Last week, demolition permits were issued for the first phase of the large 1,500 unit Atrium Village redevelopment at Division and Wells Streets. Phase 1 will be located at the northeast corner of the super block and will replace four of the low-rise three story buildings with a collective address range of 1140-54 North Wells Street. The structures, arraigned in a cluster around an inward courtyard, were built as part of a urban renewal scheme by four area churches to create a mixed income community. The site planing of the complex was a product of its time, designed with asphalt surface lots for ample parking and the buildings placed within park setting, albeit a private one, fenced off from the public sidewalk. The one retail building fronting the sidewalk on the block has a fortress-like appearance, harkening back to the time when the area was not known for high pedestrian traffic.
For those of you who enjoy the spectacle of watching suburbanized areas of the city fall to wrecking crews, two blocks of Division Street has become a delightful demolition derby.
The redevelopment of the block and returning it to a more urban format will occur in five phases, starting with the northeast corner. The first new tower was designed by Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture and will rise 32 stories with 405 apartments. At the ground floor, 23,000 square feet of new retail will anchor the corner of Wells and Division Streets.
Construction fencing with windscreens has gone up around the northeast quadrant of the block, bearing signs for Onni Group, a Vancouver, BC based developer who purchased Atrium Village and its redevelopment plan in 2014. The developer has been fairly active in the Near North Side and has also recently started construction on a 25-story tower at 750 North Hudson.
Demolition crews have delivered heavy equipment, currently sitting quietly and awaiting use in the internal courtyard of the soon to be leveled building while workers began picking away the interiors by hand. Air conditioners, water heaters and window frames were all being removed late last week, prepping the structures before the large machines start to roll.
Just to the east at Clark and Division Streets, demolition of the former Jewel-Osco store is well underway, with half of the building no longer standing. Parts of the structure were strewn across the large surface parking lot as a crew from N.F. Demolition sorted through the bits and pieces for recycling. Once the suburbanesque store footprint is erased from the urban fabric, construction will begin on the SCB-designed 35-story, 390-unit apartment tower with a reestablished Jewel store at the corner.
— Shawn Ursini
·Massive 1,500-Unit Atrium Village Redevelopment Project Almost Ready to Dig In [Curbed Chicago]
·Atrium Village to Bring Tall Buildings, Green Space to Near North [Curbed Chicago]
·Tower of Jewel Moving Forward, Project Named 'The Sinclair' [Curbed Chicago]