Farr Associates

53 W. Jackson Blvd.
Suite 650
Chicago, IL 60604


53 W. Jackson Blvd.
Suite 650
Chicago, IL 60604

Firm Details:

Total Number of Staff:
Number of Professional Planners:
Number of AICP Members:
Date Founded:
Other Professions Within the Firm

Form-based Codes, Sustainable Architecture, Historic Preservation

Firm Specialization(s):

  • Community Development and Redevelopment
  • Housing
  • Urban Design
  • Other topics not covered above

Firm Principle(s):

Douglas Farr, Leslie Oberholtzer, Jonathan Boyer

Firm Highlights:

Farr Associates designs to create places that enrich human life while minimizing negative environmental impacts. Our work is inspired by our mission: designing sustainable environments. Through our commitment to New Urbanist principles, form-based coding, traditional neighborhood development, corridor and district planning, sustainable urbanism, and transit-oriented projects, we work with our clients and the community to create healthy and vibrant cities, suburbs, and towns. We create marketable neighborhoods and public places that join the collective memory of their residents and visitors to become a part of history.

Press Releases Date Posted
Whistler Crossing Achieves LEED ND Certification First in Illinois

Riverdale, Ill., Feb. 9, 2010 -- Whistler Crossing, a mixed-use, mixed-income and historic rehabilitation development, became the first project in Illinois to achieve Certified status under the Stage 3 category of the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED for Neighborhood Development criteria. Designed by Farr Associates and developed, owned and managed by Holsten Real Estate Development Corporation, Whistler Crossing is one of 239 pilot projects under the Leadership for Energy and Environmental Design for Neighborhood Development (LEED-ND) rating criteria, a first-ever rating system aimed at quantifying sustainability at the neighborhood scale. Stage 3 certification is awarded to projects that are fully constructed, whereas Stage 1 and Stage 2 projects remain in planning stages.

Whistler Crossing represents much needed new development in Riverdale, a near south side suburb of Chicago. The rehabilitation of historic town homes and two new mixed-use buildings create a community focal point in a walkable neighborhood; a feature for which the project raked up points. The 10-acre project is considered a preferred location, built on a previously developed site with close proximity to jobs and schools far in excess of certification minimum requirements.

The ground floors of the mixed-use buildings provide neighborhood-enhancing retail space in addition to tenant support services, management offices and community rooms. The buildings meet Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) affordable housing energy efficiency standards. Energy saving strategies include the use of a domestic solar hot water heating, Energy Star appliances, energy-efficient fixtures and highly insulated and sealed building envelopes. Promoting alternatives to car use, residents will have access to an I-GO car sharing program and nearby public transportation.

The Whistler Crossing development also consists of the historic rehabilitation and restoration of ninety townhouse units. Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2005, the townhouses were originally built in 1960 as part of the Pacesetter Gardens District. The construction of Pacesetter Gardens signified a new era of suburban homebuilding: attached single-family home design. The revamped townhouses not only earned the project points under LEED-ND but also a Landmarks Illinois Richard H. Driehaus 2009 Preservation Award for Rehabilitation.

Further boosting the sustainability of the site, Whistler Crossing features "dark sky" compliant outdoor lighting fixtures and strategies. These design elements minimize impacts on migration patterns, reduce sky glow and have been studied to improve public health. One hundred percent of stormwater is managed via pollutant filtering bioswales and a rain gardens. Retaining and managing stormwater on-site decreases downstream flooding and cleans all water that eventually enters municipal systems and waterways.

Since construction wrapped up in August of 2009, the project has earned two Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards: the Richard H. Driehaus Award for Architectural Excellence in Community Design and the Award for Outstanding For-Profit Neighborhood Real Estate Project. The LEED-ND certified Whistler Crossing project now boasts being the first truly sustainable, fully built and occupied development in Illinois.

About Farr Associates
Founded in 1990, Farr Associates is an award-winning architecture and planning firm identified by the New York Times as "the most prominent of the city's growing cadre of ecologically sensitive architects." Farr Associates' mission is to design sustainable human environments, while applying the principles of LEED at the scale of the neighborhood and in designing green buildings exclusively for urban contexts. Farr Associates' multiple LEED Platinum designs, including the first Net Zero Energy residence in Chicago, stand as models of urban architectural sustainability. For more information, visit www.farrside.com.

About Holsten Real Estate Development
Holsten started with a simple, 16-unit building in 1975. Their dream was to create community jewels by nourishing tarnished properties and turning vacant land into thriving spaces. Though ventures and management processes have grown more complex over the years, they have never wavered from their core belief in making the communities they serve a vital part of who they are. Holsten Realty is devoted to the principle that everyone deserves affordable, quality housing. And is committed to working with neighborhood leaders and government officials on broader community revitalization efforts.

Jaemi Jackson
Farr Associates
312.408.1661 x211