Developer:Waterton Residential
Completion: Ongoing
Number of units:2,346
Unit mix: Studios to two-bedrooms
Rents:Before-renovation average: $1,169; after-renovation average: $1,429

When the Presidential Towers was completed in 1986, it was delivered to a developing neighborhood in the West Loop of Chicago, which was formerly the manufacturing side of town. The building immediately served as a catalyst for major commercial development, improving the surrounding neighborhood. But until developer Waterton Residential purchased the building in 2007, it had been largely untouched in more than 20 years.
Known as a city within a city, the Presidential Towers features four, 49-story buildings spanning two city blocks, with more than 2,000 units and vast commercial space. It’s also conveniently located near three major highways, the business district, and commuter rail stations, serving as a true walk-to-work location. But with a dated façade and interior, the property had yet to reach its full potential.
Waterton updated the bland green hallways to a chic gray-and-white interior with pops of color, and added stainless steel appliances to the kitchens. The leasing office and lobby were updated, and several loading docks became one, making the community more pedestrian-friendly. And the developer achieved these feats all without amending the 25-year-old development ordinance.
With its new, improved façade, Presidential Towers still shines, now a little more brightly, as a catalyst for the West Loop.—L.I.