All across the city it seems like projects that were mothballed in 2008 and 2009 are coming back from the dead. Whether it’s a sign of economic recovery, or simply the fact that city development permission expires after six years is academic. The point is that Chicago’s zombie projects are thrusting their tattered, bony arms through the topsoil and reaching for sunlight once again.
The latest is in the River North neighborhood, at 678 North Kingsbury Street. Back in 2009 it was being marketed as the Park Kingsbury Luxury Lofts, with homes on offer up to $1.5 million. If you check out the Google Street View, you can still see the pretty blue sashes wrapped around this former warehouse’s columns, the tree-themed logo, and the promise of “2-4 bedroom luxurious timber lofts.”
The building is now under new ownership, so it may not keep its previous name.
Earlier this year there was an internet rumor that the warehouse would be torn down and replaced with an 11-story apartment building. You didn’t see it here because we don’t publish random internet rumors from dubious sources copied from other web sites as if they’re fact. That’s not journalism; that just wasting your time in order to generate page clicks.
The owners of the property have filed paperwork with the city to add two more stories on top of the five-story building, and convert it into 39 residences. They also want to build a four-story and a six-story addition onto the building using the empty, oddly-shaped lot just to the south of the warehouse. Doing this will eliminate the little alley immediately to the south of the building, but based on the paperwork we’ve seen, that doesn’t appear to be city property anyway. It appears it is just a building setback that has over the years been used as a de facto alley.
Sadly, there is no ground floor retail planned for this project. Instead, the ground floor will be part of an unusual (for Chicago) parking garage. Cars will park normally on the ground floor, but cars parking in the basement will be lowered down on an automated lift system.