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Developer moves ahead with South Loop high-rise

Artist rendering One Triple Three project be located 1333 South Wabash shows 307-unit planned apartment building. | Courtesy Brininstool

Artist rendering of the One Triple Three project to be located at 1333 South Wabash shows a 307-unit planned apartment building. | Courtesy Brininstool & Lynch Ltd.

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Updated: April 16, 2013 4:13PM

A residential developer who has bided his time through the downturn has made a move on a new project in the South Loop.

Colin Kihnke, president of CMK Cos., is proposing a 28-story, 307-unit apartment building at 1333 S. Wabash. Details of his plan were contained in a zoning application submitted to the city.

The property is a stymied construction site, where work stopped a few years ago during the property crash. Kihnke said the situation essentially gives him a three-month head start in construction, and he hopes the building can be done by late 2014.

By buying out a defaulted loan, Kihnke took control of the site from Piedmont Group Inc. and modified the proposed development.

The neighborhood remains awash in unsold condos, but Kihnke said it still has strong appeal to incoming residents and the demand for rentals is strong. “I love that this site is close to the bar and restaurant row of the South Loop, and its access to the [CTA] train is great,” he said.

“The South Loop has kind of unfairly received a black eye in the whole process of the real estate recovery,” Kihnke said. He said he’s talking to a couple of banks about financing the deal.

Kihnke said the building, designed by Brininstool & Lynch Ltd., will include a 200-car parking garage and about 3,000 square feet for street-level retail. It could later be converted to condos if that market revives.

His zoning proposal includes air rights over an adjoining building, which would prevent it from being sold for another high-rise that could block views from his building.

Kihnke has completed four condo buildings in the South Loop, all with a contemporary design flair. The most recent one was 235 W. Van Buren, an ambitious 714 units that opened in 2009.

With a couple of years left before his construction loan matures, Kihnke has followed a slow sales pace in that building. He said about 80 percent of the units are sold and he achieves 10 to 12 sales per month.

Many of the building’s units, however, are on the resale market, competing with his efforts to sell out his inventory.

His zoning application starts a hearing process with city agencies that could last a few months. Kihnke said he’s making the rounds with neighborhood organizations to get their support for his plan.

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