Project of the Year Feature – Residential

Project of the Year Feature – Residential

January 15, 2024

BURR RIDGE – CISCO’s 6th Project of the Year Feature is the top choice of Residential, which is The Row Fulton Market. General contractor was LR Contracting; client was Related Midwest.

When considering submissions, judging criteria is based on: quality of construction, design, impact on the community and safety record.

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LR Contracting Company was the general contractors on Related Midwest’s newest residential development, The Row Fulton Market. The Row is a 43 story, 495’ tall, 550,000 square foot luxury multifamily new construction skyscraper development in Chicago’s historic Fulton Market neighborhood.

It includes 300 apartment residences on floors 2 through 43, with the top two floors reserved for six expansive three- and four-bedroom penthouse residences. The apartments feature spacious convertible, one-, two-, and three-bedroom floor plans with thoughtfully designed layouts. Of the 300 units, 20 percent are designated affordable for working households. Affordable apartments are rented to households with no more than 50 percent of the AMI.

Apartment residences feature expansive floor plans with oversized windows and generous storage throughout. Interiors feature 9’6” ceilings, 8” wide-plank flooring, in-home washer and dryer, roller shades, keyless entry, 3 cm quartz countertops with full height backsplash, Valli Valli polished chrome door levers and hardware, Ecobee smart thermostats, and Kohler fixtures and faucets.

Apartment residents can enjoy a full suite of amenities and services designed to enhance and complement their daily lives. Amenities include access to a 13,800-square-foot landscaped recreational deck on the west side of the building that features a lap pool, three outdoor grilling kitchens and two fire pits.

CISCO Pride in Construction

Pool deck

Also included is a spacious fitness center with dedicated yoga room, children’s room, reservable entertainment suite, and gathering room and library with designated work-from-home spaces. The building also features 3,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and 145 parking spaces concealed behind residences on floors two through five.

The building structure is composed of belled and top-of-rock caissons foundations with a post-tensioned concrete superstructure. Designed by Morris Adjmi Architects, the podium enclosure includes decorative masonry, articulating metal panels, and glazing. Notably the tower window wall system carries the same metal articulation of profiles and arches all the way to the top of the building.

LR Contracting Company, a division of Related Midwest, The Row Fulton Market pursued a new approach to high-rise construction by turning a unique set of challenges into opportunities to create a model for the future.

CISCO Pride in Construction

Athletic club

The Row Fulton Market was in the design and planning stages in early 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, causing a domino effect of consequences that led many construction companies around the world to immediately put projects on hold. Economic shock froze capital and the supply chain ground to a halt.

Given these challenges, Related Midwest decided to expand LR Contracting Company, its in-house general contracting arm, to take a leading role in general contracting services, creating a platform of complete control over the project.

The entire project team embraced the company commitment to inclusion and set goals that exceed the City of Chicago targets for minority- and women-owned business participation with 42 percent of contract work awarded to minority- and women-owned businesses.

CISCO Pride in Construction


LR Contracting also partnered with HIRE360, an organization dedicated to providing opportunities in the trades for underrepresented groups in Chicago. The team also provided mentorship opportunities through HIRE360 for high school group tours and women’s Apprenticeship programs.

Through one such engagement, team members visited a group of students at Chicago’s Prosser Career Academy multiple times, sharing details about the project and about the benefits of careers in the trades. As time went on, the team members developed mentorship relationships with these students and invited them for a building tour at The Row one month before opening.

Another groundbreaking aspect of The Row is that it is the first high-rise completed in Chicago under the recently passed Affordable Illinois legislation, which offers tax incentives for developers, which set aside 20 percent of units in new construction as affordable housing.


Related Midwest was a key backer of this legislation and fought hard for its passage. As a result, it had the honor of bringing 60-high-quality affordable units to a sought-after neighborhood that previously lacked affordable housing.

As the project progressed – despite the immense challenges of the building environment, the phrase “Rising Above” became the team’s motto. It recalled the building’s height — a novelty in the surrounding neighborhood — and a mission to complete the building on time and on budget.

By completing the project in-house, we were able to create a team of construction professionals—superintendents, project managers in approximately 90 days.

This decision allowed the team to reduce redundant construction staff between the owner’s CM team and a traditional GC team. These savings, along with removal of duplicate fee protections such as contingencies, allowed for significant cost savings. In addition, the team selected specific building elements that could be deferred as alternates to enhance the building once market pricing stabilized.

Creative problem solving held the project to its timeline and budget in several instances. For example, while the building was initially ahead of schedule, the building’s window system was delayed due to supply chain disruptions — threatening to derail the timeline.

CISCO Pride in Construction

Model kitchen

The team had to make a critical decision: pay major premiums for a different window system, or wait for the supply chain to become unstuck and deliver the windows. With a timeline at stake, waiting was not an option.

Instead, the team worked with the window suppliers to negotiate shipping terms and — just as important — payment terms that allowed for the payment process to begin when materials were loaded on ships in China and for immediate payment when the materials were received in the US. This allowed the contractor to be more nimble with negotiations and cash flow, all possible due to the ownership’s direct involvement and payment creativity.

As a result of these efforts, windows began arriving and installation started only one month late — much less than originally projected. The extra month allowed the team to think creatively about loading, stocking, targeted overtime and any factors that could help make up lost time, and they succeeded. Despite window installed starting one month behind schedule, installation was completed more than one month ahead of schedule.

CISCO Pride in Construction

Library and gather room

Advanced technology played a key role in the project’s success, as well. The team deployed new drone technology to pair real-time images with the 3D BIM model to quickly identify and correct errors prior to any concrete placement. Eliminating errors ahead of time removed the need to core decks, cut holes and rework, and the superstructure was completed one month ahead of schedule.

Today, The Row is a bustling, mixed-income residence that has a spot in Chicago’s famed skyline and a proud team that can forever say they rose above every obstacle in their path to create a better, more inclusive, more effective model for constructing buildings of the future.

The Row Fulton Market had an excellent safety record and no injuries on the job site.

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