UPTOWN — One of the most prominent and historic buildings in Uptown is getting a second life as an upscale apartment tower.
The Bridgeview Bank building at 4753 N. Broadway will be redeveloped into 176 apartments by Cedar Street, a prolific development firm that has built hundreds of apartments in Uptown in recent years.
The city’s Permit Review Committee in early November approved Cedar Street’s plans for the landmark bank building, which include adding a rooftop amenity deck and converting the bank’s lobby into a coworking space.
After receiving approval from the committee, Cedar Street is likely to start on the redevelopment project as soon as building permits are issued, said Tressa Feher, chief of staff to Ald. James Cappleman (46th).
Cedar Street has applied for a permit to begin the redevelopment, but it has not yet been issued, city records show. A representative for Cedar Street did not return requests for comment Monday.
The redevelopment project will breathe new life into a building that has followed the transformation of Uptown over the years.
The Bridgeview Bank building was constructed in 1925, and four additional floors were added in 1928.
It has twice been made a city landmark: when multiple bank buildings were landmarked in 2007 and as part of the Uptown Square District in 2016.
As Bridgeview Bank has shrunk its footprint, the building took on nonprofit groups as office tenants.
It is not clear if any of the nonprofit tenants will remain in the building. Ground-floor retail tenants, including Starbucks and the bank, are expected to remain, city officials said at the review committee meeting.
Upper floors of the building will be converted into 176 apartments. The grand bank lobby and a mezzanine banking floor — used for a scene in the John Dillinger biopic “Public Enemies” — will be transformed into coworking space, said Mark Heffron, Cedar Street managing partner.
Some historical aspects of the lobby will be removed, including a large marble reception desk in the middle of the floor and the caging behind some of the teller’s stations. Glass partitions will be added to the coworking space and near some interior stairwells.
Art deco-style check-writing tables will be moved from the lobby, though they will be relocated and put into use elsewhere in the building.
Some members of the Permit Review Committee, which oversees permits for landmark buildings, said they had reservations about the changes planned for the lobby.
Heffron said the grand nature of the lobby area, plus the inability to change many of its historic features, made coworking space one of the only workable options.
“We contemplated a lot of different uses for the main banking hall,” Heffron said. “We landed on coworking and feel very strongly that might be the only use to preserve this space.”
An amenity deck will be added to the rooftop, though it will be recessed from the building’s edges so as to avoid detection from the street level of the historic district, city officials said.
The building did not need a zoning change to accommodate the new residential use, so it did not go through the regular community approval process that generally informs neighbors of development projects.
Cedar Street’s website says the redevelopment will be completed next year. The firm is seeking historic tax credits for the project, so it will need the approval of the National Parks Service, city officials said.
Cappleman said the building’s reuse will preserve an Uptown gem.
“It’s a beautiful building,” Cappleman said at the Permit Review Committee meeting. “I’m glad we’re doing everything we can to make sure it maintains itself for the next 100 years.”
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