In Under the Wire: New Chicago Apartment Building Welcoming Residents

It’s not often that a new apartment building opens in Chicago in December. But the tower known as SoNu Digs is doing just that. It just recently started welcoming new residents.

SoNu Digs (Courtesy of Joe Zekas/YoChicago!)

SoNu Digs (Courtesy of Joe Zekas/YoChicago!)

Joe Zekas from YoChicago! sent us this recent photograph of the RTKL-designed building, snugly tucked into what is officially the Goose Island neighborhood. The 29-story building has 407 residences.

As you might have guessed by its name, SoNu Digs is located in the greater North and Clyboun area, and its SoNo and SoNo East residential towers. Just as L.A. has its WeHo, and Houston has its EaDo, and San Francisco has its SoMa, Chicago developers have spent the last few years coming up with increasingly ludicrous abbreviations for this area. Partly to sound hip, and partly to pretend that their towers aren’t in Cabrini Green.

(New York is the apparent cause, and champion of, this particular brand of geographic lunacy. It started with SoHo and TriBeCa, which were fine for several decades last century. Then exploded when hipsters invaded the city and bestowed upon it BoCoCa, BoHo, CanDo, DUMBO, FiDi, GoCaGa, LoCal, NoBat, NoCal, NoHo, NoLIta, ProCro, RAMBO, SoBro, SoSo, and probably dozens more that I, as a native New Yorker, will find cringeworthy.)

In Chicago, the two SoNo towers make a little sense, as they’re SOuth of NOrth Avenue. But SoNu Digs? Well, “Digs” because the entire building is micro-apartments.  Smithfield is proud to claim it’s the first apartment building in Chicago erected from the ground up as micro-apartments. Perhaps in the modern age, but going back to mid-century Chicago, that may not hold up.

Still, what does SoNu stand for? We scoured the company’s literature and blog postings and social media and can’t find an explanation. If you have some insight, or would just like to throw a guess at the wall, do so in the comment box below.

But as questionable as “SoNu Digs” is as a building name, it’s probably a little better than just going with the street address. As we noted when we first told you about this building back in September of last year, that address is 901 West Weed Street. Since the building opened during the holiday season, “SoNu Digs” helps avoid having to half-shout across the dinner table to your hard-of-hearing grandmother, “No, grandma, I’m not downtown anymore because I’m on Weed. I spend most of my days on Weed, but I like to go to the zoo on the weekends. When I’m on Weed I rent tiny apartments to students who want to be on Weed, too. Most of my friends are on Weed, and I like to go to that bar on Weed, so I spend most of my time on Weed.”

SoNu doesn’t sound so bad now, does it?

SoNu Digs, in context (Courtesy of JoeZekas/YoChicago!)

SoNu Digs, in context (Courtesy of JoeZekas/YoChicago!)


from Chicago Architecture


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