The Chicago Plan Commission has approved the rezoning of an existing residential building at 141 W Oak Street in the Near North Side. Developer Morningside South Affordable LLC will lead the renovation of the existing structure now that rezoning has been approved. Bound by W Oak Street to the north, N LaSalle Drive to the east, and N Wells Street to the west, the white clad tower will see all of its existing units rehabbed in preparation of future leasing.
Originally known as Jenkins Hall by the nearby Moody Bible Institute, the housing building was erected in 1973 but wasn’t purchased by the institute until 1996 when it then became dorms for the campus along with some nearby mid-rises, many of which have since been sold as well. Sold in 2020 for $44 million to Foundation Housing, a non-profit organization, the building is one of three sites the college put up for sale in the last few years including the land acquired by JDL for their North Union mega-development.
The rezoning will allow the conversion of the existing 201 residential dwelling units into multi-unit residential units and elderly housing. Throughout Moody’s ownership the building operated 90 affordable senior housing apartments under Housing Assistance Program (HAP) contract, those will remain on site and be operated by Foundation Housing. The renovation of all the apartments will stay under $75,000 per unit and thus bypasses the need for adding any affordable housing on site as well.
The site will continue to offer residents 59 vehicle parking spaces along with multiple amenity spaces on the first floor including a lounge, multi-purpose rooms, a billiards room, and a quiet library space. The exterior of the building will remain the same and all renovations will happen internally. Morningside, who operates another ex-dorm building directly north, will work with Foundation Housing on the plan as it moves forward to minimally inconvenience long-term senior residents when construction does begin.