OLD TOWN — A former single-room-occupancy hotel in Old Town is being converted to a mixed-income apartment building as part of a $27 million rehab that will preserve the nearly 90-year-old building's facade and lobby.
The long-planned renovation is now underway at the Carling Hotel, 1512 N. LaSalle St. Work began last week.
The conversion was announced last summer by Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office. Following through on the mayor's 2014 SRO Ordinance, the city bought it for $10 million and transferred it to the national Michaels Development Co. for $3.8 million.
In the process, with other financing in place, including a private mortgage, the building will be converted from a 155-unit hotel to an 80-unit apartment building, all of which will offer some sort of deal on affordability.
According to the Chicago Housing Authority, 39 units will be set aside for CHA residents, including eight referred through a state housing agency. The Mayor's Press Office said 36 others will be for residents earning 60 percent of the area's median income and the other five for those earning 80 percent of the median income.
The locally based Landon Bone Baker Architects is handling the project and promises that the 1927 building's facade and lobby will be restored, while the single rooms will be reconfigured to add bathrooms and kitchenettes. Some 20 percent of the units will also be accessible to the disabled.
"It's kind of tricky," acknowledged architect Pete Landon, in that it involves the installation of new plumbing, but with 155 units being converted to 80 it basically involves turning adjoining rooms into the baths and kitchenettes.
Landon estimated the project would be completed in about 16 months.
Landon Bone Baker previously handled the Terrace 459 project in Cabrini-Green, at 459 W. Division St., which recently won an architectural award for affordable housing, as well as many other such projects in the city.
"Almost all of our work is affordable housing," Landon said. "We believe in doing these SROs and leaving them" affordable.
For more neighborhood news, listen to DNAinfo Radio here.