“Redevelopment of the old Grace’s Furniture building in the heart of Logan Square has taken yet another turn as the developers behind the long-delayed project have dumped city-approved plans to open a boutique hotel on the site.
“Now, developers Blue Star Properties and Marc Realty are looking to redevelop the Grace’s Furniture site, 2616-18 N. Milwaukee Ave., into a mixed-use project with Logan Square Athletic Club as its anchor tenant, said Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th).
“The gym would operate under the Chicago Athletic Club brand, which has several locations in the city, including in Bucktown, Lincoln Park and the West Loop, Ramirez-Rosa said. A restaurant/cafe is planned for the first floor.
“The proposal still needs landmark and zoning approval and is under review by neighborhood group Logan Square Preservation, Ramirez-Rosa said.
“Scaffolding recently went up at the site as developers have begun restoring the building’s terra cotta. The work is being done in response to safety concerns. The building, previously family-owned since the ’60s, has deteriorated over the years and is in need of immediate upgrades, Ramirez-Rosa said.
“‘The Department of Planning and Development and myself have expressed that we need to make sure the building is secure and stabilized,’ the alderman said.
“The Logan Square Athletic Club proposal is the latest in a string of efforts to redevelop the Grace’s Furniture building, which has sat vacant for years despite being one of the most prominent structures overlooking Logan Square and the Illinois Centennial Monument.
“The Logan Square Athletic Club proposal looks similar to the hotel project, Ramirez-Rosa said. If approved, the facade of the building will be restored. The developers are also working toward preserving the original Grace’s Furniture sign, the alderman said.
“The terra cotta work is a sign the developers are ‘taking the steps necessary’ to finally redevelop the site after years of fits and starts, Ramirez-Rosa said.” (Bloom, Block Club Chicago, 9/22/22)