UPTOWN — Uptown’s City Sports building is being torn down, making room for the neighborhood’s latest major apartment development.
Crews this week began demolishing the one-story retail building at the corner of Broadway and Wilson Avenue, marking the start of construction on an apartment complex that has been in the works since at least 2016.
Demolition has started with the rear of the building, while the Broadway-facing facade of the building remained standing as of Tuesday morning.
The nine-story apartment building will have 200 units and 12,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor, according to developers The John Buck Company and Free Market Ventures. It will also have amenity space, including an outdoor rooftop deck.
The project received final approval in November, when the city’s Landmark Commission approved the project. The City Council approved demolition of the City Sports building in December.
With demolition underway, construction of the new building is expected to begin in June. The goal is to have the apartments move-in ready by August 2022, Ald. James Cappleman (46th) said after the project received final approval.
“This development will serve as an anchor for the Broadway/Wilson corridor,” Cappleman said in a statement.
This project is not the first attempt to redevelop the prominent Broadway and Wilson Avenue intersection.
In 2016, Praedium Development proposed replacing the one-story building with an 11-story structure containing ground-floor retail space and 197 apartments. The plan received approval after it was pared down to nine stories, and the city approved a rezoning of 4601 N. Broadway in 2017.
The project drew controversy, with Uptown housing advocates saying the move displaced low-income residents. Praedium also came under fire for previous projects that were not completed and lawsuits the company faced. Eventually, the development firm abandoned its Uptown plans.
Early last year, John Buck Company and Free Market Ventures bought 4601 N. Broadway, taking out a $4 million mortgage to finance the deal, Cook County property records show.
The developers only sought minor changes to the previously approved development plan, according to Cappleman’s office. City Sports and the building’s other retail tenants left the building earlier this year.
The City Sports building has stood at the Uptown corner since the 1970s.
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