“Thousands of apartment units and a hotel could replace the former Salvation Army property and a neighboring site steps from the city’s first casino in River West.
“Chicago-based Shapack Partners plans to transform two areas, including the closed store at 509 N. Union Ave., into an apartment-hotel hybrid campus, according to two zoning applications submitted to the city.
“The Salvation Army closed in March, citing significant disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The site was home to a thrift store and an adult rehabilitation center, which also closed in March. Shapack Partners bought the campus in May for $25 million, according to Crain’s. (Mercado, Block Club Chicago, 6/23/22)
“Originally revealed by Urbanize last month, the multi-tower development surrounding the former Salvation Army building, now dubbed NOMA, has been reviewed by the Committee on Design. The mixed-use project will occupy a collection of sites all generally bound by N. Desplaines St, W. Hubbard St., N. Halsted St, and W. Ohio St. The project will convert the Salvation Army building into a new hotel and build an approximate 1,500 units of housing across four buildings paired with extensive retail and food/beverage space.
“With Eckenhoff Saunders Architects tapped for the conversion of the Salvation Army building, the six-story structure will be converted into 141 hotel rooms. The primary facades will be preserved, with a small two-story addition added to the southern half of the building. Clad in contemporary metal, the addition will allow for destination dining and hotel amenities. Once revitalized, the building will be able to anchor and contribute substantially to the new district.
“At the pedestrian scale, the urban plan calls for extending the public realm across the sites and through the streets. Connecting the sites, an art walk and park would be envisioned for W. Hubbard St in collaboration with the city. An art walk within the development will begin at the Salvation Army Building and continue down N. Union Ave to connect to the southern sites which will use the Mews concept from Shapack Partners’ previous projects at 167 N. Green and 170 N. Green to lace the sites together and create an active pedestrian experience. The meandering spaces will offer food and beverage options as well as retail spaces. A grand cultural institution, placed at W. Grand Ave and N. Desplaines St will connect the development and create a cultural anchor for the project that will enliven the entire community.” (Kugler, Urbanize Chicago, 7/15/22)
The Wrigley Lodge / Salvation Army Building is a unique blend of two distinct architectural styles. A soaring Streamline Modern element joins the 5-and 6-story red brick industrial lofts to create wonderfully balanced asymmetry. The result is an iconic building. Its distinctive appearance and important history make this building an important one to save. The building was designed by C. J. Furst and Charles Rudolph in 1891.
In 1929, William Wrigley Jr. purchased the building and donated the property to the Salvation Army for use as a lodging house for unemployed men. A formal ceremony was held on October 23, 1930. The Wrigley Lodge served as a homeless shelter throughout the Great Depression and World War II. Following the war, it increasingly served as a veterans’ rehabilitation center to assist returning servicemen.
Wrigley Lodge had the capacity to lodge 1,200 men nightly and to feed over 2,000. But the goals were more broad and included rehabilitation services, paid employment opportunities within the buildings, and assistance in finding employment.
After the war, the Salvation Army began a fundraising campaign to remodel the building, and on December 9, 1947, a permit was issued for the alterations. It was remodeled in the Streamline Moderne style including the striking, asymmetric, vertical entryway with glass block and rounded corners. (Preservation Chicago 2021 Chicago 7 Most Endangered)
Preservation Chicago applauds Chicago-based Shapack Partners for their planned adaptive reuse. The Salvation Army building is an outstanding structure that deserves to be protected and preserved as part of the site redevelopment. While the specifics are still unknown, we are encouraged by recent reporting that indicates a preservation-sensitive outcome for this important building.
Shapack proposes over 2,200 apartments near casino site, The Fulton Market developer aims to build a series of projects between the former meatpacking district and the planned Bally’s casino that could help establish a burgeoning new neighborhood, Danny Ecker, Crain’s Chicago Business, 6/20/22
Fulton Market developer tees up big River West project; Shapack Partners has purchased a longtime Salvation Army property adjacent to a massive riverfront site that could be home to the city’s first casino, Danny Ecker, Crain’s Chicago Business, 5/2/22
Salvation Army Closes River West Thrift Store, Drug Rehab Center Near Tribune Printing Plant Being Considered For Casino; Tucked away on a side street near the West Loop, the thrift store has long been a destination for affordable clothes and furniture in the pricey neighborhood, Quinn Myers, Block Club Chicago, 3/24/22
River West site next to Tribune Media megaproject hits the market: The Salvation Army is looking to sell its main downtown campus, setting up a potential big redevelopment. Danny Ecker, Crain’s Chicago Business, 8/8/19
Salvation Army lists River West complex, opening near downtown site for development: The site is located just steps from the massive River District megadevelopment, Jay Koziarz, Curbed Chicago, 8/9/19