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Retail, Office, and 314 Apartments Slated to Replace Bridgford Foods’ Fulton Facility

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The planned two-building development would also include 35,000 square feet of new retail

Just one night after holding a public meeting regarding the proposed redevelopment of the former H2O+ headquarters, Alderman Walter Burnett, Jr. and West Loop neighbors returned to the Merit School of Music yesterday to host the unveiling of Bridgford Food’s plan to develop its Fulton Market location into new residential, retail, and office space. A West Loop neighbor since 1975, Bridgford has not only outgrown its current facility, but understandably wishes to be a part of the neighborhood’s unprecedented real estate development boom.

Penned by Chicago’s Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture (HPA), the proposal spans two separate sites straddling Green Street. The first, at 170 N. Green, is envisioned as a 13-story, mixed-use development that would consist of ground floor commercial space topped by two levels of parking and 314 rental units. Meanwhile, across the street at 171 N. Green, Bridgford plans a five-story boutique office building with ground floor retail.

While the project qualifies as a Transit-Oriented Development (TOD), the plan calls for 265 parking spaces. The amount of parking was increased from a previously lower level based on recommendations expressed during private meetings with local neighborhood organizations. The development also reconfigured its unit mix to include more "family friendly" dwellings with two or more bedrooms at the bequest of the neighbors. Ten percent of the development’s 314 units will be offered at an affordable rate and will be located on site.

The HPA design takes cues from the look and feel of the area's existing buildings and features a masonry base and large warehouse-style windows with steel mullions. The exterior of the tower portion is framed by a grid divided 1-, 2-, and 3-story bays that provide texture and — at least in theory — should soften building’s perceived height and mass. Bridgford is hoping to save a repurpose its existing mural into the new development. The commercial loading zones surrounding the block will be reconfigured for a net increase of on-street parking even after the addition of a proposed "people space" on Peoria.

Bridgford is currently courting a "Class A" development partner that can bring additional capital resources and expertise to see the project realized. The family hopes to retain a stake in managing the new development. Currently zoned C1-1 and C1-3, the plan is pursuing a residential/business Planned Development (PD) with a total Floor Area Ratio (FAR) of 5.0. It will require the approval of the City of Chicago Plan Commission and the City Council to move forward.