City Assistance Will Preserve, Rehabilitate Mark Twain Hotel

October 31, 2018


One of the Near North Side’s last remaining residential hotels will be preserved and rehabilitated as an affordable, single room occupancy (SRO) building through financial assistance approved today by City Council.

The Mark Twain Hotel at 111 W. Division St. will be assisted by the City of Chicago with a $30 million bond issue, a $5 million multi-family loan and $1.3 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credits that will generate $12.3 million in equity for a 148-unit rehabilitation project.

Work on the $52.8 million project started in late 2016, following the building’s acquisition by NHP Foundation through Mayor Emanuel’s SRO Preservation Initiative. Enhancements will include the addition of private kitchenettes; rehabilitated private bathrooms; all new plumbing, mechanical, and electrical systems; new elevators; a roof deck; and restoration of the vintage facade and lobby.

Rental assistance will be provided by the Chicago Housing Authority for 141 units. The remaining seven units will be made affordable to residents at up to 80 percent of area median income (AMI).

Designed in the Art Deco style with beige brick and white terra cotta accents by architect Harry Glube, the five-story building opened as a rooming hotel in 1930, reportedly charging $7 a week. As an important housing resource for area workers, and having survived extensive urban renewal and street widening projects that cleared many nearby blocks in the 1960s, the building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in May 2017.

Additional project funding will include a $908,000 private loan, a $148,000 ComEd energy grant and $4.8 million in historic tax credits.

Mayor Emanuel’s SRO Preservation Initiative has saved 10 other SRO buildings consisting of more than 1,500 total units since 2015.


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