PALMER SQUARE — A building that for a century served Palmer Square neighbors, either through religious services or after-school programming, has been transformed into more than a dozen high-end apartments.
And the apartments, most of which are renting for $2,650-$2,795, are going fast.
Despite the challenges facing Chicago’s real estate market amid the pandemic, it’s only taken the development team about four months to rent all but one of the apartments at The Grand Palmer Lodge, 3228 W. Palmer St.
Now the developers are selling the building for $6 million.
“When you have a new unique property, it tends to get a lot of interest,” said Jordan Gottlieb, principal of Essex Realty, the brokerage firm selling the building. “There’s not many of these around.”
The apartments hit the market this spring after a 10-month renovation.
Built in the 1920s, the main building was originally home to Temple-Beth El’s community space. The Boys & Girls Club took over the building in 1955 and went on to offer after-school programming and services for local kids and their families at the location for 60 years.
In 2018, the Logan Square Boys & Girls Club announced it would be leaving the building, putting the future of the historic building in doubt. Preservationists worried the structure would be torn down.
But New Era Chicago and development partners, Campbell Coyle Real Estate and Ranquist Development Group, stepped in and pitched an adaptive reuse project, assuaging fears.
The developers took over the old building last year.
As part of the renovation, the developers removed the 1950s annex on the site and built a parking lot in its place. They also established a pocket park and a community garden next to the building.
The park will be open to the public after the developers transfer ownership to a local nonprofit, according to New Era’s founders.
The development team didn’t find any old artifacts during the renovation, but they did uncover the words “Temple Beth-El” etched at the top of the limestone building and brought in a professional to spruce it up.
The 14 apartments, a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units, blend the old and the new with original exposed brick, large picture windows and tall ceilings, as well as modern finishes and appliances.
Mike Hagenson, co-founder of New Era, said the project is the perfect example of developers collaborating with neighbors to reach a better outcome.
The neighborhood group Logan Square Preservation pushed the developers to establish a pocket park during last year’s community review process. The project did not require a zoning change, but the developers and Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd) held community meetings anyway.
Andrew Schneider, president of Logan Square Preservation, said he agreed the spirit of collaboration was strong.
“We really partnered with the community to develop this thing,” Hagenson said. “We’re lucky that everyone’s aligned and we were able to preserve this building in a way that keeps it active and avoided a teardown that someone else might’ve done.”
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