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JK Equities Making Great Progress On 59-Unit Loft Conversion

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It's been well over a year since Crain's first reported on JK Equities acquisition of and plans for the old Vesta Accumulator factory at 2100 S Indiana. The four-story timber loft structure was recently named to the National Register of Historic Places. Working in accordance with historic preservation interests, Jordan Karlik and his JK Equities are rebranding the neglected space as loft apartments. A historic sensitivity is being applied in many ways, as Karlik illustrated to Curbed as he walked us around yesterday. Window dimensions and appearance must be just so; support beams should match the originals even though some are replacements; opportunities for exposing brick must be taken; the rooftop water tower must be preserved; and balcony counts are limited to where they're less visually damaging. Though some of these tasks throw hurdles at the overall redevelopment, they're all in keeping with an attractive end product.

That product will be 59 loft rentals, a half-floor of retail, and surface parking for 62 vehicles. The retail will face Indiana. Karlik is hoping for the long term advantage of having a huge new hotel locate a block to the south, at Cermak. He also favors DePaul's South Loop arena dreams, whose rumored site is directly opposite the building running two blocks east to Calumet. In a land of spotty retail, these could be clutch.

The building will be predominately one-beds, with about a dozen two-beds and few three-beds. Fourth floor units will have the highest ceilings — 18' in some spots — and the quickest access to an all-new roof deck (see pics). The rent schedule hasn't been set in stone just yet, but Karlik says they'll begin at around $1,000 and climb into the $2,000s. That's considerably cheaper than the neighboring Lex, where you'd be hard pressed to find a one-bed under $1,500. It might not seem so from the photos, but the $12.4M project is barreling toward a mid- to late-summer finish. The 163-unit condo scheme may be a distant memory, but at least we're getting a deft revitalization of a signature building.
·New Buzz for a Modest South Loop Warehouse Conversion [Curbed Chicago]
·JK Equities [Official]