University Commons is one of the larger and more successful loft conversions in recent memory. The Enterprise Companies transformed the old South Water Market, a wholesale produce hub spread over five city blocks on the Near West Side, into 824 homes (720 lofts and 124 new-construction units added to the original six buildings).
Alleyways are now green courtyards, loading docks have become terraces, and intricate details in the terra cotta facades have been cleaned and restored.
Amenities at the development (1112 W 15th St) include a fitness center in each building, private rooftop decks and a clubhouse with a theater room and an outdoor pool. The buildings’ landmark status means that buyers get the same tax assessment freeze offered at Motor Row Lofts.
The project won the 2007 Multifamily Community of the Year award from the National Association of Homebuilders and a citation of merit from AIA Chicago. Ralph Oliva, of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, noted that 35 units were still available in January. Among the remaining residences are a two-bed, two-bath loft at 980 square feet and a new-construction duplex at 1,600 square feet. Deliveries are immediate.
-Story by Kate Hawley, photography by Michael Kardas