Historic Chicago Real Estate to Become Apartments

March 07, 2011

A plan has been unveiled to massively redevelop a West Loop office building into a multi-family development, a project that will preserve a Chicago landmark while creating affordable housing and union jobs.

The historic skyscraper, a landmark in Chicago for more than 80 years, will become Randolph Tower City Apartments and will offer 310 loft-style rental units; 62 of which will be for low-income families.

The 45-story tower will also have more than 20,000 square feet of retail, restaurant and office space. Extensive work on the exterior of the building will preserve the historic terra cotta facade and other elements on the Gothic Revival-style skyscraper.

Historic office building

The building that will soon become downtown housing was built in 1929.

The Chicago real estate project will create about 690 construction jobs; all work will be performed by union workers.

“This investment means a lot to the members of Chicago’s building trades unions,” said Tom Villanova, President of the Chicago & Cook County Building & Construction Trades Council. “The Randolph Tower project will put our members back to work at a time when unemployment is at record levels for Chicago’s construction industry.”

The AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust (HIT) is investing $20 million of taxable bonds into the $148.2-million conversion project.

This is the latest project to be financed under the HIT Chicago Community Investment Plan. Launched in 2005, the initiative was created to help meet the growing need for affordable housing in the city.

To date, the HIT has committed more than $117 million for the construction or rehabilitation of 2,337 housing units in the Chicago area; 93 percent of those are affordable to low- and moderate-income residents. These projects have also created approximately 2,480 union construction jobs.

“The HIT is pleased to participate in the financing of this project that will benefit the City of Chicago and its residents,” said Stephanie Wiggins, HIT’s Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer. “We are helping preserve an architectural landmark, and bringing new mixed-income housing and jobs to the community.”

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