The Salvation Army is looking to sell its main downtown campus in the River West neighborhood, hoping to cash in on real estate investors’ appetite for land near the gentrifying North Branch of the Chicago River.
The 70,000-square-foot site, which the Salvation Army has owned since 1931 and today serves as its Chicago Adult Rehabilitation Center, does not have a specific asking price. But a source familiar with the offering estimated it could fetch between $30 million and $40 million based on the potential to develop almost 570,000 square feet on the property.
The Salvation Army recently planned to renovate its four buildings on the site, which include housing, a Family Store and warehousing for donated goods, spokeswoman Natalya Khasina said in a statement. But “during the due diligence process, it quickly became apparent that the cost of the upgrade on the aging facilities was exceeding all available resources,” the statement said. “A decision was made that it would be in the best interest of the Salvation Army and its supporters to leverage the equity in the owned property and use it to build new facilities for the program.” (Ecker, Crain’s)
The Salvation Army building at 509 N. Union Avenue is an outstanding building that should be protected and preserved as part of any redevelopment of the site. Preservation Chicago encourages the Salvation Army, 27th Ward Alderman Walter Burnett, and City of Chicago to make this a requirement upfront so that potential buyers will accommodate this in their plans from the outset.
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