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Aqua Apartments Tower Captures International Design Award

 The architecturally distinguished mixed-use Aqua Apartments tower that anchors Magellan Development Group’s Lakeshore East neighborhood has captured its third and the community’s fourth prestigious international design award.

            The 87-story tower at 225 N. Columbus Drive on Chicago’s New Eastside was named both regional and international winner of the International Property Award as Best Residential High-Rise Development in the prestigious property competition.  Judging in the competition in association with Bloomberg Television and Google is carried out through a meticulous process involving a panel of more than 60 experts covering every aspect of the real estate industry.  The program covers residential and commercial categories for Africa, Arabia, Asia Pacific and Europe as well as the Americas.

            Magellan co-CEO James Loewenberg accepted the award at a Dec. 12 presentation ceremonies at The Savoy Hotel in London.

            “We are honored to add the International Property Award to our growing list of design and planning awards for Magellan Development’s Lakeshore East community,” said Loewenberg.

             One of the world’s tallest skyscrapers designed by an architectural team headed by a woman, Jeanne Gang, principal of Studio/Gang Architects, Aqua Apartments already holds two highly-esteemed international design awards.

            Earlier this year the tower claimed the highly-esteemed Prix d’Excellence International Design Award in the 2011 Prix Residential High-Rise Category.  The Lakeshore East master plan also holds the 2008 Prix award from FIABCI, the International Real Estate Federation.  Magellan is the only U.S. developer to win two distinguished Prix awards.  Aqua Apartments’s third international prize is the 2009 Skyscraper of the Year Award from Emporis, the international building database, besting more than 300 competitors worldwide.

            Aqua Apartments also holds the 2008 American Architecture Award from The Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design.

Stuart Shield, president of the International Property Awards, observes that
“Winning a coveted World’s Best award is a huge accolade for these companies.  They have demonstrated the height of excellence in their field and proved themselves capable of winning against the most accomplished property companies in the world.  This global recognition puts them at the pinnacle of the international property arena.”

Proclaimed one of the world’s most fascinating skyscrapers and boldly enhancing the skyline of what a leading architectural critic declares to be “the first city in American architecture,” Aqua Apartments’s dramatic design is produced by outdoor balconies and terraces that form unique, undulating contours of different sizes and shapes.  They flow like ocean waves and imitate the striated outcroppings visible throughout the shoreline of the Great Lakes region. The $475 million Aqua Apartments tower is one of seven completed structures and the keystone of the emerging Lakeshore East community.

Hailed by a leading architectural critic as “Chicago’s most sensuous skyscraper” and contrasting sharply from the more stolid forms that mark Chicago’s architecturally distinguished skyline, Aqua Apartments is a blend of luxury residences, a recently-opened Radisson Blu hotel, the first in the United States, as well as office and retail space.

While its fame is focused largely on views of Aqua Apartments, its unique design is actually the result of view studies conducted by Gang to provide the most unimpeded sight lines to maximize views from Aqua Apartments to places of interest beyond the existing structures surrounding Lakeshore East, including views of Lake Michigan, Millennium Park and Chicago’s breathtaking skyline in all directions.

Aqua Apartments combines elegant residences on floors 19 through 81, with floors 4 to 18 g transformed into the flagship upscale Radisson Blu hotel in the United States. It has been noted that the lowest of the condo floors, floor 53, are actually among the highest in the city; in many cases they are higher than most penthouses in the city.                  

Aqua Apartments’s design also incorporates the most extraordinary amenities package in the city – if not any metropolitan center.

             Known as The Shore Club and comparable to a world-class resort, it includes two floors of outdoor/indoor entertainment and recreation features that boast the largest outdoor pool and amenity deck in the city.

Components of the 80,000-square-foot landscaped deck include a sundeck and gardens, running track, swimming pool and hot tub, gazebos and poolside cabanas, fire pit, barbecue areas and wireless Internet.

Indoors, a 35,000-square-foot amenity floor provides residents and guests with fitness facilities, a basketball court, group fitness studio, indoor lap pool and hot tub,  a spa, sauna, steam and massage rooms,  private club suites with catering kitchens, sky garden lounge, media room, billiards and game area and business center..

Perpetuating the spirit of noted urban planner Daniel Burnham’s celebrated Burnham plan, The Aqua Apartments tower and Lakeshore East have transformed what was a desolate, difficult and blighted area of on the east side of downtown Chicago into a vibrant, sparkling community that will ultimately be home to up to 15,000 residents, businesses and merchants.  They have converted an environment that had no need for protection or conservation into an architecturally appealing and diverse ‘village’ that is easily accessible to Chicago’s countless cultural, dining and entertainment attractions and business centers.

For additional information on Aqua Apartments and Lakeshore East contact Tricia Van Horn of Magellan Development Group at (312) 469-8054 or visit the website,