After the economic downturn of 2008, high-rise construction in downtown Chicago all but came to a standstill. As time passed and the housing recovery was on the upswing, builders cautiously built, but none would yet tackle constructing a high-rise building.
In 2014, CMK Companies, a leading Chicago real estate firm, lead the way by developing the first high-rise condominium in Chicago since the crash. The project, 1345 South Wabash, is a 15-story structure (12 floors of 12 units each atop three floors of parking) with 1- or 2-bedroom, 2 bath modern designed residences located in the South Loop area.
While 1345 Wabash provides condo-living and home ownership to residents, 1333 Wabash—which was built next door as part of the same project—provides rental apartments in a 28-story, 305-unit apartment tower. American Direct provided doors and hardware for the openings on both 1345 and 1333 South Wabash. The same design, construction, and subcontractor teams were used for both 1345 and 1333, making for an easy transition from one project to the next.
As with any construction project, challenges arise and this was no different. Construction of 1345 was made easier because of the empty lot at 1333. Deliveries were not difficult and the empty lot could be used as a staging area as needed. When construction began at 1333, the convenience of the empty lot was gone and everything became a little more difficult to manage—deliveries of product were limited to the 26 ft. box trucks. American Direct responded by sending the typical 53 ft. trucks to a consolidation area, off-loaded them onto box trucks, and then delivered to the job site.
While many products on the openings schedule were the same for both buildings, consideration needed to be taken for unit entry: residents in 1345 Wabash own their condo unit, while those in 1333 are renters. A property owner’s mindset differs from an apartment residents’. An owner wants something tangible—such as the traditional keyed opening—when it comes to unit entry, while apartment residents don’t have the same sense of attachment to their unit and prefer a card reader opening. The card reader, although more expensive to start with, allows for more control on the management side and lower cost to maintain. It can be programmed for a new renter, and then re-programmed when the renter moves out.
American Direct’s complete product line and full suite of value-add services enabled delivery of a variety of opening options that met the functionality and budget requirements of the project owner and contractor. American Direct presented options that would satisfy the expectations of the all of the tenants: the traditional keyed opening for the owners of the condo units and a card reader for the rental clientele.