MCKINLEY PARK — Officials are asking for public input on proposals to revitalize city-owned lots in McKinley Park’s manufacturing district.
The Department of Planning and Development put out a request for proposals in July, asking developers to pitch ideas on how to redevelopment a massive warehouse at 1769 W. Pershing Road, with the option to also take on the neighboring site at 1717 W. Pershing Road.
Five proposals were received in October. An evaluation committee, made up of city officials and local neighbors, whittled it down to three, said Nolan Zaroff, a lead planner with the Department of Planning and Development.
During a community meeting Tuesday night, residents heard details on the three proposals that are being considered.
A recording of the meeting will be uploaded to the Department of Planning and Development’s website in the coming days.
Survey responses will be brought to a final evaluation committee meeting at the end of the month, and the final selection is expected for early April, Zaroff said.
Developer IBT Group proposed building 120 apartments — 24 affordable and 96 market-rate — along with a three-quarter-acre park in the center of the building to separate the housing from 200,000 square-feet of flex lab and office space, said President Gary Pachucki. Pachucki said the apartment sizes would include family-sized units.
The building would have an expansive rooftop with green space, gazebos and a running trail that the public would have access to, Pachucki said. He also said the developers would build 50,000 square feet of retail that could include a grocery store on the site at 1717 W. Pershing Road.
The project is estimated to cost about $140 million, with a mix of private and public funding, Pachucki said.
Other than the cutout in the center of the building for green space and to bring in additional light, the building’s historical facade would remain intact, the developers said.
“One of our primary goals was preserving history and preserving the building, so we took the approach we would preserve the building 360 degrees all the way around,” said Architectural Design Director Patrick Carata with Epstein Global.
Quartermaster Outpost Studios
The development team behind Quartermaster Outpost Studios would allocate most of the lots to movie production space, including studios, sound recording rooms, set construction and wardrobe, the developers said.
Ted Reilly, founder and executive director of Chicago Media Angels, is one of the development team members. He said the Outpost proposal would create hundreds of jobs in the growing media market in Chicago.
“As the industry continues to grow in Chicago, the need for specific infrastructure designed, tailored, needed to our industry is massive,” Reilly said. “Beyond just large shooting stages, also the workspace for creators to develop content, all of the ancillary services that support those film productions and then on to distribution.”
The proposal also includes 40 mixed-rate apartments and a food hall on the bottom floor at 1769 W. Pershing Road, the team said. The facade would be preserved.
The project would cost an estimated $110 million, with a mix of private and public funding.
Pershing Sound Studios
LG Development group similarly pitched building spaces dedicated to movie production, but their project would focus on developing sound stages.
“Our thought process here is that we’re going to be bringing a lot of permanent jobs to the area, we’re going to be able to generate a lot of vibrancy to this specific location,” said Daniel Haughney, of LG Development.
The 1717 W. Pershing Road site would have four sound stages, while the 1769 W. Pershing Road lot would have two, as well as 120,000 square feet of back-of-house studio space — including production offices, lighting storage and wardrobe — and 13,500 square feet of retail to fit what the community wants, Haughney said.
The sound stages would be insulated so as to not disrupt the community, said Nicholas Pryor, with SCB architecture and design firm.
“These are very tech-infused, flexible spaces that accommodate everything we see on TV — all of the action and all the dance numbers,” Pryor said.
This project would only preserve the north- and east-facing parts of the 1769 W. Pershing Road building and demolish the rest to construct two sound stages, the team said.
The development group said this proposal would fill a void in the growing Chicago media industry and society’s “appetite for content creation” by providing more sound stages. It would also provide internship and apprenticeship opportunities as a channel into well-paying jobs, they said.
It’s unclear what the estimated cost of this project would be.
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