Plans have been revealed for the mixed-use development at 250 W 22nd Place in Chinatown. Located just west of the intersection with S Wentworth Avenue, the project comes at a time when Chicago’s Chinatown seems to be growing and maintaining its identity compared to others nationally. The proposal will replace the existing two-story Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA) building and its adjacent lots with a new singular structure. The development team is made up of the CCBA and the Michaels Development Company who have tapped WJW Architects for the design.
The existing CCBA building was erected in 1956 though the organization began in 1906, its ornate traditional Chinese architecture utilizes imported roof tiles and houses a 400-seat auditorium once used for Cantonese Operas. The organization, common across Chinatowns in the US, will continue to operate on the site within the first few floors of the upcoming building. The new structure will come complete with a new kitchen space, part of the deal brokered for the land on which the structure will rise.
Yielding seven stories and 80 feet in height, its two lower floors will hold 15,000 square feet of space for the new community center, with 52 residential units making up the upper levels. These will be made up of 17 one-bedrooms, 19 two-bedrooms, and 16 three-bedrooms. The project will be considered affordable according to state representative Theresa Mah, although a total number wasn’t made clear. There will be around 10-vehicle parking spaces accessed via the rear alley, with a small terrace for tenants on the third floor.
Clad in a mix of masonry for the lower floors and metal panel above, the overall form will take inspiration from its past architecture it replaces with swooped roof edges, a brick entry arch, and subdivided windows. The Transit Oriented Development (TOD) will now need rezoning as well as all the necessary city approvals prior to breaking ground, with the developers planning to start construction in the summer of 2024 with an anticipated completion date 18 months later at the end of 2025.