Waterton Residential today announced that Presidential Towers, its sprawling 2,346-unit apartment community in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood, has been awarded LEED Silver certification by the U.S. Green Building Council following a multi-year redevelopment of the property.
Towers 3 and 4, located at 605 and 625 W. Madison St., achieved LEED certification by meeting certain performance standards relating to site maintenance and operations, including water and energy consumption, waste mitigation, and use of sustainable and locally sourced products. Presidential Towers marks Waterton’s second LEED-certified apartment community in downtown Chicago, where it also owns One East Delaware, which in 2011 became the city’s first existing rental high-rise to earn LEED Silver certification.
“Achieving LEED certification is an accomplishment for any building, but it’s particularly special for older properties like Presidential Towers, whose developer couldn’t take advantage of all the green building technologies that exist today when the community was built almost three decades ago,” said David Schwartz, co-founder of Waterton Residential. “Since acquiring the community in 2007, we’ve made it our goal to create a healthy, eco-friendly environment for our residents.
“It wasn’t enough to simply modernize individual residences and common areas, which we did, but to look at Presidential Towers holistically to ensure it had all of the services and amenities that would help residents not just enjoy living there, but be proud to call it home,” continued Schwartz.
In addition to the use of sustainable cleaning products and energy-efficient lighting systems, Presidential Towers earned credits for offering residents alternative forms of transportation. Located immediately west of the Chicago River, the community is a short walk from the central business district and popular shopping, dining and entertainment destinations. It’s also steps from the Ogilvie Transportation Center, Union Station, and Clinton Green Line stop, as well as several CTA bus routes. Residents can also take advantage of on-site Zipcars, a Divvy bike station, green taxi pick-up and GO Airport Express shuttle, which services Midway and O’Hare International Airports.
Other LEED credits were earned for indoor environmental quality. Waterton recently added a no-smoking clause to all new leases, a policy that earned the community a Smoke-Free Housing Recognition Award from the American Lung Association, and prohibits smoking in all common areas. Further demonstrating Waterton’s commitment to healthy living, Presidential Towers is a longtime partner of the lung association, hosting its annual “Fight for Air Climb.” The event, Chicago’s biggest stair climb with a total of 2,340 steps and 180 floors, attracted nearly 1,700 participants this year and raised a total of $391,000, making it the fourth-highest fundraising “Fight for Air Climb” in the country. Since the first Presidential Towers climb in 2009, the event has raised nearly $1.6 million for lung disease research.
“As a company, we are dedicated to creating the healthiest living environment possible, and going smoke-free is an important part of that,” said Schwartz. “Accomplishing this in a community of Presidential Towers’ size is no simple undertaking, but it shows how serious we are about promoting and protecting the health of our residents.”
Built in 1985, the 2.7 million-square-foot community features spacious studio, convertible, one- and two- bedroom apartments offering impressive views of downtown Chicago. After buying the property in 2007, Waterton began an extensive renovation of the community’s residences, adding new appliances, countertops and sustainable cabinets from Indiana.
Waterton also updated the community’s common areas and retail space, home to several restaurants and a two-story FFC athletic club featuring a Protein Bar restaurant, indoor lap pool and outdoor recreation pool complete with a multi-tier sun deck and cocktail bar. Residents also have exclusive 24-hour access to an on-site Walmart Neighborhood Market, and a number of other services and amenities, including a full-time concierge and dry cleaner, as well as a multimedia room, rooftop deck and outdoor grilling area.
“Presidential Towers is known internationally, with residents from all over the world, so it’s important for us to maintain this global image by making the community the best it can be,” said Schwartz. “Achieving LEED certification is just the latest example of our ongoing efforts to improve the community and build on its reputation as a leader in Chicago’s apartment market.”