Exterior work continues to progress on the Victor F. Lawson House, a historic 24-story building at 30 W Chicago Avenue in the Near North Side. Originally designed by Perkins, Chatten & Hammond and completed in 1931, the former YMCA will be transformed by developer Holsten Real Estate into 408 affordable studio apartments. Since the last article on the project, structural work for the new fire egress and elevator towers has taken shape, while windows and facade restorations continue.
According to a 2017 article by Curbed Chicago, the firm’s founder, Peter Holsten, paid $1 for the property under the agreement that the apartments would remain affordable for at least 50 years. The developer will also receive low-income housing tax credits and $12.4 million in historic preservation tax credits. In addition to a $17.6 million loan from the city, Holsten Real Estate has acquired loans of $79.4 million from Chase Bank and $17.2 million from the Illinois Housing Development Authority.
The renovated units will feature private kitchens and baths, HVAC upgrades, and in-unit air conditioning. Amenities include a new fitness center replacing the old gymnasium, and the main entrance will be relocated from Chicago Avenue to Dearborn Street. The ground floor will accommodate a variety of retail and social service venues. The original limestone cladding on the facade will be preserved and renovated by architecture firm Farr Associates.
The nearest public transportation options for this site consist of bus stations serving Routes 22, 36, and 66, all situated within one block. For those interested in accessing the CTA Red Line, Chicago station is a mere stone’s throw to the east. Additionally, the surrounding area is well-equipped with numerous Divvy Bike stations and dedicated cycling lanes.
Walsh Construction is leading the overhaul, with an estimated completion date in late 2024. Past SRO tenants will be given selection priority once the work is finished. Meanwhile, these tenants can choose to be relocated during the construction period, which is estimated to last a total of 30 months, or opt for permanent relocation under the Uniform Relocation Act.