The Victor F. Lawson House, a historic 24-story building at 30 W Chicago Avenue in the Near North Side, has received new windows as part of its ongoing affordable apartment transformation. This 1931 Art Deco tower, one of the tallest buildings in Chicago at the time, was designed by Perkins, Chatten & Hammond.
Developer Holsten Real Estate will be transforming the former YMCA from 538 single-room occupancy units into 408 affordable studio apartments. These apartments will remain affordable for at least 50 years. By agreeing to this commitment, the developer will get both low-income housing tax credits and $12.4 million in historic preservation tax credits. In addition to the $17.6 million loan from the city, Holsten Real Estate has also acquired loans of $79.4 million from Chase Bank and $17.2 million from the Illinois Housing Development Authority.
By deconverting shared living areas into private kitchens and baths, the new units will have HVAC upgrades and in-unit air conditioning. The renovation will include a new fitness center in the place of the old gymnasium and the main entrance will be moved from Chicago Avenue to Dearborn Street. In addition, the ground floor will house a variety of retail and social service venues. The original limestone cladding on the facade will be preserved and renovated by the architecture firm Farr Associates.
Public transit near this location includes several bus stops and the CTA Red Line at Chicago station, all within walking distance. For those who prefer biking or scootering, there are many Divvy stations and bike lanes nearby.
With an estimated completion date in 2024, Walsh Construction is leading the charge for the $122 million overhaul. In anticipation of the reopening, past SRO tenants will be given selection priority once the work is finished. In the meantime, current tenants can choose to be relocated during the construction period, which is estimated to last 30 months. They can also opt for permanent relocation under the Uniform Relocation Act.
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Terrific! I uses to work out in the old gym in the early 80’s. Could play full-court basketball back then. Loved the old boxing gym type ambience. Never forget the old guy at the front, may you rest in peace. I’m super happy this gem is being brought back to it’s full magnificence and an improvement in a decent SRO we need so desperately in Chi-Town.
I have a very bad feeling when people start moving in and living their its going to burn down by Accidental fire i hope there’s a Sprinkler system in place
Sprinklers need to be in place to comply with the building code.
Love the repurposing of this building and the fact that it will be a dedicated SRO next to the engorged excess that is One Chicago. However I’m really ready for construction to finish, as the narrowing of Chicago Avenue chokes outbound traffic at the evening rush.
This is an excellent project all around and hoping the owner and developer will also seek a Chicago Landmark Designation of the structure, as it meets criteria for this great honor and protection. Let’s also hope that the name Lawson House, named for Victor F. Lawson, also remains over time, as he was an accomplished newspaper owner (Founded the Associated Press- AP and owned the now defunct Chicago Daily News), born in Chicago in 1850, as well as being an amazing philanthropist.