A new plan being floated for Pilsen could be the salvation for a very uneven block. The north side of 16th street, between Clinton and the Dan Ryan, is lined with new construction condos and townhomes. The south side, however, is partly vacant with a dash of abandoned industrial. Dimitrios Kourkouvis, president of Athens Construction, intends to do something about that, reports Crain's (online subscription required). Kourkouvis' firm, which specializes in big custom homes largely in the North Shore, owns a desolate structure at Jefferson & 16th and wants to endow it with 25 new rental apartments. He's expecting to sink as much as $3.5M into the conversion, which will include 6,000 square feet of ground-floor retail. Now don't go getting too excited, you foodies and fashionistas. A gym or day care facility are the likeliest suitors.
Kourkouvis paid $500K for the five-story brick structure last year, and is adamant that it was a good investment, telling Crain's: "It's been in the middle of a growing area, an upcoming area, and nobody wanted or has done anything with it." That's being, perhaps, a little generous. The area is close to a thriving stretch of Halsted and 18th street beyond, but it's on the wrong side of the highway. A lot more commerce is needed to secure its vibrancy.
·Residential conversion planned for Pilsen [Crain's]