The garden and
conservatory on the
west side of the project.
bay windows in
the units offer
A view of LP2520
from North Pond
in Lincoln Park.
The luxe lobby of LP2520
It’s been more than 40 years since a major development project has broken ground along the tony stretch of Lakeview Avenue that overlooks Chicago’s Lincoln Park, but it’s been worth the wait. Rising 39 stories above Lake Michigan stands Lincoln Park 2520, an ambitious new real estate project that is poised to become the most coveted address in the city. There’s already a monthlong wait list just to get a tour.
The project is the realized effort of a real estate dream team, including world-renowned French architect Lucien Lagrange, as well as Ricker-Murphy Development. “We got involved about five years ago,” says John Murphy, partner and coprincipal of Ricker-Murphy Development. “[Columbus Hospital, which used to stand on the site] had been shut down and was quietly being marketed as a potential development location. We felt confident that we put a forward-thinking, innovative team together that was properly capitalized and had the right skills to execute the development.”
One look at the near-complete project and the reason for Murphy’s confidence is clear. On the outside, LP2520 shares a Beaux Arts style with many of its elder, neoclassical neighbors. The Kasota limestone-clad main tower and shorter “shoulder” towers stand nearly a block deep on the old Columbus Hospital site, but the structures leave ample room for a 1.25-acre private park, the largest in the city. The park, designed by urban planning and landscape architecture firm Thomas Balsley Associates, features an enclosed winter garden that tenants can enter from the lobby, landscaped walks, a dog run, and tot lot.
The park’s focal point, however, is the National Shrine of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, which once served as the chapel for Columbus Hospital. The shrine, preserved when the lot was purchased, is being restored in its entirety, from the stunning stained-glass windows on the outside to the rare Tamburini organ on the inside. It will open to the public this fall.
As much as the outside of the building tries to preserve the neighborhood’s history, the inside attempts to break the mold: The building incorporates state-of-the-art efficiency, modern finishes, and überluxe amenities that include an attendant-staffed valet, a 20-seat movie theater, and a full-time concierge. Base model units boast Snaidero kitchens, Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances, wide-planked oak floors, and generous moldings. Each unit, regardless of size, shares qualities atypical of a high-rise: generous entries, tall ceilings, and outdoor space.
One of the building’s greatest assets, however, isn’t part of its amenities package: LP2520 offers spectacular views from almost every angle. “From the top you see cars go by, the dogs that are being walked, the boats drift along; you are very much a part of the city here,” Murphy says. A hard-hat tour insures us that nothing disturbs the views for miles. To the east of course, is the lake, but to the west you can take in Wrigley Field, the planes sweeping overhead from O’Hare, and the landscape of the surrounding suburbs.
Besides the main towers, the development also has a select number of single-family lots up for grabs along Deming Place, on which buyers can erect custom, private homes. The property originally was slated for town homes, but was remarketed as single-home lots in early 2012. Joseph Mansueto, founder, chairman, and CEO of Chicagobased Morningstar Inc., is a possible catalyst for the change of heart: He purchased eight lots slated for town homes on the St. James Place side of the property in 2011 and is reportedly erecting a 7,200-square-foot residence for his family. The rest of the lots will be used to build no more than five single-family homes.
Units in the main building start at $1 million and are priced up to $14 million at the penthouse level. Chicago-based interior designer Darcy Bonner and Associates, along with other soon-to-be-announced world-renowned decorators will create on-site models to help buyers visually integrate the views, define scale, and imagine modern and traditional interpretations.
Phase one move-in will begin in June. It will be followed by a grand-opening party and building dedication in September. lincolnpark2520.com