POTENTIAL WIN: Owner Chooses Rehab Over Demolition for 2222 N. Halsted Street

“The owners of a 135-year-old Lincoln Park three-flat want to add a fourth-floor addition to the property, but some neighbors resisting the change.

“The building at 2222 N. Halsted St. is considered ‘orange-rated’ in the Sheffield Historic District, meaning it possesses some qualities that contribute to the historical nature of the area. The Cook County Assessor’s Office lists the building as 135 years old.

“Jeffrey Engelmann, whose family has owned the building for 27 years, presented the renovation plans during a community meeting Monday with Ald. Michele Smith’s office (43rd) and the Sheffield Neighborhood Association. He wants to add a fourth floor with an 18-foot setback from the front.

“The existing building has noticeable deterioration of its front facade, limestone and upper crown, Engelmann said. It also has issues with flooding and drainage, a foundation crack from nearby construction, an undersized electrical system for modern-day requirements and poor insulation, he said.

“‘One of the motivating reasons for us to embark on this path is there’s been a lot of deterioration for years now,’ Engelmann said.

“In addition to modernizing the building’s three rental units, which would be converted into condominiums, the project calls for replacing the rear stair enclosure so it’s up to code and adding rear porches because the preservation of the front facade prevents any front alterations to the building, Engelmann said.

“The building needs to be re-zoned for the work to be allowed, said attorney Sara Barnes.

“‘This happens all the time, especially with older buildings,’ Barnes said. ‘The zoning ordinance changes over time, and buildings that were conforming become non-conforming.’

“The building’s owners need to bring the structure into compliance with the zoning ordinance for any improvements to be permitted, Barnes said.

“Engelmann said he’ll revert the property’s zoning back to the original zoning once all necessary permits and certifications have been issued.

“Neighbors said they support the modernization and appreciate the owners’ desire to preserve its historical qualities rather than demolishing the structure and rebuilding within its existing zoning code.

Engelmann said preservation projects can be more costly, and the ‘economics’ of a three-floor building would be less affordable.

“It just gets difficult in these preservations to be able to accomplish both without adding more to the building,” Engelmann said. ‘Buyers look for warranties and different guarantees in these older buildings, so the tradeoff we found when we looked at the different alternatives was going with a fourth floor.” (Wittich, Block Club Chicago, 4/26/22)

Read the full story at Block Club Chicago

Owner Of 135-Year-Old 3-Flat In Lincoln Park Hopes To Build Addition, But Some Neighbors Are Pushing Back; The existing building has noticeable deterioration and issues with flooding, among other problems, the owner said. He wants to renovate it and turn the units into condos, Jake Wittich, Bock Club Chicago, 4/26/22


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