CHICAGORelated Midwest has restarted construction of 111 W. Wacker, the site of the former Waterview Tower, into a 504-unit apartment building with retail on the ground floor.

Waterview was to include a Shangri-La Hotel and luxury condominiums. In 2008, construction reached the 28th floor, but has been stalled ever since. Related Real Estate Recovery Fund (RRERF) acquired the property in July 2011 in a joint-venture partnership with Clark Wacker LLC. The Related fund is a distressed real estate fund focusing on the acquisition of distressed loans that were originated for new development, property conversion and renovation, as well as equity positions in properties that require significant repositioning.

Related Midwest is redeveloping the property and has recommenced construction. The development is scheduled to be complete in the spring of 2014.

Related has partnered with New York-based architect Handel Architects, Chicago-based Epstein, Kara Mann Design, and general contractor Lend Lease U.S. Construction to build on the site, which is along the Chicago River between the Loop business district and River North submarket. The 950,000-square foot building will include 504 luxury rental units and more than 400 parking spaces. The building will also include restaurant and retail spaces accessible from the street level.

Andrew J. Mooney, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Housing and Economic Development, said the restart of this project is a significant signal that the real estate market in Chicago is recovering. “It also signals the inherent strengths of the city’s downtown market,” he said in a statement.

Among Related’s successes in the downtown Chicago area are the Residences on Lake Shore Park (comprising 840 Lake Shore Drive, the Pearson, and the Belvedere), the Park Hyatt Hotel and Condominiums at 800 N. Michigan Avenue, and 340 on the Park at 340 E. Randolph Street. The company also was selected by the Chicago Housing Authority as the master developer of the 35-acre Lathrop Homes redevelopment on Chicago’s North Side, and is investing $100 million in Parkway Gardens, revitalizing and preserving the approximately
700-unit affordable housing redevelopment on the South Side of Chicago.