Adaptive reuse work has made extensive progress at the Morton Salt Factory at 1357 N Elston Avenue in West Town. Developer trio R2 Companies, Blue Star Properties, and Skydeck have planned for a new office and entertainment complex within the shell of the former factory.
While the easternmost shed has been demolished, the main shed building will become the focal point of the redevelopment, set to house the main gathering and event stage. There will be a new connecting corridor alongside the shed structure, while the new roof has been replaced but will retain the iconic Morton Salt signage. Despite the larger repurposing of the facility, Morton Salt will still maintain a tenant presence on site via R&D office space. These offices will be housed in the former packaging building just north of the entertainment shed. Lastly, the garage near the northeast corner will be turned into a food stand for use during events.
Chicago-based Lamar Johnson Collaborative is behind the design aspect of the project, whose existing architectural features will be largely maintained in light of its repurposing. Notable exceptions to the preservation of the exterior include the replacement of the roof, due to asbestos present in the existing version, as well as new windows for the packaging building that were previously bricked-in.
As far as transit options, patrons, tenants, and staff will find closest bus service for Route 70 just a short walk to the south at the Division & Elston intersection. Closest CTA Blue Line service can be found via a 13-minute walk west to Division station, while Metra service is accessible via a 17-minute walk northwest to Clybourn station.
Blue Star Properties is also serving as the general contractor behind the $46 million conversion, with work still on track to complete by end of summer.