Chicago Construction New staff writer
DePaul University has unveiled plans to build a $60 million basketball practice facility in the heart of Lincoln Park.
The plan, approved by the DePaul board of trustees, calls for the demolition of five century-old buildings on the northwest corner of Sheffield and Belden avenues to make way for the modern facility. Among these structures are four three-story walk-up townhouses, which have become a distinctive part of the neighborhood’s character.
The proposed basketball practice facility includes a four-story structure, two full-sized practice basketball courts and lounge spaces for varsity teams. The architectural design includes glass and steel with a lower half made of brick to harmonize with the neighborhood’s classic architectural aesthetic.
The new facility will be located across the street from the current Sullivan Athletic Center and will replace a recently acquired, university-owned apartment complex in addition to four other smaller buildings in this area that are from the 1890s and 1920s.
At a recent community meeting, DeWayne Peevy, DePaul’s Vice President and Director of Athletics explained the current state of disrepair is hindering the school’s ability to recruit and retain top talent and the new facility will be an build the national recognition and relevance of DePaul University.
Designed by HNTB and Antunovich Associates, the building features would a brick façade that mirrors the aesthetic of the Lincoln Park neighborhood, with a pitched roof and floor-to-ceiling glass around the basketball gyms will offer views of the surrounding neighborhood and wider city context.At the McGrath-Phillips Arena, the renovation will infill one of the three basketball courts with two stories of new athletic support space. The first floor will include new sports medicine treatment spaces and offices, hydrotherapy, a weight room, and multi-purpose meeting rooms.
Demolition of existing buildings would not begin until Summer 2025 at the earliest as the proposal requires an amendment to the existing development plan and approval from city council.
Construction would begin immediately following demolition and is expected to be completed by Fall 2026. Renovation of the Sullivan Athletic Center and McGrath-Phillips Arena is set to begin this December, with the first phase being completed in late Summer 2024.
Neighbors have expressed concern with the plan to demolish several century-old buildings, citing the loss of character within the neighborhood and the loss of student housing.