CRE Midwest

Presidential Towers becomes Chicago's largest smoke-free rental community

Presidential-Towers
Presidential Towers

Waterton Residential announced that Presidential Towers, its 2,346-unit apartment complex in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood, has completed its transition to a 100 percent smoke-free residential community, making it the largest rental property in Chicago to prohibit smoking in all residences and common areas.

Waterton Residential announced that Presidential Towers, its 2,346-unit apartment complex in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood, has completed its transition to a 100 percent smoke-free residential community, making it the largest rental property in Chicago to prohibit smoking in all residences and common areas. The announcement comes one year after Waterton added a non-smoking clause to all new leases at the community, a policy that last year earned Presidential Towers an award from the American Lung Association in Greater Chicago. The smoke-free initiative, part of a multi-year redevelopment of the community, also helped Presidential Towers achieve LEED-EB Silver certification through the U.S. Green Building Council in May 2014. “We knew this was an ambitious goal, especially for a community of this size, but the response from residents has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Lela Cirjakovic, senior vice president of operations for Waterton Residential. “It’s one thing to have a non-smoking policy in a new development, but implementing this change across four existing towers – home to approximately 3,500 people – required a significant amount of planning and preparation, both internally and with residents.” Before introducing the ban, Waterton surveyed Presidential Towers residents to gauge their support of a non-smoking policy. Just 3 percent said they would move to another building if smoking were prohibited. “The vast majority were in favor of a smoke-free environment, so we decided to move forward,” said Cirjakovic. The new policy not only reflects Waterton’s desire to promote and protect the health of its residents, but is also in line with the company’s ongoing support of the American Lung Association. “There are multiple benefits from being a smoke-free residential property; from protecting residents and employees from the dangers of second-hand smoke, to preventing building fires and potentially saving lives,” said Kristen Young, executive director of the American Lung Association in Greater Chicago. “We applaud Presidential Towers for their leadership and vision toward providing a healthy environment for their residents, and we urge all residential properties to follow this standard.” This year will mark the seventh time Presidential Towers has hosted the association’s annual “Fight for Air Climb,” in which participants can climb all four buildings at Presidential Towers, raising funds to support the non-profit’s research, education and advocacy efforts. At 2,340 steps, it is the longest stair climb in Chicago and one of the highest-grossing “Fight for Air” events in the country, raising $391,000 in 2014 and more than $1.6 million since the first Presidential Towers climb in 2009.