235 Van Buren

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235 West Van Buren Street, Chicago, IL

235 Van Buren

Exterior of 235 Van Buren
Building Information
Developer CMK Companies
Architect Perkins & Will
Number of Units 714
Number of Floors 46
Year Built 2010
Construction Method Concrete
Type of Roof IRMA
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235 West Van Buren Street, Chicago, IL
Distance to Public Transit Less than one block
Region Chicago
Municipality Chicago
Zoning PD 1053
Title of Land Condominium



Exterior of 235 Van Buren

Built in 2010 by CMK Companies, and designed by the renowned and award winning architects, Perkins & Will, 235 Van Buren offers an enormous residential tower of 714 residences over its 46 floors. The condominiums are aimed towards first time buyers, and offer one to three bedroom units that are affordable and conveniently located at 235 West Van Buren Street, at the southern edge of Chicago's business district in South Loop.

The building has received much publicity since its completion in 2010, due both to its large size and individuality. A penthouse unit in the building was featured on a TV episode of HGTV's House Hunters. 235 Van Buren has also received several awards since its completion including the Distinguished Building Award, the Mies van der Rohe Award, and the Louis Sullivan Award.

The dual design featured at 235 Van Buren are due to the two area conditions on either side of the site location. To the north is the densely filled context of The Loop. To the south is an open space between a freeway and traffic interchange, which also contains a small park.

In order to appeal to the first-time buyer market, the developer and architects worked together to keep costs down and make the units affordable. They did so by designing the residences with borrowed-light bedrooms that sit behind living spaces with ten foot ceilings to form loft-like homes. This allows the building to be wider than the standard condominium high rise, and reduce exterior enclosure costs.

Residences are found on the 14th to the 26th floors. There is an 11 story, 570 car parking garage. 10,000 square feet of retail space is found on the first two floors, which includes the Van Buren Gentleman's Salon.[1]


235 Van Buren is located just on the outskirts of the popular financial district of The Loop. Situated in South Loop, the building is nearby all daily amenities, and is within one block of public transportation. Many restaurants are nearby, including The Works on Franklin. Many coffee houses are just a few steps outside the door of 235 Van Buren.

Nearby outdoor attractions feature the statues at the Board of Trade, the Rookery Building, Fred Kramer Memorial Garden, and Printers Row Park. D'Angelo Dog Park is just across the street from the residences. The tourist attractions of Grant Park and Millennium Park are just a short distance away, as well as the famous Navy Pier, which offers carnival-like rides and plenty of entertainment year round. 235 Van Buren is said be located in a "Walker's Paradise." [2]


Constructed of concrete with the duality of the location in mind, the architects completed the design of 235 Van Buren with two accommodating sides. Made of a combination of two masses with distinctly different designs, the development responds to The Loop on the north and the open space on the south.

The southern exposure of the building, therefore, is primarily a glass facade with randomly placed balconies that provide a backdrop to the open space. The northern facade is a grid of rectangular openings with inset balconies that relate to the historic Chicago Loop.

The break-down of the two separate masses is accentuated by the heights of the two shifted slabs at the roof line of the building.[3]

Layout and Features

One to three bedroom units can be found at 235 Van Buren, with residences on the 14th to 46th floors. They include over sized 10 foot ceilings with exposed concrete surfaces, solid core entry doors, chrome hardware and levers, in-unit washers and dryers and floor-to-ceiling, tinted windows for expansive views of the River and City and optimum natural light. Exposed concrete columns and a variety of unique floor plans give 235 Van Buren its character.

The lobby features expansive ceilings that reach 25 feet; an equally high glass wall offers views of Willis Tower and the surrounding skyline.

The bedrooms features luxury carpet, vinyl clad wire closet shelving, and phone, cable and internet connections. Designer light fixtures, engineered hardwood floors, granite counter tops, and stainless steel appliances can be found in the residences, as well as double bowl stainless steel sinks and integrated pull-out faucets.

Spa-like bathrooms feature cultured-marble vanity tops with integral bowls and ceramic tile floors. Practical conveniences include continuous-flow central hot water systems and eight high-speed passenger elevators.[4]

Floor Plans

Ample floor plans are available for 235 Van Buren. Here is a brief variation.


  • 3-Acre Wacker Gateway Park
  • 24-hour doorman
  • On-site property management
  • Parking Garage with secured entry
  • Commercial/retail spaces
  • Multiple bicycle storage rooms
  • I-GO car-sharing location
  • Central Air Conditiong


235 Van Buren Bylaws
Rentals Yes
Pets Yes
Age No
Barbecues Yes

  • Pets are permitted.
  • Rentals are allowed at 235 Van Buren.
  • There are no age restrictions placed on ownership.


235 Van Buren takes sustainable living into consideration, offering features like two-pipe vertical heating and cooling system with individual controls for tailored temperature in each of the residences. The double-pane, floor-to-ceiling windows are tinted for optimal natural light and avoidance of heat loss.

Energy Star rated appliances are installed in the kitchens, as well as energy efficient, designer lighting throughout.

Technologically advanced safety systems including smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, sprinkler systems and fire alarm system with central monitoring system are also included.

The convenient location in South Loop is nearby public transportation and within walking distance to all major daily necessities, allowing the residents the pleasure of sustainable living on foot.


Wills/Sears Tower

A nearby landmark to 235 Van Buren - and what the lobby design is centered around the view of - is the Willis, or commonly known, Sears Tower. The Willis Tower is a 108-story, 1,451-foot skyscraper built in 1973. It held the title of the tallest building in the world, even surpassing the World Trade Center towers in New York, from the period between 1973 to 1998.

Today, and much still to be impressed by, The Willis Tower is the second tallest building in the United States and the eight tallest structure in the world. This building is one of the most popular attractions for tourist of Chicago, bringing in over a million people a year to visit its observation deck. The then Sears Tower observation deck, called the Skydeck, was first opened in 1974. It is located on the 103rd floor and sits 1,353 feet above ground.

Still referred to as the Sears Tower, this was its original name throughout the majority of its history. Willis Group Holdings renamed the building in 2009 as a part of their lease of its office spaces. United Airlines announced the move of its headquarters to the Willis Tower on August 13, 2012.[5]


  1. Wikipedia
  2. Walk Score
  3. World Buildings Directory
  4. 235 West Van Buren
  5. Wikipedia

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