Many Chicago residents spend their entire lives in downtown and are desperate to stay there when they need to move into an assisted-living project. Now, they have 258 new units to choose from with The Clare at Water Tower, set to open this fall.

“Most of the continued-care retirement communities are in the suburbs,” says Stephen J. Bardoczi, senior vice president of planning and real estate for the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago Service Corp. “It seems unfair that someone who had lived their whole life in the city wouldn't be able to retire there.”

To find a site, the corporation won a bid from Loyola University to turn old classrooms into a 53-story building with rental units on top of new classrooms. “The most important element is that the city has a lot of services available to retirees that suburban areas generally don't have,” Bardoczi says.

The Clare will have dual entrances—one for residents and one for students—as well as a fitness and aquatics center, dining rooms, a performance center, art gallery, chapel, library, and business center. The project will feature senior-friendly amenities such as no-step thresholds and raised countertops.

Taylor Johnson + Olesker

On the outside, The Clare will feature curving glass walls and a clean, contemporary style thanks to Chicago-based architects Perkins + Will.

“The architecture is contemporary but responding to the context of the area,” says Perkins + Will's Bridget Lesniak, the managing principal on the project. “The sweeping curve on one side responds to the views of Lake Michigan, while the rectangle [on the other side] responds to views of the city.”

Though the $120 million construction is still under way, Bardoczi says 213 of the 251 units are presold.

  • Downers Grove, Ill.: M&R Development is developing The Residences at The Grove, a 294-unit apartment community to be built by McShane Construction Corp. The project will include three eight-story buildings and 24 townhomes with attached two-car garages. Amenities will include a clubhouse, pool, and outdoor fireplace. Completion is scheduled for late 2008.
  • Hayward, Calif.: Wasatch Advantage Group has opened Hayward Village Senior Apartments, a 151-unit affordable housing community. The one- and two-bedroom units, ranging from 500 square feet to 660 square feet, targets seniors age 55 and older earning between 50 percent and 60 percent of the area median income. Units feature built-in kitchen appliances, patios or balconies, and walk-in closets. Amenities include a community room, computer center, pool and spa, fitness center, and a variety of on-site social services.
  • Los Angeles: KOAR Wilshire Western and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority are building Solair, a 186-unit, 22-story luxury condominium community next to an MTA station. The loft, two-, and three-bedroom condos will sit atop 40,000 square feet of retail and a large parking structure. Amenities will include a seventh-floor skydeck with a pool, spas, private cabanas, and a community garden. The $160 million project is slated to open in December.
  • Los Angeles: The Bedford Group is developing The Promenade at Baldwin Hills and Bedford Parc, a two-phased project that includes two mid-rise residential buildings with 172 units and 9,500 square feet of office and retail space. The condo units, ranging from 730 square feet to 1,680 square feet, will feature balconies, stainless steel appliances, granite counter-tops, and hand-stained cabinets. Amenities include controlled entry, a concierge, and fitness center. Prices range from the low $300,000s up to $700,000.
  • East Harlem, N.Y.: North Manhattan Construction Corp. has opened The Bridges NYC, a mixed-use condo development with 31 one-, two-, and three-bedroom units, ranging in price from $495,000 to $895,000. The units feature high ceilings, solid wide-plank oak floors, double-paned windows, and stainless steel appliances. Amenities include a virtual doorman, terrace, and storage area.
  • Rosemont, Ill.: DBA is developing the 348-unit Midwest Senior Living of Romeoville, to be built by McShane Construction Corp. The community will feature 121 independent-living units, 150 assisted-living units, and 77 units for Memory Care residents. Amenities will include a salon, game room, therapy pool, and wellness center. The community will open in the fall of 2009.
  • Chicago: James McHugh Construction Co. broke ground on Streeter Place, a 480-unit luxury apartment community with 10,000 square feet of retail space developed by Golub & Co. Units, which range from studios to three bedrooms, will feature floor-to-ceiling windows, granite countertops, maple cabinets, stainless steel appliances, and upgraded light fixtures. Amenities will include a business center, party room, reading lounge, media room, fitness center, and two indoor spas. Completion is scheduled for November 2009.
  • New York: FLAnk is building 385 West 12th Street, a 12-unit condo community in the West Village. The three- and four-bedroom units, ranging from 2,526 square feet to 4,382 square feet, will feature 10- to 18-foot ceilings, eat-in kitchens, gas fireplaces, and master bedrooms with private outdoor space. Prices range from $5.8 million to $13.5 million. Amenities will include a two-tier rooftop deck with panoramic views of the Hudson, a dining area, lap pool, and hot tub. The project is expected to open in the first quarter of 2009.
  • Rockville, Md.: Trammell Crow Residential and Olayan America Corp. are developing Alexan Carlyle, a 280-unit rental community slated to open in late 2009. The five-story project will feature a pool, clubhouse, fitness center, billiards room, and business center. Alexan Carlyle is part of the 77-acre Carlyle neighborhood that includes office, retail, and residential development in walking distance of a Metro stop. —Listings compiled by Rachel Z. Azoff