WIN: Developer Prioritizes Adaptive Reuse of Werner Brothers Storage Building (Chicago 7 2023)

Werner Brothers Storage Warehouse, 1921, George S. Kingsley, 7613 N. Paulina Street. A 2023 Chicago 7 Most Endangered. Photo credit: Serhii Chrucky
Werner Brothers Storage Warehouse, 1921, George S. Kingsley, 7613 N. Paulina Street. A 2023 Chicago 7 Most Endangered. Photo credit: Serhii Chrucky

“Developer Housing for All LLC’s proposal for a mixed-use workforce housing development at 7603 N. Paulina was reportedly not selected for the highly competitive tax credits from the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA). Announced via Alderwoman Hadden’s newsletter to constituents, the development team plans to reapply and is going to rework plans and the phasing of the project.

Planned for the northeast corner of W. Howard St and N. Paulina St, the development will demolish the one-story building at the corner, while preserving the Werner Bros. Storage building, an orange-rated structure built in 1921, despite originally planning to demolish it.

While the developers have committed to retaining the Werner Bros. Storage building, details for the design of the second phase had not been shared. The second phase would bring 52 more units of affordable housing, including 20 inside the Werner Bros. building and 32 apartments in a new construction building in the parking lot to its north.

While waiting to reapply for funding, Alderwoman Hadden reported that the development team has met with the Departments of Planning and Development and Housing to discuss the project and get alignment from the city. Housing for All is also using this time to rework their plans for site development. They plan to switch phases – focusing now on rehabilitating the Werner Building and the new construction to the north while leaving the one-story building that houses Redz Belizean and the currency exchange at the corner. (Kugler, Urbanize Chicago, 9/29/23)

Preservation Chicago applauds developer Shelly Tucciarelli of Housing For All for reconsidering the adaptive reuse of the Werner Brothers Storage Building. Additionally, we applaud 49th Ward Ald. Maria Hadden and community members who strongly advocated for a preservation sensitive alternative for this development.

Planned adaptive reuse of ornate 1921 Werner Bros building into residential is a beautiful blend of affordable housing and historic preservation. Illinois Low-Income Housing Tax Credits tax credits are limited and highly competitive. Preservation Chicago will do everything we can to support this effort.

Affordability and preservation are strongly symbiotic and mutually beneficial. We consider Werner Brothers Storage Building to be an ideal candidate for affordable housing adaptive reuse. Historic preservation is highly compatible with affordable housing and we strongly encourage the reuse and incorporation of this beautiful historic structure, particularly its terra cotta cladding, into the new construction.

Preservation Chicago believes that affordable housing and transit-oriented development are necessary components of healthy communities. Through collaboration between the local community, developers, and preservationists, we are confident that both goals of providing affordable housing and retaining historic architecture can be met, resulting in an even more successful and dynamic project and more vibrant communities.

Read the full story at Urbanize Chicago

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