Initial Details Revealed For Residential Development At 1649 N Halsted Street In Old Town

Initial rendering of 1649 N Halsted Street by Draper & Kramer

Initial details have been revealed for a residential development at 1649 N Halsted Street in Old Town. Located just north of the intersection with W North Avenue and across the street from the recently expanded Steppenwolf Theater, the project would replace the multi-building complex of the Royal George Theater and its adjoining parking garage. Developer Draper & Kramer recently updated their website to show the first rendering of the new structure which also includes the 2020 proposal by JDL at 1623 N Halsted Street.

Site context of 1649 N Halsted Street via Google Maps

The Royal George Theater’s three-story brick-clad building and marquee have occupied the site since 1984 and is home to four theater spaces with the 452-seat mainstage being at the center. In its time it became a go-to for independent producers to show their work to the massive Chicago theater audiences, also featuring Boka Restaurant Group’s Balena in the white brick building next door. The restaurant eventually closed in 2017 due to a kitchen fire, with the theater abruptly shutting its doors for good in mid-2021, forcing shows to find a new home according to the Tribune.

View of mainstage interior of the Royal George Theater via LISEC Architects

While not much is known about the upcoming project, the 0.8-acre site will be fully occupied by the new eight-story building containing 133 residential units made up of studios, one-, two-, and three-bedroom layouts for singles to small families. Although it is unknown if the units will be rentals or condos, the developer will be required to make 20 percent, or 27 units, affordable. Future residents will have access to amenities like a coworking space, fitness studio, lounge, and rooftop sky terrace, no details have been revealed as to whether the ground floor will feature any commercial spaces. Due to its proximity to transit it will only provide 34 vehicle parking spaces.

View of Royal George Theater via LoopNet

Clad in glass, concrete, and wood paneling at the base, the design of the structure takes inspiration from Steppenwolf’s modern new theater and matches the height of the adjacent proposal. Tenants will get to enjoy living in a transit rich area with easy bus access to CTA Route 8 directly outside of the building, as well as Routes 9 and 72 and the CTA Red Line at the North/Clybourn stop in under five minutes. Currently there is no project budget or construction timeline known, however it will require a rezoning approval from its commercial use to residential, as well as most-likely some community meetings on the design.

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11 Comments on "Initial Details Revealed For Residential Development At 1649 N Halsted Street In Old Town"

  1. This is Lincoln Park and not Old Town??

    • Hey Michael! the lot formally lands within Old Town although it is a part of the greater Lincoln Park area

  2. Mitch Larkin | May 3, 2022 at 9:52 am | Reply

    133 units must be a typo.

    • Ian Achong | May 3, 2022 at 5:21 pm | Reply

      Hey Mitch, 133 is what the developer has listed on their site we linked in the article. As always this number is subject to change as the project proceeds.

  3. “Due to its proximity to transit it will only provide 34 vehicle parking spaces.”

    May I suggest a different way of wording this instead of indicating this project is lesser because it has fewer spaces, such as:

    * In a boon to the city and the neighborhood, thanks to the transit rich location, car parking will be minimized to 34 spaces
    * With 34 parking spaces this development will encourage more transit usage at this well-positioned location


    • Ian Achong | May 3, 2022 at 5:19 pm | Reply

      Hey Jim! In no way is this project lesser for having less parking spaces! I am a strong believer in less parking and more transit use myself.

  4. Is the Belana building part of the redevelopment as well?

    • Ian Achong | May 3, 2022 at 5:17 pm | Reply

      Hey Ben! Based on the renderings we believe so, as we find out more we’ll give it another write-up with updated info!

  5. What’s the rendered building to the south of this? Is that another proposed development?

  6. So you can park a glass Carnival Cruise Ship in the middle of a block with 2 & 4 story structures and that “respects the character of the neighhypocrites.

    Nimbys/Alderman (redundant) are total hyopcrites. This in no way respects the scale, context or character of its surroundings. There’s an anti-height agenda and that’s all that matters.

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