WEST LOOP — After calling the West Loop home for more than 40 years, Bridgford Foods plans to pack up operations and build apartments and office space at the facility's site.
Bridgford Foods aims to build a 13-story, 153-foot building that will house luxury apartments and a five-story building that will house boutique office space at 170 and 171 N. Green St. in booming Fulton Market.
Under latest plans, 314 apartments, 265 parking spaces and 35,000-square-feet of retail space would be developed at the site, owners revealed at a quiet community meeting Wednesday. The Wednesday night meeting was markedly calmer than a Tuesday night development meeting where Ald. Walter Burnett Jr. (27th) rejected plans for the H2O site.
Of the 314 planned apartments, owners plan to build 77 studios units, 59 convertible units, 123 one-bedroom units, 39 two-bedroom units and 16 family-sized units at the site. The average studio unit would be about 500 square feet and the average family-sized unit, which includes two bedroom units plus a den and three bedroom units, would start at 1,160 square feet, according to plans.
Renderings show an outdoor pool, bocce ball court and dog run would also be developed on site. Bridgford may incorporate an existing Bridgford mural into the new development, too.
Plans call for a five-story boutique office building to be developed at the Lake and Green site. [Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture]
Richard Bridgford, great-grandson of Bridgford's founder Hugh H. Bridgford, said the West Loop has transformed in the last 40 years. The company acquired an existing meat processing facility at Lake and Green streets in 1975.
"We're deeply rooted here. We've seen the changes in the community," Bridgford said. Redeveloping the property and maintaining ownership of the site "is our way to stay in the neighborhood and be part of progress," he said.
If the redevelopment plan is successful, Bridgford plans to move the current Fulton Market facility to a new site. The company is in talks with the city about about the move now.
"We've been working very closely with the city identifying different sites located in the city where we can lay it out and work in a more efficient operational manner," Bridgford said. "We have a lot of people who we employ and we feel an obligation to those employees and do right by them."
The family-owned business employees 151 employees full time and an additional 100 employees during the busy season.
Despite outlining plans for the site, Bridgford has not yet chosen a developer for the project. The company is currently interviewing "quality" Chicago-based developers, a Bridgford representative said.
Dave Mooney, chairman of the West Loop Community Organization's development committee, said who Bridgford picks as the developer is important.
"I think that's a fairly material unknown at the moment... Some past issues with some less reputable developers have caused some concerns," Mooney said.
Bridgford's plan calls for 35,000 square feet of retail space at the site. [Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture]
Nearby, Tucker Development is also pitching plans to build an 18-story residential tower on a parking lot at Peoria and Lake Streets, according to a zoning application. Tucker Development plans to present plans to the community in September.
Pastorelli Food Products, a company headquartered in the West Loop home since the 1930s, also plans to sell their facility at the southwest corner of Lake and Peoria streets.
Founded in February 1932 in San Diego, Calif., Bridgford began as a retail meat market and evolved into the meat processing, wholesaling and frozen food manufacturing businesses. Today, the company manufactures beef jerky, salami, summer sausage and pepperoni at the West Loop site.
A rendering shows what the two proposed buildings would look like in context of other planned developments in the neighborhood. [Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture]
Bridgford Foods is located at Lake and Green streets in Fulton Market. [DNAinfo/Stephanie Lulay]
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