WIN: Depositor’s Bank Building at 4701 S Ashland Avenue to be Adaptively Reuse for Senior Housing

Photo of existing conditions of Depositor’s Bank Building / Rainbow Store, 1912, 4701 S Ashland Avenue. Photo credit: Google Maps
Rendering of Depositor’s Bank Building / Rainbow Store, 1912, 4701 S Ashland Avenue. Rendering credit: Designbridge

“Growing up in Back of the Yards, Jesse Iñiguez remembers the shops at 47th Street and Ashland Avenue as the place his family went for everything.

“From clothes and electronics to even the cardboard boxes he used for school diorama projects, it was all right there.

“Since then, its bustle has faded to vacant lots and empty storefronts. But a long-awaited transformation through the city’s Invest South/West program is finally getting underway, promising to bring affordable housing, a health center and retail options — including a coffee roaster helmed by Iñiguez.

“The project, called United Yards, combines two proposals for a site targeted by Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s signature plan to bring investment to underserved communities.

“The first proposal, from Celadon Partners and the Blackwood Group, focused on housing. The second, from Iñiguez’s group, Back of the Yards Works, focused on locally owned retail.

“Stores owned and staffed by neighborhood residents and for neighborhood residents are vital to the longevity of the project, Iñiguez said.’ (Loria, Chicago Sun-Times, 3/14/23)

“Updated plans have been revealed for a mixed-use development along 47th Street in New City. The expanded design was recently reviewed by the Committee on Design and builds upon the original RFP submission for the area’s Invest South/West land. Located across five parcels centered on the corner with S Ashland Avenue, the project is being led by developers Celadon Partners and Blackwood Group, LLC with local firm DesignBridge serving as the architects.

“4701 S Ashland Avenue – Further west on the main corner is the existing Depositor’s Bank Building most commonly known for its large Rainbow clothing store on the first floor. The roughly 40,000-square-foot structure built in 1912 would be restored with its original facade including re-opening the upper floor windows. This would allow for 30 new senior housing units along with a new front for Rainbow, and a coffee shop from the Back Of The Yards Works proposal.

“4707 S Marshfield Avenue – Across the street is the former Goldblatts department store building built in 1915 and designed by prominent Chicago Architect Alfred S, Alschuler. Currently it holds over 100 assisted living units which were completed in 2014 as part of a $33 million rehab by the same developers, all of which will remain. However a new senior medical clinic, dialysis facility, and blade sign for the new project will be added. (Achong, Chicago YIMBY, 1/18/22)

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