GREC Architects


In a neighborhood better known for concrete hardscapes and urban bustle, Emme Chicago has pulled green space literally from thin air.Smack-dab in front of the new 14-story, glass-and-brick apartment building in the West Loop is a landscaped pocket park, which residents and the public are welcome to enjoy. Growing on the roof are farm crops of tomatoes, peppers, basil and apples. In between, on the third-level outdoor deck, are a sunning lawn and flowering gardens.“We wanted to create a bit of a sanctuary in an area that doesn’t have much in terms of trees and public open space,” said the building’s architect, Don Copper of Chicago-based GREC Architects.(The name Emme is pronounced “em,” like the letter M, and it has no significant meaning other than the development team liked it, Copper explained.)THE UNITSEmme Chicago’s 199 apartments range from studio to two bedrooms configured into 18 floor plans. Apartments are located on the third through 14th floors.All apartments have engineered wood flooring, in-unit clothes washer and dryer, roller shades, exposed concrete ceilings and some exposed concrete walls. Kitchens have duo-tone cabinetry with beige wood-grain uppers and white glossy lowers, stainless steel appliances with integrated refrigerators, quartz counters, a porcelain backsplash and under-cabinet lighting. Baths have stone counters, wood-grain vanities and the choice of tub or shower. Units on the third floor have terraces that merge into the outdoor deck.The 604-square-foot model apartment on the 12th floor is designed with one bedroom and a full bath. From the front door, a hallway leads past the laundry and coat closets. An open floor plan for the main living space positions the kitchen appliances and counters against one wall and nearly full-height windows on the opposite wall. The bath has an oversized shower and counter-to-ceiling mirror. The bedroom has a linear closet.THE AMENITIESThe two-story, glass-fronted lobby frames the view of the pocket park and the Haymarket Memorial on the sidewalk. The memorial is a sculpture that commemorates the 1886 labor demonstration and bombing that killed about a dozen police officers and civilians. From the exterior, passers-by can’t help but notice the enormous vivid orange-and-yellow painting that is a backdrop for the lobby’s contemporary sectional seating.Tucked into the mezzanine above the concierge desk is the library, where a wood community table is flanked by bookshelves and banquette seating.The third floor features an indoor lounge with cushy seating, a billiards table, full kitchen, flat-screen television and workstations. The fun continues outdoors to grilling and dining stations, pergolas, fire pits and conversation seating.The fitness center and yoga studio are on the 14th floor, along with a semi-enclosed swimming pool and well-appointed indoor and outdoor lounges.“One of the things we like to do is spread the amenity spaces throughout the building instead of having just one dedicated amenity floor,” Copper said. “We think that provides different experiences for people, depending on their mood or if a special event is happening.”The Food Crop, an eco-friendly urban farming organization, is growing and distributing 8,000-square-feet of produce on Emme EME Chicago’s rooftops. The crops are sold to area restaurants and bars and at local farmers markets. They also are shared with the building’s residents, like at the recent tomato-tasting event.“People in this neighborhood are foodies,” said Chelsea Zivkovic, community manager at Emme Chicago. “You live in the West Loop because you want to walk to the restaurants. To say we participate in that with our roof crop, people love it.”Additional amenities include doggy bathing stations and indoor and outdoor play areas, complimentary bicycle storage, package storage, and dry cleaning pickup and delivery.THE FOLKS BEHIND ITEmme Chicago was developed and is owned by Gerding Edlen of Portland, Ore. The architect is GREC Architects, and the managing agent is Greystar, both in Chicago. The first residents arrived in September 2017.THE FINE PRINTEmme Chicago165 N. Desplaines St.Chicago, IL 60661www.emmechicago.com312-930-6605Apartments: Prices based on availability and subject to change. Studio, 489 to 500 square feet, from $1,895; convertible, 460 to 475 square feet, $2,070; one bedroom, 582 to 660 square feet, from $2,595; two bedroom, 927 to 965 square feet, from $3,420.Lease terms: 14- to 24-month lease terms; $50 application fee and $500 administration fee.Renter’s insurance: Required.Utilities: Monthly utility charge ranges from $115 to $150, depending on apartment size. It includes water, trash, cooking and heating gas, cable and internet. Tenant pays separately for electricity.Parking: Covered and reserved space in a private, attached garage for $300 a month.Pets: Two-pet limit, $350 dog fee, $250 cat fee plus $25 a month per pet. Breed restrictions apply but no weight limits.Smoking policy: Nonsmoking.

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