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Corner Condos Replacing Corner Offices As Status Symbol

Back in the day, moving up to the corner office was a sure sign you’d made it. Offering greater room, abundant natural light from two walls of windows and dual perspectives on streetscapes below, a corner office was a coveted badge of success. But with more folks working from home, the corner office’s cache may be shifting to corner condominiums.

“My clients who are interested in corner units are attracted to the natural light and extra space these kinds of homes generally offer, whether it’s for an office, formal dining room, reading area or even a spot for their pet,” said Ericka Rios, principal at Chicago-based Downtown Apartment Company, a luxury apartment rental agency. “In some cases, corner units offer more outdoor space, with larger or double balconies.”

One might go so far as to argue, along with a number of other world-class cities, Chicago has the market cornered on stunning corner residences. Here are a few of the prime examples, each oriented to provide unforgettable views out their dual walls of windows.

One Bennett Park

Situated in the Windy City’s downtown Streeterville enclave, the ultra-luxe, Robert A.M. Stern-designed residential tower developed by Related Midwest places along its corners an array of one- to four-bedroom rental and for-sale homes. Some feel the homes deliver the best of both worlds: The generous room sizes of detached single-family homes, and arresting city and lakefront perspectives from large windows offering beautiful daylighting.

“For residents of our corner apartment and condominium residences, these features are amplified, with extra square footage, panoramic views and abundant natural light,” says Ann Thompson, Related Midwest senior vice president of architecture and design.

Renelle on the River

Stunning views from all residences are among the hallmarks of this 50-unit condominium development, which more than holds its own among the picture postcard-worthy architectural gems hugging the Chicago River. The 3-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom floor plan A occupying the full south end of the boutique building spreads into both the southwest and southeast corners. The building’s developer, Belgravia Group, worked with architects bKL to position windows in every room, save for two secondary baths and a powder room.

727 West Madison

What might be called the “ends” of this 45-story elliptical tower — the tallest building in Chicago’s West Loop — provide the setting for one of its most popular floor plans. Working with co-developers F&F Realty and Fifield Cos., designer Fitzgerald Associates Architects placed full units in these rounded corners. Wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling windows invite the cityscape to come vividly into open living and kitchen areas through 180-degree views.

“Though it features an unusual floor plan, our ‘corner’ two-bedrooms leased up very quickly when the building opened and remain a resident favorite,” said Beth Argaman, 727 West Madison general manager. “With the panoramic perspective of the window wall in the living space, residents have found they can really personalize their apartments, either by using the view as the backdrop or facing the furniture outward toward the arc of windows and letting the skyline be the focal point.”

Optima Signature

Streeterville provides a dynamic backdrop for the luxury tower Optima Signature, situated steps from the city’s “Magnificent Mile” of Michigan Avenue. With an eye to creating dramatic views, the developer, Optima, expressly designed the building’s corner units with the intention of creating column-free perspectives.

The post-tensioned concrete structure incorporates a two-way cantilevered slab. The column was placed between the kitchen and living area rather than in the traditional corner, to ensure the layouts of residences delivered unobstructed, eye-popping views from the living room’s floor-to-ceiling windows.

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