Crain’s Chicago Business

Cedar Street plans 288 apartments on Near West Side

A Chicago developer has unveiled some details of its plan to turn a former Salvation Army housing facility on the Near West Side into a mixed-use apartment and retail complex..

Cedar Street plans to renovate an existing five-story building into 288 residential units and ground-floor retail, according to a zoning application submitted yesterday. The 3.1-acre site is on more than half a city block along Monroe Street between Ashland Avenue and Laflin Street.

Cedar Street, which bought the land in 2015 after the Salvation Army moved its facility to Humboldt Park, will maintain much of the historic buildings’ brick facade, according to schematics filed in the application.

The proposal would likely aim to take advantage of new developments creeping west from the trendy West Loop neighborhood. Though the Salvation Army site is slightly off the beaten path, its surrounding neighborhood is poised to see an influx of residents as companies start to populate a flurry of office buildings that have opened or are planned nearby.

The Fulton Market District submarket alone is on track to add more than 20,000 jobs, 800 hotel rooms and 3,500 apartment units over the next 24 months, according to real estate brokerage CBRE.

Some elements of the Cedar Street plan remain under wraps as the developer shares its vision with local residents at a series of community meetings over the next month, Managing Partner Mark Heffron said.

But the design will try to incorporate the history of the property, which was originally a YMCA, and will include retailers that “complement the area and building,” he said, such as coffee or bike shops.

“The structure has a lot of the original character in place. There’s a heavy intent to preserve a lot of that,” Heffron said. “We’re not trying to be luxury here, we’re trying to provide a product that a lot of people can afford and will be great for the community.”

Cedar Street also owns a building along Ashland just south of the historic building, but has not released plans for that site.

The developer has done apartment redevelopments like the Salvation Army project before, such as a redevelopment of the Bush Temple of Music building in River North and an overhaul of Lawrence House in Uptown, an Art Deco building it turned into 344 apartment units.

Crain’s Chicago Business—Danny Ecker