Chicago commits $151 million to transform aging offices into affordable housing

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Chicago Construction News staff writer

Chicago has allocated $151 million to repurpose four aging office buildings into residential spaces in the city’s LaSalle Street financial corridor located in the Loop.

The four projects, totaling $520 million, would create 1,000 housing units, with 319 earmarked for affordable rental rates.

The initiative originally attracted nine bids following the city’s call for adaptive reuse projects for the LaSalle Street corridor, spanning from Washington Street to Jackson Boulevard in the heart of the Loop business district.

Winning bids are:

  • Prime Group and Capri Investor LLC clinched the largest bid, proposing a $203 million overhaul of fourteen floors within the historic former BMO complex located at 111 W. Monroe Street, originally built in 1911. This redevelopment project is slated to introduce 345 rental units, including 105 affordable ones, with funding amounting to $40 million from the city’s LaSalle Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District.
  • Additionally, Prime Group spearheads another venture, a $123 million project set to transform the original home of the Continental and Commercial National Bank into 226 apartments, including 68 designated as affordable, supported by $26 million in TIF funding.
  • Golub & Co. has ambitious plans to revitalize an aging high-rise at 30 N. LaSalle Street, crafting 349 housing units, of which 105 will be affordable, contributing further to the initiative’s goal of enhancing accessibility to quality housing options.
  • The Campari Group will redevelop eight floors within the Bell Federal Building at 79 W. Monroe Street, converting them into 117 residential units, with 41 designated as affordable. Notably, this project seeks city landmark designation and federal historic tax credits, with a special focus on restoring the iconic “Weather Bell” sign, known for its color-changing predictions of temperature shifts.

Chicago has allocated $320 million of LaSalle TIF funding for LaSalle Reimagined projects slated for 2025 and 2026, underscoring the city’s commitment to revitalizing and reinventing its urban landscape.

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