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February 21, 2019

River North’s Ardus Apartments merge
vintage and modern for a unique vibe –
with on-demand cleaning service.

By Editor Chicago Tribune Yesterday, hundreds of commercial real estate professionals tuned in for the first annual IREJ Real Estate Awards. The event also honored the career of Jim McShane with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Chicago Tribune

Some apartment communities are built from the ground up, and others are fashioned from existing structures. The Ardus, which recently opened in River North, is both — but it’s hard to tell by looking. The entire building gives off a vintage vibe, albeit with modern-day flourishes like Wi-Fi and USB ports.

The section fronting LaSalle Street is new construction, set atop a former parking lot. It attaches on the west to a 1920s-era factory building, at one time home to a manufacturer of steam gauges and automatic valves, and later converted to offices.

The transitions between the two sections are almost seamless. Take the lobby, for example. Velvety sofas, mismatched wooden tables and straight-backed chairs are arranged for intimacy. Worn Asian rugs are scattered atop a concrete floor. A Heritage Outpost coffee bar stands off to one side. The space looks as if it has been a community gathering spot for generations, except it’s all new.

The goal was to create period authenticity to assure aesthetic continuity between the two sections, said Heather Fritz, creative and marketing director for The Ardus’ developer Cedar Street Cos. The other side had to be adapted to current market demands while preserving as much of the original character as possible, she said.

“Both aesthetics are beautiful, but they are beautiful in different ways,” she said. The building’s name also draws on the past. It’s a tribute to the original manufacturer, Bogardus Co.

The units

The 149 apartments at The Ardus consist of studios and one-bedrooms configured into 23 floor plans. In addition, six furnished, two-story townhomes are designated as short-term rentals for visitors. One townhome has one bedroom, and the others have three bedrooms. The first move-ins arrived in November.

All apartments have clothes washers and dryers, window treatments and operable floor-to-ceiling windows.

Kitchens have stainless steel appliances, gray or white quartz counters, glossy white or gray wood-grain cabinets, and white horizontal tile backsplashes.

The two building sections are appointed with different but complementary finishes reminiscent of a bygone era. The new side has engineered wood floors and concrete ceilings. The original side has concrete floors and exposed wood deck ceilings.

A one-bedroom model on the original side of the building has finished concrete floors throughout. The bathroom has an oversized shower. The stackable washer and dryer are tucked within a laundry closet. The unit has two more closets, one in the foyer and one in the bedroom. The kitchen and main living area are separated by a stationary peninsula, which serves as additional storage space.

The amenities

There’s plenty of closet space for a vacuum cleaner, but you won’t need one. Call up housekeeping services on a mobile app, and for a fee, your mess will be tidied. On-demand storage retrieval and dog-walking services are available too.

“When people talk about the amenity race, they usually mean experiences you can create,” said Alex Samoylovich, Cedar Street co-founder and managing partner. “We think services are the amenity of the future.”

That’s not to say The Ardus has no physical amenities. It does, and most are congregated on the eighth floor. Among them are a roof deck, where comfortable seating is clustered alongside grilling stations and a fire pit. Indoor amenities include a fitness center, dog run, bicycle storage and a lounge with groupings of furniture, a movie-screening area, pool table, kitchen and dining room.

Cedar Street residents may use the amenities and take fitness classes at all other Cedar Street properties.

About 10,000 square feet of street-level commercial space is under development, including a bicycle repair and scooter rental shop. A CTA bus stop is directly outside the front door.

The folks behind it

The Ardus was developed by Chicago-based Cedar Street Cos. The company’s Flats division is marketing, leasing and managing the building.