LINCOLN SQUARE — The former home of First Chicago Bank & Trust at 2255 W. Lawrence Ave. is set to reopen this spring as Ladybug & Friends Daycare and Preschool.
Once permits are approved, work will begin on a complete rehab of the building, including the addition of skylights and windows to create a sense of openness, Ladybug operator Calin Moigradan said.
"The intent is to open somewhere in mid-April," said Moigradan, who's leasing the building from Dunmore East Two, which in turn claimed the office space from the FDIC.
He anticipates Ladybug will have capacity for about 75 children, split among rooms for infants, toddlers, 2-year-olds and preschoolers. The business will hire 10 to 15 employees, and Moigradan said all teachers working with children ages 2 and older will be required to hold a master's degree in early childhood education.
Moigradan was on a short list of potential occupants approached by John Cleary, CEO of Dunmore East Two, which specializes in picking up and flipping distressed properties.
"When we purchased the building, that's exactly what we thought would work there," Cleary said, citing the advantages of the structure's single story and space in the rear for a playground.
Having lived in Lincoln Square for years before moving to Andersonville, Cleary also saw enormous potential in the number of young families in the neighborhood.
"The Lincoln Square area has gotten a lot more family-oriented," he said. "Less people are moving out to the suburbs. There's not enough day care in the area."
Moigradan said he has approached 47th Ward Ald. Ameya Pawar's office about a loading zone in the 4700 block of North Oakley Avenue to accommodate pickups and drop-offs.