POTENTIAL WIN: Three Adaptive Reuse Development Proposals Presented for 1769 W. Pershing in the Central Manufacturing District (Chicago 7 2020)

“Further details and renderings have been revealed for the finalist of the Central Manufacturing District RFP. Located at 1769 W Pershing Road in McKinley Park just west of the intersection with S Ashland Avenue, we last covered the project in January as the city narrowed it down to three finalists with mixed-use proposals featuring everything from housing to movie studios on the multi-site lot. The Chicago Department of Planning and Development is leading the selection process with the bids being presented earlier this week at a community meeting.

“Occupying 256 acres of land in the neighborhood, the Prairie-style complex is considered the nation’s first modern planned industrial district opening in 1905. Now the city’s RFP is hoping to repurpose the easternmost building holding 571,476 square feet of space along with the adjacent 3.2-acre site with a building as well, the following are the three bids in the order they were presented:

“IBT Group LLC – Proposing to redevelop only the main building of the complex and not the adjacent site, the proposal’s largest element is carving a massive new atrium into the 350-foot by 300-foot structure. The linear atrium would allow for sunlight to reach down all of the new office space and residential units that surround it with new balconies and foliage creating an active zone. This would be capped by a 105,000-square-foot green roof with a retail space for a cafe or office, playground, and massive running track over the adjacent two historical buildings.

“While not many other details were made public, if all three rooftops were converted to parks it would provide seven acres of land most likely open to the public. As for the program we can expect 50,000 square feet of retail, a 200,000-square-foot flex lab/office space and 120 residential units of which 24 will be affordable. The overall cost would be covered via $39-63 million in debt, $12-24 million in Historical Tax Credits, $18-30 million in C-PACE funding, and more, potential TIF funds are also expected.

“Outpost Studios LLC – Hoping to build a new creative mixed-use campus, the team is seeking to attract various production types while also providing affordable housing for actors and actresses. This would be achieved by a new rooftop addition holding 49 affordable residential units topped by solar panels and a rooftop park. For the ground floor a 50,000-square-foot flex space and public food hall on the ground floor is planned along with a food truck plaza along the main entry, which would boast a new entry gate sign.

“The second floor and above would focus on production with plenty of open workspace, set construction, and wardrobe workshop spaces along with large storage rooms for each. With the third to sixth floors containing sound recording studios, an animated video studio, medium studios ranging up to 15,000 square feet, large 20,000-square-foot studios and lounges as well. The adjacent building would also become a production studio, with the developers hoping to secure $12 million in TIF, $10 million in tax credits, and $50 million in debt among others to finance the development.

“Pershing Road Studios LLC – This team is proposing the most changes to the existing structure, demolishing around 300,000 square feet of the existing building while preserving the north and east sides to be repurposed. The roughly 228,000 square feet remaining would receive a new elevator core and have 13,500 square feet of commercial space added on the northern side topped by two floors of indoor parking holding 100 vehicles. The east side of the L would contain studio back of house space on the first three floors, with the full remaining footprint holding office space on the final two floors.

“The demolished area would be replaced by two large multi-story soundstages connected to the existing by a large multi-level 20,000-square-foot shop space. The grounds would hold 200 additional parking spaces and spots for 25 production trailers, with the adjacent building being completely demolished in exchange for four additional sound stages with air locks in between them. The high-tech filming spaces would benefit from Cinelease’s reputation as they operate other studios in California, New Mexico, Georgia, New York, and Pennsylvania.” (Achong, Chicago YIMBY, 3/10/23)


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