WIN: Covent Hotel Renovation and Conversion to Affordable Housing to Begin

“Construction is set to begin on the Covent Hotel redevelopment this September after years of planning and approval hurdles. Originally proposed back in 2016, the project at 2653 N. Clark will reuse the existing Covent Hotel building while adding a new building to the parking lot behind the building.

“Planned by The NHP Foundation, the conversion of the Covent Hotel will see its 64 SRO units renovated into 30 small affordable studio apartments. Designed by Weese Langley Weese Architects, the historic building will front N. Clark St with 4,700 square feet of retail space and a new residential lobby. The building will have no parking spaces.

“NHP Foundation originally bought the Covent Hotel for $7 million back in 2016 and the project will be financed through a HUD FHA loan as well as tax-exempt bonds, LIHTC financing, and historic tax credit equity. (Kugler, Urbanize Chicago, 8/2/22)

“The Covent Hotel dates to 1915, when it was built to accompany an adjacent theater, which was demolished in the 1960s. The surviving three-story building has long served as a single-room occupancy, but it fell into disrepair after its previous owner died, city officials said.

“Ald. Michele Smith (43rd), who has supported the project since before it went to the city’s Plan Commission in 2020, said it was a ‘very difficult project to bring to fruition because of the high cost in our community.’

“‘It was very important to me and the surrounding community that we preserve this [single-room occupancy], which has been used in this fashion since just past the Depression,’ Smith said. ‘We couldn’t be happier.’

“The hotel’s renovation will also involve replacing doors, windows and elevator systems, as well as converting its eight ground-level commercial spaces into four larger retail spaces, said Mecky Adnani, senior vice president at NHP.

“‘This is what the community wanted,’ Adnani said. ‘These kinds of rental units are needed in the Lincoln Park area, and we’re really glad we could preserve the building while creating these 30 great studio apartments.'”(Wittich, Block Club Chicago, 2/22/22)

“The Covent Garden Theater, opened in June 1916 for the Lubliner & Trinz circuit, could originally seat 2,684, and was one of the largest theaters in the Lake View neighborhood of Chicago. It featured vaudeville and stage shows as well as motion pictures. The theater was taken over by the Balaban & Katz chain on December 22, 1932 and was renamed Covent Theatre. It was remodeled in 1934 by the firm of Pereira & Pereira.

“The theater was part of a complex which also included the Hotel Covent, or Covent Hotel. It was closed in 1958. When the theater was demolished, only the auditorium was razed, replaced by a parking lot. The hotel remains today.” (Krefft, Cinema Treasures)

Read the full story at Urbanize Chicago

Covent Hotel project set to break ground in September, The SRO building will be converted into affordable apartments, Lukas Kugler, Urbanize Chicago, 8/2/22

Rehab Of Historical Lincoln Park Hotel Into Affordable Studio Apartments Primed To Get Key City Funding; The Covent Hotel, which was built in 1915, will be renovated into 30 affordable studio apartments with their own kitchens and bathrooms, Jake Wittich, Block Club Chicago, 2/22/22

Covent Theater History, 2653 N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60614, CinemaTreasures.org

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