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Adaptive reuse plan announced for two old warehouses in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood

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The redevelopment will include space dedicated for office, retail, and light manufacturing uses

The project includes a new community plaza with murals created in conjunction with the nearby National Museum of Mexican Art and other local artists.
Images courtesy of JGMA
The development’s plaza will essentially “step up” from the Paseo trail along Sangamon Street.

A developer has tapped Chicago-based architect JGMA to rehab a pair of old lumber distribution warehouses in the Pilsen neighborhood into new loft space. Dubbed ‘Mural Park,’ the adaptive reuse project comes from Condor Partners who had purchased the twin properties at 1901 and 1911 S. Sangamon Street last year.

In addition to creating 200,0000 square feet of new office space, Mural Park would create a new public plaza featuring gardens, work by local artists, and a direct connection to the upcoming rail-to-trail project known as The Paseo. The 4-mile bicycle and pedestrian path will eventually connect the southwest side neighborhood to Chicago’s University Village. Other on-site amenities would include a restaurant, café, bike storage, and a rooftop deck.

Condor hopes to cater to local Pilsen businesses and nonprofits as well as entice tenants priced out of the more expensive West Loop loft office market. The 200,000-square-foot complex could theoretically accommodate a single user or a collection of smaller tenants looking for as little as 5,000 square feet, read a statement from Transwestern, the brokerage firm charged with leasing the buildings.

An interior rendering of Mural Park’s lobby and café space.

While new development in Pilsen has prompted on-going battles over gentrification and neighborhood affordability, the developers of Mural Park seem to be cognizant to these sensitivities. “We are excited to develop a project that respects the cultural and economic diversification of Pilsen while simultaneously creating job opportunities and public spaces that enhance the neighborhood,” said Condor Partners Principal Michael McLean.

According to Crain’s, a previous developer had proposed converting the building at 1901 S. Sangamon into 111 apartments back in 2015 but never pursued the requisite zoning change with the City of Chicago. The Mural Park site is also located just three short blocks south of the massive and highly controversial ParkWorks proposal.