The iconic Morton Salt branding and logo has re-emerged for the main shed at the former Morton Salt Factory in West Town. This refurbished roof is part of an adaptive re-use scheme by R2 Companies, Blue Star Properties, and Skydeck. These plans at 1357 N Elston Avenue involve the conversion of the facility into a new entertainment and office venue.
With Lamar Johnson Collaborative as the architect, the scope of the transformation has so far involved the roof replacement of the main shed, which received landmark designation last summer. Other updates include the removal of the east shed, a new two-story backstage area, sloped seating within the shed, and a new one-story access corridor in the rear. The factory’s accessory packaging buildings will also undergo renovation as they are converted into R&D offices for Morton Salt. Lastly, the existing freestanding garage at the northeast corner will be revived as a food and beverage stand for the entertainment portion.
The roughly four-acre site will be accessible via several public transportation options, the closet of which are Route 70 bus service via a five-minute walk south to Division & Elston. The CTA L Blue Line’s Division station is a 13-minute walk southwest, while the Red Line’s North/Clybourn station is a 16-minute walk northeast. Lastly, closest service for the Metra can be found at Clybourn station via a 17-minute walk northwest.
At a projected cost of $46 million, Blue Star Properties is also serving as general contractor in addition to the co-developer role. With the rest of the roof replacement expected to wrap up early this year, the entirety of the scheme should be finished by the end of this coming summer.