Canyon Ranch is joining with LR Development to build its third “healthy living” residential community in downtown Chicago. And more high-end properties that combine the famed Tucson, Ariz.–based company's hotel-residence-wellness concept are on the way.

“Our goal is to roll out new projects every 12 to 18 months,” says its president Kevin Kelly, who describes Canyon Ranch as a mission-based company with the goal of extending the health and wellness experience to a larger population. Currently in Kelly's sights are California, the Carolinas, Texas, and New York City.

The company is looking for development partners that are philosophically aligned with Canyon Ranch's mission, explains Kelly. A second prerequisite: Knowing the local market and taking the project through to fruition. “Our second priority is much easier to find than our first,” Kelly says.

STATE OF THE ART: Upscale condos in Chicago (above) and Bethesda, Md., will offer spas and wellness centers staffed by health professionals. Though Canyon Ranch is now a multi-billion dollar company, it is still very personally held by its founders, Mel and Enid Zuckerman, who “don't want their brand name to be out there unless a developer will respect their mission of educating and empowering people to live a more healthy and balanced lifestyle,” Kelly adds.

The Zuckermans own 52 percent of Canyon Ranch, and Fort Worth, Texas–based Crescent Real Estate Equities owns 48 percent.

In Chicago, which is Canyon Ranch's third largest “feeder market” after New York and Los Angeles, LR Development was tapped primarily because its president, Thomas Weeks, shares the Canyon Ranch vision. “Not only does he have an organization of great depth,” says Kelly, “but most important, Tom understands the mission.”

It also helps that the company has a great site at the corner of Huron and Rush streets, just steps from downtown Chicago's North Michigan Avenue retail corridor known as the Magnificent Mile.

The corner currently holds a five-story office building occupied by the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago. It will be torn down and replaced by a 67-story high-rise containing 256 residential condominiums, 128 hotel/ condo suites, a world-class 65,000-square-foot health and wellness center, and a 100-seat restaurant featuring fresh, healthy food. The tower will also house 48,000 square feet of office space for the church. The historic St. James Cathedral is next door.

The Chicago property will mark the first true urban application of the Canyon Ranch Living concept. But it is not the first vertical property. That distinction belongs to Miami Beach, where the company is teaming with WSG Development to build 467 for-sale apartments and 151 hotel/con-do suites on a 7-acre oceanfront site at 6801 Collins Avenue. The site is occupied by the Carillon Hotel, which closed in 1987, but will be renovated and preserved as part of the development.

The other Canyon Ranch Living community is underway in Bethesda, Md., just outside Washington, D.C. The Penrose Group of Tysons Corner, Va., is the development partner in the property that will contain 157 hotel rooms, a pair of 20-story towers with 434 condo apartments, and 87 rental units. Canyon Ranch Living will be part of the larger Rock Spring Centre, a 53-acre site with a 6-acre nature preserve, 600,000 square feet of office, 350,000 square feet of retail, and 426 rental apartments.

All three properties will feature upscale spas and wellness centers staffed by physicians and other professionals trained in preventive medicine, nutrition, behavioral health, and movement therapies. In addition, residents will have access to the famed Cleveland Clinic, a not-for-profit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. State-of-the-art exercise and fitness equipment and an array of spa treatments for which Canyon Ranch is known will be included in the continuum of healthy living opportunities.

“Our extensive research shows that many people are seeking wellness and balance in their lives,” Kelly says. “They want to live in a community that promotes and shares their values.”

And judging from the pricing structure Kelly describes, they're willing to pay dearly for it, too. In Miami, first phase apartments sold for $650,000 for a typical 1,250-square-foot unit. In the second phase, where units will be larger, the price jumps to $3.3 million for the largest 2,200-square-foot apartment.

Prices haven't been decided yet for Chicago. But both Kelly and Weeks agree the units, which will average about 1,800 square feet, will be among the priciest in the city.

“It's going to be the best property in the city with unparalleled quality, location, and amenities,” says Weeks. “Without the Canyon Ranch amenity, we would definitely be at lower price point, there's no doubt about it. But this will be something Chicago has never seen before. Many buildings offer gyms, but this will be more than a workout room. There won't be anything approaching the amenity package we will be delivering to our residents.”

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Chicago, IL.