Jeramey Jannene
Friday Photos

5th Street’s New Element

Apartment building will fill vacant lot on southern end of narrowed street.

By - Aug 6th, 2021 05:40 pm
Element apartment building under construction. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Element apartment building under construction. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

A six-story apartment building will replace a vacant lot at the northeast corner of S. 5th St. and W. Mineral St.

New Land Enterprises is developing Element, a 66-unit, market-rate apartment building. It is scheduled to be completed by summer 2022.

General contractor Catalyst Construction completed the two-story concrete podium at the base of the building and now four, wood-framed floors are rising above.

A commercial space will be included at the base of the building, flush with the intersection and the wide S. 5th St. sidewalk. “The remake of 5th Street, honestly, that should be the recipe,” said New Land managing director Tim Gokhman in a 2020 interview about the project. The city widened the sidewalks from 7.5 to 18.5 feet in 2017 as part of a road diet that has triggered a wave of investment.

Much of the building’s W. Mineral St. frontage will be set back from the street, creating a courtyard space. The street, as part of a separate, city-initiated project, will also receive traffic calming enhancements.

It’s New Land’s third project in Walker’s Point. It first completed Trio, a three-building complex, at 1029 S. 1st St. in 2016. Then in 2020, the firm completed Quartet, fully leasing the 48-unit building at 1001 S. 2nd St. within two months of its opening.

The quick leasing of Quartet fast-tracked the 5th Street project. Korb + Associates Architects, a frequent New Land collaborator, designed a building very similar to the successful Quartet.

As it has with the past projects, New Land sought out a mostly-vacant site. It merged the 17,500-square-foot grass lot at 934 S. 5th St. with a 3,500-square-foot site at 924 S. 5th St. created by the demolition of a substantially-altered, two-story building originally constructed in 1880. Another frequent New Land collaborator, Recyclean, completed the demolition work earlier this year. Gokhman said the firm recommended demolition over salvage-focused deconstruction because of the lack of materials to save following the repeated alterations.

The new building is targeted at reaching what Gohkman describes as an “aggressive price point” for new construction without a government subsidy. He said there is a large market of people that make enough that they don’t qualify for buildings subsidized by low-income housing tax credits, but can’t afford high-end new buildings. Developers have struggled to service that market segment due to a variety of factors including construction and land costs, zoning regulations and financing.

“I think we were able to do it at Quartet,” said the developer. “We were able to build an aesthetically and design-oriented building at an affordable price point.” One-bedroom units rent for between $1,200 to $1,300 per month, with two bedrooms starting at $1,500. The company will try to do it again at Element.

New Land secured a zoning variance from the Board of Zoning Appeals in late 2020 to construct a structure that is 10 feet taller than the code allows and does not meet the minimum window coverage (glazing) requirements for a first floor.

Another project is being built further north on S. 5th St. by the Mandel Group. The Taxco Apartments will replace three buildings with a half-block, six-story building. We recently profiled that project, for which demolition has begun.

Element is far from the only New Land project currently underway. It’s also developing Ascent, the tallest mass-timber building in the world, in the East Town neighborhood; and advancing plans for Nova, a 251-unit apartment building for the L-shaped site at 1237 N. Van Buren St.


Site Pre-Construction


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One thought on “Friday Photos: 5th Street’s New Element”

  1. says:

    It is unfortunate that New Land and others continue to ignore the needs of all of our city’s residents and build and/or reconstruct market rate apartments. Don’t we have enough housing for people of privilege? Individuals struggling to get by deserve to be considered as residents in all areas of the city.

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