WIN: Galleria 89 Development in South Chicago Combines Adaptive Reuse, Infill and Affordability

Rendering of 8840 S. Commercial Avenue in South Chicago, 1898. Rendering credit: Rivetna Architects and Farr Associates
Elevations of existing structure at 8840 S. Commercial Avenue in South Chicago, 1898. Image credit: Rivetna Architects and Farr Associates

“An affordable housing development on the Southeast Side with space for small businesses is advancing after alderpeople approved a zoning change for the project during the new City Council’s first meeting.

“The Galleria 89 development would bring 58 affordable apartments to one new building and one existing structure at 8840-8854 S. Commercial Ave. The City Council on Wednesday approved a zoning change for the site from a commercial zone to a Residential Business Planned Development zone.

“The new, five-story building would replace city-owned structures at 8848-8854 S. Commercial Ave. with 46 one- to three-bedroom apartments and two shops. The new building’s design will reflect “South Chicago’s history as the epicenter of the steel industry,” city officials said.

“A three-story brick building at 8840 S. Commercial Ave. will be rehabbed to house 12 apartments and 1,900 square feet of retail for two shops.

“The buildings will be connected by an open-air, public courtyard with art installations. The development team, led by 548 Development, consulted with South Chicago institutions SkyART and Nine3 Studios to showcase murals and sculptures by local artists inside and outside of the building.

“Galleria 89 is a transit-oriented development next to a bus stop and within a 10-minute walk of the 87th Street Metra Electric stop. Officials also plan to build a Divvy bike station as part of the development.

“Project costs were estimated at $36.4 million in November, up from an estimated $23.5 million when the proposal was selected as an Invest South/West initiative finalist in 2021.

“Galleria 89 coincides with a $43 million project to upgrade Commercial Avenue and 92nd Street in South Chicago with street resurfacing, raised bike lanes, curb extensions to shorten street crossings and more over the next few years.” (Evans, Block Club Chicago, 5/25/23)

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