Mark Goodman & Associates Approved to Build Ground-up Life Sciences Development in Chicago’s Fulton Market DistrictJanuary 7, 2022
Mark Goodman & Associates, Inc. (MGA) today received final approval from the Chicago City Council to build a 16-story life sciences development at 400 N. Elizabeth St. in Chicago’s popular Fulton Market neighborhood. The building is expected to bring 1,350 high-tech jobs to Chicago.
Located at the corner of Elizabeth and Kinzie streets, on the site of the former Lakeshore Beverage distributorship, the development at 400 N. Elizabeth St. will mark one of Chicago’s first ground-up buildings designed to specifically accommodate the rapidly growing life sciences and biotechnology industry.
Designed by Solomon Cordwell Buentz (SCB) to be LEED Silver and WELL certified, the building will offer approximately 492,000 square feet of life sciences and biotechnology laboratory and office space, along with 123 underground tenant parking spaces, a fitness center and a ground-level neighborhood café that would be open to the public. Plans for the building’s immediate area also call for enhanced streetscaping and lighting, plus a pedestrian throughway to connect Elizabeth and Kinzie streets to Ogden Avenue.
The development team’s decision to utilize the 62,000-square-foot site for a cutting-edge laboratory and office building was driven by several factors, including the city’s aggressive pursuit in the creation of jobs in the life science sector, the presence of notable life sciences firms choosing to grow and expand in Chicago, and the lack of commercial space specifically designed for this booming industry. The project is also anticipated to create 2,400 construction jobs and generate a $4.4 million contribution to the neighborhood opportunity fund.
“The City of Chicago has made it a priority to strengthen the life sciences ecosystem with world-class facilities that will allow high-tech start-up ventures to flourish and grow right here at home, so we are excited to work closely with Alderperson Burnett, Commissioner Cox and other Fulton Market community stakeholders to deliver a high-quality building designed from the ground up to specifically meet the sophisticated and complex needs of this burgeoning industry,” said Mark Goodman, president of Mark Goodman & Associates, Inc.
“We’ve tapped a cadre of experts, from environmental specialists to geotechnical and structural engineers to electrical and traffic consultants, to ensure we design and deliver a best-in-class facility that propels Chicago to the forefront as a top-tier life sciences hub,” Goodman continued. “With a technical workforce, skilled scientists, top-notch research hospitals and universities, and infrastructure and capital for high-tech start-ups, Chicago already has the foundation to attract life sciences investment and this building adds a key element to the offering – readily available high-tech lab space to accommodate growing firms.”
Drawing inspiration from the neighborhood, the building stands at 270’ tall atop a podium designed to match the height and character of surrounding buildings on Elizabeth Street. The structure’s ground level incorporates continuous storefront windows offering views to the welcoming lobby, specialty labs and cafe, while the third level offers a wrap-around terrace on the east, south and west sides of the building to enhance the tenant and pedestrian experience along Elizabeth and Kinzie streets.
The building’s upper floors are massed into two volumes, with the southern elevation constructed of a glass curtain wall allowing maximum natural daylighting, while the northern elevation is designed to reduce noise from adjacent rail lines with a blended brick façade using four colors of brick. The brick shades were specifically chosen to complement surrounding structures as were the building’s windows, which follow the same design and scale as others in the neighborhood.
A key public benefit of the project is the enhanced pedestrian throughway that will extend from Elizabeth Street along the vacated block of Kinzie Street, providing residents a valuable connection to Ogden Avenue, the West Loop and the proposed Metra station. The activated walkway will be comprised of patterned paving and include landscaping and lighting, terraced and benched seating, raised planters, and areas for food trucks and vendors. An art installation at the Ogden Avenue entrance to the footpath will add to the beautification of the area as will mural artwork spanning the concrete wall abutting the rail line.
The West Central Association (WCA), a longstanding community organization and a delegate agency of Chicago, has expressed support for the development due to the economic and community benefits it will bring to the area.
“The West Central Association has been a proud supporter of Mark Goodman & Associates’ life sciences development at 400 N. Elizabeth St.,” said Armando Chacon, board president, WCA. “Not only is this endeavor in alignment with the city’s desire to bring high-value jobs and investment to the area by prioritizing healthcare and life sciences, but it will also deliver a thoughtfully designed building to an underutilized site, while providing community benefits such as a vibrant pedestrian throughway with gathering space for residents, landscaping and beautification to the surrounding area, and increased foot traffic for local businesses and restaurants.”
Renderings of the building can be viewed here.