LOGAN SQUARE — The 106-year-old Hollander Storage & Moving building site on Milwaukee Avenue will soon see new life as a mixed-use development.
About a year after hitting the market, the five-story masonry building at 2418 N. Milwaukee Ave., plus the neighboring single-story annex and adjoining parking lot, now belong to GW Properties. The Chicago-based developer officially bought the properties this week, according to broker Jim Cummings of Newmark Knight Frank.
The plan is to restore the Hollander building to its former glory and then convert it into boutique offices with a restaurant on the ground floor, according to Mitch Goltz, principal of GW Properties.
“People want to be able to work in the area they live. If you go up and down Milwaukee Avenue, there’s not a lot of offices,” said Goltz, who is exploring the idea of moving his company’s office into the building.
Also part of the redevelopment plan is the construction of an apartment building with ground-floor retail in place of the existing single-story annex and adjoining parking lot. The annex was most recently home to cowboy apparel shop Dos De Oro. A few months ago, the manager there said the shop was looking to move to a new storefront further west.
Goltz said his team envision roughly 20 “loft-style” apartments in the new building, which will be no taller than the five-story Hollander building. Right now, he said, the new building does not require a zoning change.
“We want to do something that fits within the area,” Goltz said. “I think it’ll be a nice complement to have the new meet the old.”
Built in 1912, the Hollander building could be the oldest structure on the block.
Albert Hollander founded the storage and moving company in Chicago in 1888, when horse-drawn wagons were the only mode of transportation. Over the years, generations of Hollanders have taken the helm. It wasn’t until last year that the family decided to sell the building, which was used to store archives and records.
“There’s always been difficulty with that building. It really isn’t designed well for warehousing and logistics. It was designed for horse-drawn trailers,” David Hollander previously told DNAinfo Chicago.
Last year, when the building hit the market, Hollander told DNAinfo his company is planning to move all the material it houses and the few employees who work there to Hollander headquarters in suburban Elk Grove Village once the building sells. Cummings said the Hollanders have already vacated the property.
Goltz said he and his team are looking forward to preserving the historic building, which he described as “iconic.”
“The building is in great shape and there’s really cool architectural elements inside like marble floors, high ceilings and a safe,” Goltz said.
“It’s an important building in the neighborhood and we’ll do our best to preserve it,” the developer added.
The redevelopment plan is the latest change on a booming stretch of Milwaukee Avenue, which is being transformed by bars and restaurants.
All within the last few years, the stretch has seen the entry of Furious Spoon, a ramen spot that replaced 30-year-old Mexican restaurant El Charro, and three new cocktail bars: Deadbolt, Pink Squirrel and Estereo. A boozy Taco Bell is in the works, as is a cheffy restaurant called Twain.