After months of silence, British developer Bill Davies has come forward with a new plan for Chicago's Old Main Post Office — rental units. The behemoth Art Deco building has been the focus of numerous plans, partnerships and potential sales since it was purchased by Davies in 2009 for $24 million. However, this week, a new plan for 1,500 apartments and a new tower addition have emerged for the Chicago landmark. According to Ellen Phillips, managing broker of Loop Apartments, Davies' International Property Developers North America Inc. is currently looking to gauge interest in the plan for new apartments at the site. If there is enough demand and interest in the proposal, Davies could start building rental units in the old post office building as early as this coming March. IPDNA is also seeking large-scale retail anchors for the major redevelopment, simply titled Olde Chicago Post Office. One suggestion would be a retailer like IKEA, which the post office building could certainly accommodate.
The post office's redevelopment will be built in phases, with the first phase expected to be completed by the end of this year. IPDNA has teamed up with Chicago's Joe Antunovich of Antunovich Associates to lead design duties for the new plan. The majority of the new rental units that would be built for the post office will be quite small compared to the average apartment in Chicago. The new proposal calls for a mix of studios that start at just 280-square-feet to 350-square-foot one bedrooms, and 600-square-foot two bedrooms. Rent prices are expected to fetch in the ballpark of $4 per square foot, according to Phillips. This would translate to roughly $1,100 per month for a micro-studio unit.
Like previous proposals, this plan is not set in stone. According to Phillips, the team is still doing some behind the scenes exploration and number crunching to determine if the apartment proposal is one that will actually move forward. It's certainly a far cry from the radical $3.5 billion "urban mecca" that Davies had proposed for the post office back in 2011, but also much more lucid and one that may be more likely to attract the interest of investors.
Developer to Part Ways with Old Post Office, Puts It Up For Sale [Curbed Chicago]
·There's Been Yet Another Setback for the Old Main Post Office [Curbed Chicago]
·Developer Planning $3.5-Billion "Urban Mecca" at Post Office [Curbed Chicago]