Lawson House Renovation Ranks #10 in In Year-End Countdown

Lawson House Apartments. Photo by Jack Crawford

The renovation of the Victor F. Lawson House, a historic 24-story building located at 30 W Chicago Avenue in the Near North Side, ranks #10 in our year-end countdown. Originally completed in 1931 and designed by Perkins, Chatten & Hammond, this former YMCA is being converted into 408 affordable studio apartments by Holsten Real Estate.

Lawson House Apartments. Photo by Jack Crawford

Lawson House Apartments. Photo by Jack Crawford

In 2017, Peter Holsten, founder of Holsten Real Estate, acquired the property for $1, under the condition that the apartments remain affordable for at least 50 years. The project’s financing includes low-income housing tax credits, $12.4 million in historic preservation tax credits, a $17.6 million city loan, a $79.4 million loan from Chase Bank, and a $17.2 million loan from the Illinois Housing Development Authority.

Lawson House Apartments. Photo by Jack Crawford

Lawson House Apartments. Photo by Jack Crawford

The refurbishment of the 272-foot structure will provide units with private kitchens and baths, HVAC upgrades, and in-unit air conditioning. Additional features include a new fitness center and the relocation of the main entrance from Chicago Avenue to Dearborn Street. Retail and social service venues will occupy the ground floor, and the building’s original limestone cladding is being preserved and renovated by Farr Associates. This revamp also involves the construction of new fire egress and elevator towers, along with ongoing window and facade restorations.

Lawson House Apartments. Photo by Jack Crawford

In terms of accessibility, the site is served by bus service for Routes 22, 36, and 66, and within a minute walk of the CTA Red Line’s Chicago station. The area also offers several Divvy Bike stations and dedicated cycling lanes.

Lawson House Apartments. Photo by Jack Crawford

Lawson House Apartments. Photo by Jack Crawford

Walsh Construction is overseeing the renovation, with an expected completion in late next year. Priority for unit selection post-renovation is given to former Single Room Occupancy (SRO) tenants, who can opt for temporary or permanent relocation under the Uniform Relocation Act during the 30-month construction period.

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9 Comments on "Lawson House Renovation Ranks #10 in In Year-End Countdown"

  1. Odd that a renovation of an existing building would make such a countdown. It’s not an addition in any way, it’s already there. Strange.

  2. And for anyone who is wondering what last year’s #10 spot took. It was 1400 S Wabash in the South Loop.

    Rising 78 feet higher then this redevelopment at 350ft.

  3. Regardless of the technicalities of the list, I am very glad this project happened. Chicago R North/ surrounding area has become extremely expensive and there are many businesses that require lower wage workers for the time. These people deserve to live close to work also.

    • Richard M.Daley | December 23, 2023 at 6:17 pm | Reply

      Thats a good point just hope it don’t turn into Cabrini green wonder how much is affordable housing rent start or how much the condos cost its a nice looking building hope it doesn’t go up in flames

  4. Oh man, #10 on the list is a building from a century ago. That doesn’t bode well for the height game this year. Beauty over height, but it all feels a little short this year.

  5. Bobby Siemiaszko | December 22, 2023 at 1:00 pm | Reply

    Here’s to hoping 2024 has a much taller countdown. If we can break ground on on some more of the Wells projects, Halsted Pointe, More Fulton Market and West Loop projects as well as some other projects in the pipeline, it will look a lot better.

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