 S Wabash Ave, seems to act more like a person than a 14-story, 176 unit condominium tower in the South Loop. The building has its own blog and Facebook profile, and just like a certain hotel heiress, it frequently can be seen on cable television.
“There’s no question that things have been busy around here,” says Terrie Whittaker, president of sales and marketing for New West Realty. “We recently celebrated the topping off of the building just in time to show off the building to a pool of potential buyers from overseas. Meanwhile, we’re squeezing in a commercial shoot for cable TV, and the building is starring in an episode of the ‘Project Xtreme’ series on the DIY Network.”
In September, 1555 Wabash was over 70 percent sold, with first deliveries scheduled for November or December. Interest in the building continues to be strong despite negative economic signals, Whittaker says.
“It’s easy to understand when you have gorgeous views that blow you away, even on the lower floors,” she says. “But let’s face it, price point is always the driving force, and the efficient use of interior space plus New West’s pricing structure makes this building the top choice when it comes to square-foot price.”
The recent completion of the sold-out Lakeside Tower nearby gave New West a leg up in the area when it comes to marketing, and the developer took full advantage of its situation. The result is a gorgeous structure that is as functional as it is pleasing to the eye. Images of Lake Shore Drive in the 1930s come to mind as one approaches the building via a covered vehicle turnaround that invitingly guides the user to the entrance.
“The driveway serves to shorten the distance to the soul of the building once you’re inside,” says project architect Jonathan Splitt. “The interior glass lobby wall serves an informative function. The user doesn’t just enter and scan around to figure out where to go. It’s all very gracious and natural.”
And while there is a contemporary flair to the entire project, it is appealing to traditional tastes as well. In fact, CNN, in its “On Living” series, listed the building as one of the top 35 places to retire.
While the location did not lend itself to a specific type of structure, the proximity of the train tracks and several nearby contemporary buildings helped Splitt formulate the design scheme.
“We wanted to borrow from the solid massive image of the trains by keeping the base of the building fairly dense, though not overly so,” he explains. “But from the third floor on up, we went with all glass and steel in a unique criss-cross design that provides eight corner units per floor and allows for larger, yet more intimate terraces, while taking advantage of the gorgeous views. It also gave us the opportunity to use two shades of tinted glass, depending on the direction of the outside exposure.”
Once inside, the layout and transitional style of the residences caters to a broad spectrum of buyers. The sleek soft-loft design, with its open look and large living areas, is very adaptive. Floor-to-ceiling windows and expansive balconies provide spectacular panoramic views.
The units range in size from 767 to 1,250 square feet and consist of one-bedroom/one-bath residences (with or without den), two-bedroom residences with 1.5 or two baths, and one remaining three-bedroom penthouse. Prices range from the mid $200s to the low $400s, with the 1,503 square-foot penthouse priced at $618,000. Parking is available for $35,000.
The sales center is located at 1600 S Wabash Ave. Hours are noon to 6 p.m. Monday, Thursday and Friday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
One to three bedrooms
$270s to $610s