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Plan to bring 700 apartments to single Uptown block moves forward

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Cedar Street’s adaptive reuse of 5050 N. Broadway will begin construction this month

A rendering of 5050 N. Broadway.
Booth Hansen

A long-discussed, block-long redevelopment in Uptown is ready to move forward, starting with the gut rehab and conversion of the former Combined Insurance Company office building into hundreds of rental apartments.

With density rivaling that of the under construction Eight Eleven Uptown high-rise, 5050 N. Broadway will be one Uptown’s largest new developments. Designed by Chicago architecture firm Booth Hansen and developed by Cedar Street Companies, the project has taken a little time to get going since it was approved by the Chicago Plan Commission and City Council in 2016.

“Projects of this scope require considerable logistics,” 48th Ward Alderman Osterman told Curbed Chicago on Tuesday. “The timeline is not out of the ordinary considering that the developer needed to take care of things like tenants, financing, and permits. We expect Cedar Street to do a good job and with 15 percent affordable housing—exceeding the city’s mandated 10 percent—we think it will be great addition to the Uptown neighborhood.”

The first piece of the soon-to-start development involves adapting the connected 12- and six-story office buildings into new retail space topped by 342 residential units. The build-out will see the old office tower in a new glass facade and is expected to take roughly a year to 18 months to complete, said Osterman.

The second phase of Cedar Street’s plan calls for the construction of two new seven-story buildings across the street at 5083 and 5063 N. Broadway. In total, the combined multi-building development will deliver 710 apartments units and 45,000 square feet of commercial space. It will utilize the existing 600-car parking garage at nearby 5051 N. Broadway.

News of the imminent construction was first shared by Uptown Update on Friday. According to that report, site abatement within the old Combined Insurance tower will begin sometime this week. It will be followed by a three-month interior demolition period. So far, the project has yet to receive a building permit from the city.

Cedar Street acquired the Broadway property in 2015 for $16 million. The Chicago-based firm is well known for its adaptive reuse project, recently turning River North’s landmarked Bush Temple of Music into 101 rental units. Cedar’s upcoming Uptown portfolio also includes the apartment conversion of the historic Agudas Achim Synagogue as well as a 110-unit new construction slated for 1050 W. Wilson.

The 12-story and six-story buildings at 5050 N. Broadway [right] will be joined by two new mid-rise buildings at 5083 and 5063 N. Broadway [left].
Cedar Street Cos.