Work in progress: One Museum Park

One Museum Park (west tower)

Construction is moving along at the east tower for One Museum Park (thanks to Sir Isaac Newton for helping us match the right name with the photo). One Museum Park also includes a west tower, which isn’t out of the ground yet.

The pair are the most expensive buildings at Museum Park, a cluster of high-rises within the massive Central Station development in the South Loop. Prices at the east tower range from $1.2 to $2.7 million. Prices at the west tower range from the $520s to $2.1 million, according to Karen Juneau, director of marketing for The Enterprise Companies, the developer.

It took some time to build up to these price points, according to Ron Shipka Jr, an Enterprise principal. Planning for Museum Park began in earnest in 1999. Then, he says, “The location wasn’t what it is today.” Downtown had fewer attractions, and the South Loop was barely even a neighborhood (some people say it still isn’t quite there, but that’s another story). Enterprise priced the first high-rise condos at Museum Park between $275 and $300 per square foot. “We’ve built from that platform gradually upwards,” he says. “Baby steps.”

One Museum Park’s east tower, at 1215 S Prairie Private Ave, was Museum Park’s seventh high-rise. The west tower, at 1201 S Prairie Private Ave, followed soon after. The price per square foot for the two buildings ranges from $425 to $820, near the high end citywide.

The South Loop, like South Streeterville, the New East Side and slices of River North, was a new frontier for ultra-luxury development. Shipka says views commanded the higher price points, coupled with the growing desirability of the neighborhood. “All of a sudden it becomes discovered. It becomes a sexy place to live, and you build on that,” he says. “The thought always was that we would get to this price point, but it took awhile to get there.”

That meant attracting a different kind of buyer. “The early buildings were very much dominated by city buyers,” he says. “The buildings today are dominated by suburban buyers and out-of-state buyers coming in and wanting to have an in-town residence.”

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