Wood Partners, as a co-developer with Golub & Co., has broken ground on Lake + Forest, a 1.6-acre, 270-unit community on the former site of a city-owned parking structure on Forest Avenue in Oak Park. This project will include a new public garage for the Village of Oak Park. Construction is expected to be complete by spring 2016.
"We couldn't be more excited to be involved in this complex development and to be co-developing with Golub & Company," said Clay Iman, development associate at Wood Partners. "This is the result of a tremendous collaboration with the Village of Oak Park and a lot of folks' tireless efforts over a period of several years. Lake + Forest will enhance downtown Oak Park, an already vibrant and beautiful community, and serve as an anchor development for the village's east end."
Designed by Gensler, the 21-story, 240,000 residential-square-foot building will include 124 one-bedroom units, 106 two-bedroom units and approximately 25,000 square feet of double-high retail/office space fronting Lake Street as well as 288 private and 300 public parking spaces.
"Lake + Forest will feature a level of residential unit finishes and common area amenities rare outside of downtown Chicago," Iman said.
Residents will have access to a fitness center; storage areas; a large outdoor deck with barbecues, covered seating areas and a fireplace; a hotel-quality lobby; and an onsite car-sharing service. Unit amenities include stainless steel appliances, gas ranges, solid-surface countertops, vinyl plank flooring, floor-to-ceiling windows, in-unit washers and dryers and private terraces and balconies in select units.
Located just minutes from Chicago, Lake + Forest is close to shopping and large suburban employment centers such as Oak Brook, which features nearly nine million square feet of office space and is home to major employers including McDonald's, Inland Real Estate, Ace Hardware and the O'Hare office market, which features nearly 14 million square feet of office space and is home to major employers such as Abbott Molecular and MB Financial. Oak Park is close to several medical campuses, including RUSH, Loyola, University of Illinois-Chicago Medical Center, Cook County Hospital and Hines VA Medical Center.
Lake + Forest is within walking distance of great parks and outdoor recreation areas including Austin Gardens, Scoville Park and Cummings Square and is close to Thatcher Woods, a 245-acre woodland trail area along the Des Plaines River.
Tishman Construction is the general contractor for Lake + Forest and retail leasing will be handled by Golub & Company and Jones Lang LaSalle.
"Given the success of our K2 development in Chicago and the expectations surrounding Lake + Forest, we're eager to open a Chicago office for Wood Partners in the coming months," Iman said.
Wood Partners estimates that the project will create 300 temporary construction jobs and eight property management jobs. According to the National Association of Home Builders' formula to determine the local impact of multifamily housing in typical metro areas, adding 270 rental apartments will generate $21.3 million in local income, $2.2 million in taxes and other revenue for local governments, and 329 local jobs.