Lendlease unveiled The Reed, a 41-story luxury residential high-rise located at 234 W. Polk Street, as the next phase of its Southbank project in Chicago’s Printers Row neighborhood. The new building, which will offer 216 luxury condominiums on its upper floors, marks the second residential tower in the development.
Southbank is a seven-acre master plan centered around two acres of public green space, known as Southbank Park, along the South Branch of the Chicago River. Construction wrapped last March on The Cooper at Southbank, the 29-story, 452-unit first phase of the development.
“We are excited to begin the next chapter of Southbank, a development that underscores Lendlease’s commitment to urban regeneration and that already has transformed a prime stretch of the Chicago River into an amenity for residents and neighbors in the surrounding community,” said Ted Weldon, executive general manager of development for Lendlease’s Chicago office. “For the first time, Southbank residents will have the opportunity to own their piece of the riverfront lifestyle introduced by The Cooper, the first phase of our master plan that was completed in 2018. The Reed builds on that vision by introducing the first for-sale residences at Southbank and extending the adjacent Riverwalk, providing an activated connection to Polk Street.”
Condo layouts include one-, two- and three-bedroom plans priced from the $390,000s and ranging in size from 630 to 1,670 square feet. Occupying floors 23 to 41 of the tower, The Reed’s condominiums celebrate the building’s idyllic location with floor-to-ceiling windows that showcase stunning views of the skyline, Lake Michigan and Chicago River, as well as Southbank Park, which borders the northern side of the building. The tower’s interiors pay homage to the surrounding neighborhood with an industrial-chic aesthetic that is realized through concrete ceilings and metal finishing throughout residences, including 224 rental apartments located on floors 9 through 22.
“With its stunning views and unbridled access to the Riverwalk and Southbank Park, The Reed is the preeminent destination for buyers looking to call Chicago home,” said David Wolf, president and CEO of Wolf Development Strategies, the exclusive sales and marketing firm for the development. “Now more than ever, homeowners are seeking greater connectivity to the outdoors, and it’s extremely rare to have immediate access to a fully programmed riverfront park—much less one that’s so close to the Loop. The development’s sustainable design and accessible location, combined with its attainable pricing relative to other new construction downtown, make this a compelling offering for everyone from first-time buyers to those looking to downsize or purchase a second home in the city.”
The Reed boasts two well-appointed amenity suites for residents to enjoy, including a 12,000-square-foot outdoor amenity deck on the eighth floor overlooking Southbank Park. Residents will share access to an indoor amenity space on the eighth floor and owners will have exclusive use of an additional amenity space on the second floor, which is at grade with Southbank Park. The intentional placement of the second-floor amenities and use of full-height windows is intended to establish continuity between the park and tower, according to project architect Perkins and Will, which also designed The Cooper and the broader Southbank master plan.
“The Reed’s design integrates seamlessly with the first phase of Southbank. Its rich color and solidity provides diversity to the site and a balanced contrast to the lighter materials selected for The Cooper,” said Bryan Schabel, design principal at Perkins and Will. “The patterning of the tower’s north, south and east facades shifts between residential tiers, while the all-glass western facade extends out to celebrate the river and the site’s dynamic views.”
The design of the ground-floor lobby, located off Polk Street, responds to its prominent position along the Chicago River, with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the adjacent waterway. To enhance the pedestrian experience, the building is cantilevered above a widened pathway along Polk Street, creating an inviting outdoor plaza with seating, landscaping and river views. This walkway, like the lobby, wraps around the entire western side of the building, whose lower floors are set back from the river, creating a connection between the Riverwalk and Polk Street, and with the adjacent Polk Street pier, which Lendlease plans to improve with a new water taxi stop, continuing Chicago’s transformation of the river.
The Riverwalk extension was developed by Lendlease in conjunction with Southbank Park, which serves as the flagship offering within the Southbank neighborhood. Designed by Chicago-based landscape architecture firm Hoerr Schaudt, whose plan was implemented by Confluence, the publicly accessible green space features a central lawn, bicycle racks and meandering walkways that lead down to the riverfront. The Riverwalk itself is programmed with a viewing platform, seating areas and natural stone amphitheater created from lannon stone—uncovered during construction of the park—that originally served as the foundation of Chicago’s Grand Central Station, which operated on the site from 1890 to 1969.
Rooted in community, the park also features birdhouses created by design students through a partnership with the University of Illinois at Chicago, as well as a mural commissioned from local artist Ruben Aguirre. Located on the northern end of the park, adjacent to the Harrison Street Bridge, the mural draws inspiration from historical events such as the straightening of the Chicago River, as well as the natural landscape and history of the Southbank site.
With a focus on delivering sustainable homes for residents, The Reed is being developed with priorities for carbon reduction and health and well-being outcomes. Targeting LEED Gold and FitWel certification, The Reed continues Lendlease’s global commitment to sustainability, green building and wellness-focused residential development. Lendlease is a 1.5 Degree Celsius-aligned company, a commitment that seeks to limit global temperature rise to no more than 1.5°C. To do this, Lendlease has set market-leading carbon targets of net zero carbon scope 1 and 2 by 2025 and absolute zero carbon, which extends to the supply chain, by 2040. The Reed will be among the first residential properties in the Lendlease Americas portfolio to undergo a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to prioritize low carbon material selection. Additionally, as part of the company’s commitment to the Task Force for Climate-Related Financial Disclosure (TCFD), Lendlease has performed a Climate Related Risks & Opportunities Assessment for The Reed to inform an approach to climate-related mitigation.
Additionally, residences will include low-flow plumbing fixtures, Energy Star-rated water heaters with thermal efficiency of 90 percent or higher, Energy Star-certified refrigerators, dishwashers and clothes washers, Smart thermostat technology with occupancy sensing and scheduling functionality, and heating and cooling equipment efficiency rated 10 percent higher than the code minimum.
Existing sustainability features in Southbank Park include an on-site stormwater management system designed to mitigate runoff. In restoring this stretch of the riverfront, Lendlease has also created habitats that support native flora and fauna, honeybees and migratory birds. The Reed will also feature a rooftop farm, through which residents and local restaurants will have access to fresh honey and produce grown on-site.