Curbed

Developer Taps Uptown Synagogue and Loop Office Building For Adaptive Reuse

Developer Cedar Street Companies has been busy in recent years making a name for itself rehabilitating historic structures into new housing. The Chicago-based company currently has a number of irons in the fire, including the restoration downtown’s historic Bush Temple of Music and a recently approved scheme to renovate the orange-rated former Wilson Avenue Theatre. Last week, the firm announced two more properties slated for adaptive reuse as residential.First up is the Agudas Achim Synagogue located at 5029 N. Kenmore Avenue in Uptown. Included on Preservation Chicago’s 2015 list of most threatened buildings, the 1922 structure was acquired in April for $1.25 million, according to Crain’s. The project represents Cedar Street’s first foray into adapting religious buildings and, though dividing the temple’s large stained glass-lined sanctuary into smaller dwelling units presents a unique architectural challenge, the firm is confident that it can find a creative solution that also respects the history of the site. The developer has yet to reveal exact unit count or if the units will be offered as rentals or condos.

Meanwhile, the 12-story Hartman Building at 30 E. Adams is also set to receive the Cedar Street treatment after being acquired by the firm for $14.3 million. Designed by Alfred Alschuler — the same architect behind the London Guarantee & Accident Building that was recently reborn as the LondonHouse hotel — the Loop office building first opened 1925 and is perhaps best known as the longtime home of Miller’s Pub. While the classic downtown watering hole will remain in place, the Harman Building’s 137,000 square feet of office space will be converted into new apartments. Units will be roughly 500 square feet in size and rent for an estimated $1,600 to $2,200 per month, says Crain’s. The $40 million conversion project is expected to begin in about nine months and will take between 12 and 18 months to complete.

Curbed Chicago | Jay Koziarz