“Renovation permits have been issued for the adaptive reuse of the former St James United Methodist Church at 4601 S. Ellis. Located at the southeast corner of S. Ellis Ave and E 46th St, the church is being developed by Creative Designs Builders.
“Designed by ZED Architects, the project looks to renovate an existing vacant church into a mixed-use development that features residential and office space. The old church space will be transitioned into new coworking office space. The attached original support spaces for the church will be renovated into 29 residential units.” (Kugler, Urbanize Chicago, 2/25/23)
“That’s down from the 43 originally planned, according to owner Ibrahim Shihadeh, who cut back after seeing the “beauty” of the church’s sanctuary, chandeliers and stained glass. Instead, the sanctuary will be restored to its original condition and used as a cooperative working space. Individual offices, long tables and cubicles would combine for a total of 15 co-working spaces.
“Ald. Sophia King (4th) hosted the developers as they gathered feedback at a community meeting Tuesday evening. King said she was pleased with the group’s “good ideas” for reusing the old church building.
“I’m just happy that they want to preserve everything,” King said. “If we deal with the parking and get the blessing to go forward … the co-working space would be an enhancement to the community.” (Evans, 9/18/19)
Preservation Chicago applauds the developer for his preservation sensitive adaptive reuse. St. James United Methodist Church is a beautiful building and Preservation Chicago encourages the developer to take the steps to designate this building as a Chicago Landmark. In addition to providing it recognition and long-term protections, it could make the building eligible for a variety of funding benefits.