Lake Shore Drive apartments planned by JAB Real Estate

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A development company is planning a 36-unit apartment building on a Lake Shore Drive site in Lakeview that it bought for less than half of what the seller paid.

The three-story building is believed to be one of the few new residential structures built on North Lake Shore Drive in recent decades.

JAB Real Estate purchased the slender site at 3726 N. Lake Shore Drive for $4.1 million in December, according to the Cook County Recorder of Deeds. The vendor, a corporation headquartered in Col. Jennifer Pritzker’s Tawani Enterprises office, paid $8.75 million for the site in October 2016, according to the Recorder.

A Tawani press contact, Claudia Gutierrez, confirmed the sale. She declined to provide further details on Tawani’s side of the deal.

JAB director Frank Campise said he expects work on the site to start in late March or early April. Designed by Space Architects + Planners, the new building, in red brick with street-facing balconies and tall cornices, will resemble historic structures in the neighborhood. It will have parking on the ground floor.

The building will be called the Erikson, Campise said. It’s a nod to the fact that part of the road was called Leif Erikson Drive until 1946. Campise said rents won’t be fixed until the building is closer to the moving in of the occupants, in 2021.

JAB will demolish the three existing oversized apartments, Campise said. The company originally planned to build 42 units, but reduced the number of units to six after discussions with representatives from neighboring properties, according to Ald’s development monitoring section. James Cappleman website. All necessary approvals are pending, Campise said.

The existing building on the site is no ordinary triple apartment. It is 45 feet wide and extends well back from the street, approximately 270 feet from the site’s 339-foot depth to the standard 125-foot urban plot. Built in the mid-1910s for affluent households, its three residences are each over 6,000 square feet, more than three times the size of a typical Chicago three-apartment unit.

Tawani never publicly announced plans for the site, and put it on the market in September 2018 at $4.8 million. When Crain reported on the property in April, a Tawani representative said the company would not comment on the building. It was vacant at that time.

In June, a new rental building opened at Banks Street and Lake Shore Drive, a site that had been empty for many years, the last such site on the North Drive. New apartment or condo buildings have also been built on the road in Pearson, Ontario and Grand during the 21st century.

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