Tax Incentives Approved For Flatiron Building In Wicker Park

Image of Flat Iron Building via Commission on Chicago Landmarks

Tax incentives have been approved for the Flatiron Building at 1579 N Milwaukee Avenue in Wicker Park. Located at the heart of the neighborhood on its six-corner intersection, the artists lofts-filled structure most recently saw the closures of Bank of America and Debonair Social Club on its first floor. The Class L tax incentives were approved by the Commission on Chicago Landmarks earlier this month.

Current conditions of Flat Iron Building via Commission on Chicago Landmarks

Opened in 1913, the three-story building is wedged between Milwaukee Avenue to the south and W North Avenue to the north. It was originally built to be an office building designed by famed-firm Holabird & Roche, before becoming an artists mecca in the late 1960s and later bought by the same owners of the Fine Arts Building in 1993. In 2022 it was purchased by Savas Er and Buzz Ruttenberg under an LLC, with plans to keep its current programming.

Elevation of Flat Iron Building via Commission on Chicago Landmarks

The tax incentives will be used to offset a $4.2 million renovation. The work will include a new roof membrane, a ductless HVAC system for the top two floors as well as electrical and plumbing upgrades. Another major aspect of the work will be new storefronts for multiple ground-floor commercial spaces to match the original design. Rounding off the renovation will be a new sprinkler pump and fire alarm system and updated elevators.

Elevation of Flat Iron Building via Commission on Chicago Landmarks

The tax $4.1 million incentive itself will play out like others we’ve seen over a 12-year period; with the building being taxed at 10 percent for the first 10 years, 15 percent for year 11, and 20 percent for year 12 before returning to the standard 25 percent. The incentive must now be approved by City Hall, with work expected to begin early next year and take around a year to complete.

Subscribe to YIMBY’s daily e-mail

Follow YIMBYgram for real-time photo updates
Like YIMBY on Facebook
Follow YIMBY’s Twitter for the latest in YIMBYnews


5 Comments on "Tax Incentives Approved For Flatiron Building In Wicker Park"

  1. Commenters silent on this one as their minds are locked in cognitive dissonance over whether to celebrate this attempt at preservation or argue this structure should be replaced by a 25-story building with zero parking spots.

    • Naw it’s more likely that nobody feels strongly about the preservation of status quo, with respect to development. But nice try at snark.

  2. I think you missed my point — yes, people here are fine with status quo but would be up in arms if this exact parcel were being redeveloped and it wasn’t a super-sized, super-dense project (tell me I’m wrong?). They’d angrily blame NIMBYs for “ruining things again”. So either the status quo is inherently wrong or there may be actual merit to “NIMBY” arguments for preserving a neighborhood’s historic character and building massing (even in new construction projects).

    • No I got your point. But it’s an apples to oranges comparison. If something were changing, you would get two or three distinct groups complaining, as @Isaac notes (so no cognitive dissonance). But demo permits aren’t pending, so the preservationists (and just straight up NIMBYs) aren’t upset, and there’s no proposal for either the architects or ultra-developmentists to be upset about. Change (even just the possibility of change) is the catalyst for complaints, and different people have different complaints

  3. I’ve seen two extremes here. There’s one group who want everything to be taller, denser and every project to be at least a 20 story high rise and there is another group who find almost every project on this site to be lacking in terms of design. They hate podiums, glass boxes, and want all the parking underground. There is a smaller third group who complain about density and traffic congestion. That smaller third group would be what we traditionally call the NIMBYs.

    This project is only making modest changes to an existing building, with no major modifications to the exterior so there’s nothing to complain about. I don’t think the argument that preserving historic character and massing is an even a NIMBY argument. Cries of congestion, traffic and too much density with every new development is a NIMBY argument. It belies the fact that many of these neighborhoods were much denser 70 years ago when Chicago had 3.5 million people with the same infrastructure, so complaints about traffic and building heights ring hollow.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.