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Tax Break Will Help Fulton Market Developer Rehab Buildings, Alderman Says

By Stephanie Lulay | November 1, 2016 5:32pm
 Tucker Development plans to rehab 11 landmark buildings in Fulton Market into retail and office space.
Tucker Development plans to rehab 11 landmark buildings in Fulton Market into retail and office space.
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Tucker Development

FULTON MARKET — A proposed property tax break that would help a developer rehab 11 Fulton Market buildings was introduced in the City Council Tuesday. 

The incentive would support the $21.6 million rehab of 11 buildings in the landmark Fulton-Randolph Market District. Tucker Development would use the tax incentive to help reconfigure buildings at 912-24 W. Randolph St., 151-85 N. Sangamon St., and the entire 900 block of West Lake Street into retail and office space, according to Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office.

The rehab work would include the restoration of historic windows, new storefronts and masonry repairs. Interiors would be renovated to accommodate new lobbies, sprinkles and mechanical systems, according to the mayor's office. 

Under the rehab project, Tucker Development also plans to build a new 18-story residential tower on a parking lot at Peoria and Lake Streets, according to a zoning application. The residential tower has not been approved to date, and Ald. Walter Burnett Jr. (27th) said Tuesday he is pushing Tucker leaders to develop 10 percent of affordable housing on the site. 

Burnett called the 11-building rehab "a win-win." 

"It will create jobs on the Near West Side of Chicago while preserving the area’s architectural history,” Burnett said. “I look forward to seeing this building restored as a modern place for hundreds of people to work.”

Under the project, an estimated 400 permanent and 100 temporary jobs are expected to be created.

It was not immediately clear how much the tax incentive would be worth.

Originally built between 1907 and 1927 and ranging from two to four stories tall, the brick buildings formerly served as manufacturing facilities, warehouses and commission houses for the wholesale marketing of produce and other goods.

The developer bought the properties, which were partially occupied by Quality Foods, in February 2016 for $32.8 million.

The Fulton-Randolph Market District was approved as an official landmark district in September 2015. Consisting of 87 contributing buildings, the district encompasses Chicago’s oldest and last remaining public market occupied by wholesale produce vendors and meatpacking outlets.

The incentive would lower the tax rate on designated landmarks or a contributing building in a landmark district undergoing significant rehabilitation. Owners can have their property tax assessment levels reduced for 12 years if they invest at least half of the value of the landmark building in an approved rehab project.

The incentive is a Cook County program, but the City of Chicago must support granting it. 

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