UPTOWN — After eyeing the former Combined Insurance building for about four years, development company Cedar Street finally snatched it up this week for $16.1 million.
First reported by Crain's, the parent company of FLATS Chicago plans to spend as much as $150 million to turn the building at 5050 N. Broadway into a mixed-use retail and residential development. The firm hopes to begin construction in a year.
"That pocket has been in need of redevelopment for over a decade," Alex Samoylovich, a managing partner at Cedar Street, told DNAinfo Chicago. "Now is the perfect time."
Samoylovich said they're in talks with a grocery store that sells locally grown food as well as a gym to fill the residential space but other details, including the amount of residential units, have yet to be finalized.
Over the next couple of months, Cedar Street plans to share more detailed plans with community groups and Ald. James Cappleman (46th).
"We'd like to make it a community effort," he said.
Crain's reports that the existing property is made up of two six-story structures connected to an 11-story building. Across the street is a 625-space parking garage.
(Courtesy/American Terra Cotta and Ceramic Company Records)
It's unclear whether current tenants, including an Illinois Department of Human Service office, will stay. State employees told NBC that poor building conditions, including bedapr bugs and plumbing leaks, were making it difficult to do their jobs.
"We haven't finalized any plans yet in regards to helping them transition or keeping them," Samoylovich said. "We're waiting to see what the finalized plan would look like."
Samoylovich said they hope to bring the building "back to life."
"Mid-century modern is very hip nowadays," he said. "We have great ideas to mix some old with the new."
Built in 1927, the building was a stop on an Uptown historical tour in part because a parking garage circa 1926 is buried beneath it. The building was also once home to one of the city's leading insurance companies, Combined Insurance Company of America.
"You don't think of these very large private parking garages so far from The Loop," tour guide Patrick Steffes previously told DNAinfo Chicago.
Also this week, Chicago landlord Waterton Associates reportedly bought Pensacola Place for $66 million. The planned rehab won't affect the rents of the roughly 30 affordable housing units within the building, a Waterton official said.
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