WOODLAWN — A plan to revamp the Washington Park National Bank building into high-end offices received City Council approval Thursday.
The Woodlawn-based project at 6300 S. Cottage Grove Ave. received a $5 million community development grant in February. The work is being spearheaded by Revive 6300, a collaboration between two Black-owned firms, DL3 Realty and Greenlining Realty USA.
DL3 is the developer behind other multimillion-dollar projects nearby, including the Friend Health center across the street from the former bank building, the Park Station mixed-income development a block east and the Jewel-Osco due north.
Plans call for over 60,000 square feet of office space, a rooftop deck with skyline views, public art installations, ground-floor dining and other retail options. The project is estimated to cost $40 million and will usher in the first new Class A office space to communities south of the University of Chicago in decades, DL3 Realty managing partner Leon Walker previously told Block Club.
The limestone façade on the 99-year-old building will be preserved and renovated, but the rest of the structure will be demolished and rebuilt due to roof, flooding and masonry damage and other issues. The developers previously planned to demolish the entire building.
The rehab project has support from Ald. Jeanette Taylor (20th).
The century-old bank building was bought by the Cook County Land Bank in 2017 after accumulating about $3.7 million in unpaid taxes as it sat dormant for 25 years. While the land bank approved DL3’s proposal to redevelop the property in 2019, myriad issues have plagued the transaction as both parties have been grappling with problems like flooding, confusion over Opportunity Zone regulations and the pandemic.
No construction timeframe has been set, but the developers aim to finish in 2025, Walker said.
While it’s unclear what type of tenants the developers hope to lure, the team told Block Club they have secured “early commitments” to sign leases. DL3 officials said in 2020 they were in negotiations with the YWCA and UChicago.
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