Chicago developers win Good Neighbor Awards

May 21, 2010

Seven organizations and individuals honored for strengthening neighborhoods and commercial corridors

Molly Sullivan    312.744.2076

Seven local owners and developers who worked in partnership with the Department of Community Development received Good Neighbor Awards from the Chicago Association of Realtors on May 20.

The organization presented its annual edition of the awards at the Crystal Gardens at Navy Pier, honoring the efforts of developers whose recently constructed or rehabbed buildings have positively impacted the community.

The winners represent a diverse group of new construction and renovated mixed-use, commercial and residential/multi-unit properties that blend in with their neighborhoods and include environmentally friendly features.

“We congratulate the winners, and we are proud of their efforts at creating sustainable buildings that add to the character and diversity of our neighborhoods,” Acting Chicago Department of Development Commissioner Christine Raguso said.  “Unique and vibrant housing and retail spaces help further redevelopment efforts in neighborhoods throughout the City.”

Awards for Commercial Renovation went to Zina and Nick Murray for the Logan Square Kitchen at 2333 N. Milwaukee Ave. and Christen Carter for the Busy Beaver Button Co. at 3279 W. Armitage Ave.

The Logan Square Kitchen offers a shared commercial kitchen and provides space for “green” events.  The owners purchased the foreclosed three-story building and with the help of Small Business Improvement Funds (SBIF) created a Gold LEED certified building with a restored façade that incorporates various reused objects in its design.

The owner of the Busy Beaver Button Co. used SBIF funds provided by the City to renovate the formerly vacant building into office space for the company that makes custom button pins.  Renovations included repairs to the façade and the addition of a geothermal heating and cooling system. 

CAR also presented a Mixed-Used Renovation award to David Dubin for the Florsheim Lofts, the rehabilitation of the vacant Florsheim Shoe Factory into a combination of 175 affordable and market-rate condominiums with ground floor commercial space.  The development offers 35 affordable condominiums through the City’s Chicago Partnership for Affordable Neighborhoods (CPAN) program and retains its historic windows and incorporates a green roof.

In the Residential Multi-Unit Construction category, Peter Holsten Real Estate Development Corp. and Bickerdike Redevelopment Corp. won for their work at spurring neighborhood revitalization efforts.

Parkside of Old Town, developed by Holsten is located at 545 W. Division Ave. offers 111 units of mixed-income housing in an eight-story mid-rise building and is part of the CHA’s Plan for Transformation.  The building incorporates green features such as permeable pavements, high efficiency heating and hot water systems.  The City provided loans and tax credits for the $36 million development. 

The building at 649 N. Sawyer Ave. is one of eight buildings that make up the Rosa Parks Apartments development. It is Bickerdike’s first comprehensive green building and includes a geothermal HVAC system, solar water heaters, water conservation devices and energy-efficient appliances.  The City provided the land, loans and TIF assistance for the project.

Alliance Property Group received an award in the Residential/Multi-Unit New Construction category for the building at 2306-2340 E. 71st St.  The developers turned a former City-owned vacant lot into the Shoreline Condominiums with a unique design that includes a multi-colored exterior.

John Brauc was honored in the Residential Multi-Unit Renovation category for his building at 2909-19 E. 78th St.  Through the City’s Troubled Buildings Initiative, the foreclosed building in disrepair was turned into 31 units of quality affordable housing.  The Community Investment Corporation worked with the Department of Community Development and other agencies to restore the apartment building through the initiative.  Features include a new roof and electrical and energy-efficient upgrades.

The Good Neighbor Awards recognize the efforts of developers whose recently constructed or rehabbed buildings have positively impacted the community by offering unique amenities and setting new standards of excellence.  Developments throughout the entire Chicago metropolitan area were nominated.

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