The transformation of the Three Arts Club Building (1300 North Dearborn Street) into a Restoration Hardware continues. Gold Coast Spy Eric sent in this picture showing progress on the 102-year-old building that is both a city and national historic landmark.
We’ve received inquiries about this project from neighbors, and from people as far away as New York, who are all scratching their head about why Restoration Hardware would open an RH Gallery store in an area that is, with the exception of boutique hotels, almost entirely residential. Some bean counter somewhere crunched the numbers and everything came up Millhouse.
The Three Arts Building was empty for years, and repeated redevelopment proposals were nixed by the neighbors because of concerns over parking and noise. Even the last idea — a columbarium — was run out of town, even though you can’t get any quieter and low parking requirements than dead people.
The idea that finally got approved was for an upscale furniture store with a restaurant. It’s like Ikea for people who think Allen Wrench is the name of their labri-doodle’s pilates coach.
Those people who opposed (and still very vocally oppose) the RH Gallery will find little consolation in the fact that the city is giving the developer millions in tax breaks to make sure the project is a success:
The $25.3 million rehabilitation of the historic Three Arts Club at 1300 N. Dearborn Parkway on the Near North Side into a home goods store will move forward through a property tax incentive approved today by City Council.
The Class L incentive will support the 58,000-square-foot building’s conversion by 1300 Dearborn Property LLC into a Restoration Hardware showroom featuring gallery space for art and furniture.
Interior improvements will include restoration of soffits, flooring, and decorative finishes, and new mechanical, electrical and fire protection systems. Exterior work will inlcude the restoration of windows and terra cotta, a new rooftop terrace and green roof, a new glass and steel skylight over the courtyard, and the addition of a courtyard cafe.
Designed by architects Holabird & Roche and completed in 1914, the four-story building was originally used as a residence for young women studying the arts. It was designated a Chicago landmark in 1981.
The Class L incentive is a special property tax assessment classification to encourage the preservation and rehabilitation of landmark buildings. The incentive will reduce property taxes on the building by $3.7 million over the next 12 years.