FOR SAN ANTONIO-based Lynd Development Partners, EnV was quite an entry into the Chicago market. Instead of building another concrete building in the Windy City, Lynd’s architect, Valerio Dewalt Train Associates, suggested a modern, glass-dominated structure with a custom zero–sight-line window-wall system. “We felt it hadn’t been done in Chicago,” says Mike Lynd, the developer’s CEO.
The project was small—249 units on less than 1 acre—but Lynd wanted big amenities. On the seventh floor, the firm put a weather-protected fire pit and garden, media room and Internet lounge, and dog run. Instead of penthouses, Lynd added more amenities, including a pool terrace, indoor/outdoor retractable bar and catering kitchen, clubroom, and fitness center, all with views of the city skyline. “I felt that if we located the amenities there, then every tenant who decided to live with us would get the benefit of those views and spaces,” Lynd says.
For prospective residents, the tour of EnV begins with the modern, Asian-inspired motif in the lobby, continues up through the top-floor leasing offices and amenities, and ends in an actual unit. Just because the unit is last doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot to see. The company’s model unit is small, with the eating area and living room combined, but it doesn’t skimp. Features include bamboo flooring throughout all entries, kitchens, and living areas; floor-to-ceiling windows with solar shades; stainless steel appliances with side-by-side refrigerators; granite and limestone countertops; tile backsplashes and tub surrounds; partially enclosed glass balconies; and LED recessed lighting.
“We’re targeting professionals who are educated and want something more edgy,” Lynd says. “They don’t want a typical apartment. We felt like there was an obvious opening for us."
So far, so good. Lynd did a pro forma on the building at $2.78 to $2.80 a square foot. Right now, it’s getting north of $3.00 a square foot.