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Work to begin on new Perkins+Will Northtown Branch library and apartments

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The development at Western Avenue and Pratt Boulevard is ready to move forward

Perkins + Will

Work is ready to begin on the new West Ridge project that “co-locates” affordable housing atop a new Chicago Public Library. Known as the Northtown Branch, the upcoming mixed-use structure at 6800 N. Western Avenue was awarded its first building permit.

The all-clear to begin construction comes on the heels of a similar permit being granted to an affordable housing and library development in Chicago’s Irving Park neighborhood. Both projects represent a collaboration between Chicago Public Libraries, the Chicago Housing Authority, and private developer Evergreen Real Estate Group.

The four-story project was designed by Chicago-based global architecture firm Perkins+Will, which has designed more than a dozen library projects. The West Ridge project will feature a glassy, 16,000-square-foot ground-floor library space topped by 44 senior housing units.


The development was unanimously approved by the Chicago Plan Commission in July, and also includes a 44-space surface parking lot. Located at the northwest corner of Western Avenue and Pratt Boulevard, the West Ridge site is currently a vacant parcel.

The Northtown Branch and Irving Park’s Independence Branch were among three architecturally significant combination affordable housing and library projects announced by the City of Chicago in March of 2017. The third project—known as the Roosevelt Square Branch—is in the works for Chicago’s Little Italy neighborhood. It comes from architect Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and developer Related Midwest.