Completed in 2000, The Sexton Lofts and Townhomes, located in Chicago’s River North neighborhood, is one of the largest residential loft developments completed in Chicago. FitzGerald worked closely with Concord Development and the late Harold Lichterman of Kenard Management, to adapt the existing industrial building and develop a plan for both renovation and new-construction residences on the site.
The original building on the site was a 5-story warehouse and cold food storage structure built for the Sexton Foods Company and stretches from Kingsbury to Orleans on Illinois Street. The building was no longer suitable for a manufacturing or warehouse use due to itsfire-separated, large floor plates and multi-story configuration. But its heavy timber construction, large windows and high ceilings made it ideal for a residential conversion.
It was determined that the building’s construction could accept additional floors, and a project of increased size would be welcomed in the market.
A 5-story addition at the east end of the building was proposed to take advantage of the existing concrete structure that could support the building addition, abundant downtown views, and was designed to complement the original building. Another 1-story addition was placed on the remainder of the heavy timber building and is set back on all sides to create private outdoor terraces for the units.
Remaining land on the north and west sides of the site provided opportunity for new construction. The adaptive reuse of the industrial building into 300 loft residences required parking for the same. The empty lot provided the answer, however the exposed face of the parking garage wasn’t desirable, so townhomes were used to screen the garage. The three-story townhouse units extend on Grand Avenue and Kingsbury Street sides to conceal the two story garage with entrances on Grand Avenue and Illinois Street. Each townhome has a private two-car garage below their home with direct access into their living space. The space between the townhomes and loft building is filled with a large private patio and green roof for all of the Sexton Residents to enjoy.