Millennium Park area gets another condo highrise

Maybe the city needs to designate Millennium Park an actual neighborhood rather than a mere green space, judging by the seismic boom in residential development emanating in all directions from the park.

The long-anticipated condo conversion of 55 East Monroe (see image here) an old office tower, is finally in the works, with word that GlenStar Properties and Walton Street Capital have formally acquired the 50-story tower.

The new owners have taken on architects Pappageorge / Haymes and Goettsch Partners to convert the top 14 floors of the building into condos, leaving the rest of the building, which no doubt has more constricted views, to continue doing business in the flagging office-leasing market.

The building will face stiff competition from new construction projects like 340 on the Park and The Legacy at Millennium Park, which will of course be younger and probably prettier. In an opinion poll on the building’s merits, less than 10 percent of respondents liked it, according to one architecture Web site.

Few details have been released about the 55 E Monroe project but is it naive to suggest that maybe it will be priced lower than its newer rivals and therefore be a slightly more affordable way to buy into that area, which otherwise runs the risk of becoming something of a Gucci ghetto?

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