The Chicago Plan Commission has approved the residential development at 2548 S Federal Street in Douglas. Known as the SL Solar Lofts, the project will rehabilitate the existing Rapid Roller Company factory built in 1928 as well as expand it vertically to allow for more residences. Having exchanged owners this past spring for $3.5 million, its new owners and developer 548 Capital have partnered with local architects Gregory Ramon Design Studio on the updated design.
The project was originally imagined to hold 28 affordable units out of the 50 proposed, paid for by Sterling Bay to offset the ones not built at the quickly-rising 160 N Morgan tower in Fulton Market. Updated plans for the five-story structure contain 48 residential units split into 14 one-bedrooms ranging from 737 to 964 square feet for the duplexes inside the original tower, and 33 two-bedrooms ranging from 1,040 to 1,457 square feet. Although the documents note only four affordable apartments, the plans show an increased 32 affordable residences in total.
Residents will have access to 25 vehicle parking spaces and 27 bike parking spaces on the first floor along with a lobby and gym, on the fifth floor there will be additional amenity spaces and two large communal terraces. However the apartments will not have in-unit washer and dryers as each floor will contain a laundry room. The exterior of the existing structure will see multiple repairs and updated tuck-pointing, while the two-story addition will be set back and clad in either black flat lock metal or flat cement panels in attempts to fade into the background.
Bus services is accessible for CTA Routes 24 and 29 via a three-minute walk, Routes 1, 4, and 21 via a five-minute walk, as well as CTA Green Line at Cermak McCormick station via a 13-minute walk. Expected to cost over $12 million, $6 million of those will come from Sterling Bay as part of the aforementioned deal. The approval includes its rezoning from C1-3 Commercial District to B2-5 Mixed-Use District, allowing it to move forward towards an eventual groundbreaking.