New Lifestyle Hub Opens At 839 W 79th Street In Auburn Gresham

839 W 79th Street. Rendering by MKB Architects839 W 79th Street. Rendering by MKB Architects

A new lifestyle hub has opened at 839 W 79th Street in Auburn Gresham after many years of work and community outreach. Located just west of the intersection with S Halsted Street, the new project revitalized an abandoned existing commercial building that was once home to a department store. Led by the Greater Auburn Gresham Development Corporation, it was originally introduced in 2020 with local firm McBride Kelley Baurer (MKB) responsible for the design of the development.

Site reference map for 839 W 79th Street via Google Maps

Built in 1925 for the Rusnak Bros. Furniture Store, the four-story structure is clad in ornate glazed terra cotta which has been painstakingly preserved, cleaned, and repaired where needed as a part of the initial phase of the development. Other major work needed for functionality was a large core cut out at the center for a new elevator, as well as the removal of bricks and other covers along all of the street-front windows from when it operated as office space in the 1970’s according to Block Club.

839 W 79th Street Site Plan. Drawing by MKB Architects

Ground floor plan of 839 W 79th Street by MKB

On the inside the neighborhood organization wanted a set of spaces that would serve the community and were a sense of pride for the long vacant block. Within the 55,890-square-foot building visitors can find a restaurant, Bank of America branch, as well as a University of Illinois (UI) Health Clinic which will take up most of the second and third floors and expected to serve 30,000 patients per year. These are joined by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Illinois, a UIC Neighborhood Center offering tutoring services, as well as a new high-tech kitchen for locals to learn about healthy eating and master their chef skills.

Rendered elevation of 839 W 79th Street by MKB via Preservation Chicago

Visitors can utilize the renovated 36 vehicle parking spaces but also one of the city’s busiest buses with Routes 8 and 79 on site, which can be used to reach the CTA Red Line at 79th station. The $20 million project was made possible via Tax Increment Financing, Invest South/West funds, and a grant from the Pritzker Traubert Foundation, and even the Chicago Bears who donated to establish the kitchen space. Locals can now utilize the lifestyle hub.

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4 Comments on "New Lifestyle Hub Opens At 839 W 79th Street In Auburn Gresham"

  1. Has the UI health center opened up at this 839 S Halsted yet?If so can you provide a phone number for this location.

  2. Good luck dodging those gunshots. LOL

  3. This area is beginning to thrive. This UI Health Center is so convenient to have close by in the area. The location 839 W 79th St is also a home to other elevated organizations and the building work continues. Its a pleasant mixture of the history of the area and a vision of a new story in the making. Lets not be afraid to explore these wonderful areas as they grow and progress, like a sprout blooming into a flower in what was once considered a wasteland.

  4. Hi admin, Thanks for the great post!

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