WIN: 7 Acre Former Locomotive Headlight Factory Renovated into The Terminal Innovation Center

Interior Rendering of the Loft Innovation Terminal, 1334 N. Kostner Ave. Rendering Credit: The Terminal / RATIO
Courtyard Plaza of the Loft Innovation Terminal, 1334 N. Kostner Ave. Rendering Credit: The Terminal / RATIO
The Terminal, 1334 N. Kostner Ave. Photo Credit: Loopnet

“As a real estate project, the property marketed as The Terminal in West Humboldt Park reveals itself slowly — so slowly that it’s hard for passersby to appreciate.

“Walk by the two-story building at 1334 N. Kostner Ave. and you see a handsome example of industrial architecture from a century ago, but there’s much more behind it. The frontage along Kostner is part of a three-building complex covering nearly 7 acres. It contains soaring old factory space the owners believe is perfect for a cadre of innovative young companies.

“Developer Gary Pachucki, founder of IBT Group, is accustomed to conducting tours of the raw space, inviting prospective tenants to let their imaginations fill in the blanks. Backed by billionaire Joe Mansueto, founder of Morningstar, Pachucki sees the place attracting brainy entrepreneurs who want room to grow outside of the popular, expensive neighborhoods. They also want the satisfaction of seeing job growth in a community prioritized in Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s Invest South/West program.

“‘We can offer them cost-effective space in a great neighborhood. This will be a campus’ for businesses engaged in research, he said. Intensive manufacturing isn’t part of the plan, although Pachucki said he’s had discussions with a brewer — and having factory-fresh beer on-site might draw more tenants.

“Nick Farina, CEO of EeroQ, a quantum computing company, stands next to equipment used for their work and research at a leased office at 1334 N. Kostner Ave in new a development called the The Terminal in West Humboldt Park, Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022. The Terminal is looking to house offices and startups in it’s multi-space facility.

“EeroQ, launched near Michigan State University, has moved into 9,600 square feet at The Terminal. The company is trying a new approach to quantum computer development by floating single electrons on liquid helium.

“The work is unimaginably exacting, and CEO Nick Farina said he brought the 10-worker company to The Terminal because the building, solid and with no basement, doesn’t vibrate. Other properties have trucks or trains rumbling by. Being in Chicago made sense, he said. ‘Chicago has a deep bench of quantum computing talent,’ Farina said.

“For Pachucki, landing EeroQ validated the concept. He still has about 220,000 square feet to fill and hopes to have a couple more tenants soon. Working with Ratio Architects and the construction firm Arco/Murray, Pachucki has the largest of the three buildings ready for tenant improvements, while renovations continue on the other two. He said the investment in the property could hit $70 million. The project involves no public money.

“The renovation has added windows just beneath the high roofs so sunlight can brighten the space below. Tenants will have the option of adding space on a second level. Pachucki said the plan calls for outdoor gathering space, a spot where food trucks can park, and he’s considering an exercise room and bike storage. The property has on-site parking and easy access for equipment deliveries.” (Roeder, Chicago Sun-Times, Aug 8, 2022)

“Founded in 1897 by Royal C. Vilas, the Pyle National Company became popular for its Pyle-O-Lytes, one of the most popular locomotive headlights which were introduced in 1913. Due to a federal mandate requiring all trains to have headlights in 1915, the company grew rapidly and in 1916 moved into the new plant. By the 1930’s Pyle had provided the lighting for many Chicago icons including Soldier and Wrigley Fields before departing the city in 1992. Most recently, the Davidson & Weiss designed building was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 2021.” (Achong, Chicago YIMBY, 11/2/21)

Read the full story at Chicago Sun Times

Speculation and imagination mingle at Humboldt Park project; Developers invest in an industrial site’s turnaround and hope savvy tenants will buy into the vision of The Terminal, David Roeder, Chicago Sun-Times, Aug 8, 2022

Developer Finishes Work On Office Development At 1334 N Kostner Avenue In Humboldt Park, Ian Achong, Chicago Yimby, 11/2/21

Mansueto-backed Humboldt Park project lands tech firm as first tenant, EeroQ, which is designing a commercial quantum computer chip, is the first firm to plant its flag at the Terminal, a $50 million West Side development backed by billionaire Morningstar founder Joe Mansueto Danny Ecker, Crain’s Chicago Business, 1/6/22

The Loft Innovation Terminal Website

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