Further details have been revealed for the conversion of the Diplomat Motel at 5230 N Lincoln Avenue in Lincoln Square. Sitting on the northern edge of the neighborhood, we covered its initial city approval into transitional housing mid-last year. The project is being developed between the city and the Department of Public Health, with Gensler working on its design.
The project will focus on transitioning those experiencing homelessness, especially cycling or repeated experiences with the justice or emergency systems, into permanent housing. This will also build on a pandemic era pilot program where the city utilized motels to mitigate the spread and proved highly successful in bridging people into permanent housing. With this in mind, the structure’s 46-room will be renovated into 40 temporary residences.
Dubbed ‘The Haven’, it will be aimed at three- to six-month-long stays, the center will offer on-site supportive services including mental and medical health, treatment programs, daily meals, laundry, and 24-hour security. The building will retain the mural, but the exterior and interior will be renovated with softer lines and trauma-informed design. A new fenced green space with art and seating areas will also replace the southern parking lot.
The on-site programs will be run by Volunteers of America Illinois, with staff available all day. Residents will be selected via referrals in the neighborhood from the Swedish Hospital and the Lincoln Police District according to Block Club. The project will have an overall cost of $2.9 million, though it was previously reported that will be building’s the purchase price. Work is set to begin this spring and is expected to wrap up by the end of the year.