I am writing to provide you an update on the status of the “four-plus-one” apartment building located at 6610-28 N. Sheridan (southwest corner of Sheridan and North Shore). You may have noticed the scaffolding that recently appeared around the building.
The building was purchased four years ago by developers Ayman Khalil and Kareem Musawwir of Inverbrass Funds, LLC, who proposed to rehabilitate the building and preserve 116 units of affordable rental housing. The proposal called for approximately $2 million in assistance from the Sheridan/Devon Tax Increment Financing District. I hosted a community meeting on the proposal in August 2007.
The project fell victim to the collapse of the real estate market and the owners eventually lost the building to foreclosure. The building has remained vacant for the last several years.
Last summer, Loyola University purchased the property out of foreclosure from PNC Bank. The University plans to invest $11 million dollars in interior and exterior renovation in order to house 300 upperclass undergraduate and graduate students in renovated apartments. Work has already commenced on the project. No TIF money is being used to finance this project and no zoning relief is required.
In order to enhance neighborhood safety and provide for a more peaceful student presence, Loyola will create a Campus Safety outpost office on the first floor of the building, similar to the outpost the University opened on Granville Avenue in 2005. The office will be lit 24 hours a day and will be staffed by a Campus Safety officer as often as resources permit.
Additionally, the University plans to make several changes to the facade of the building to improve its appearance. The ground floor windows will be enlarged to commercial size and the brick exterior will be stained (lighter and darker) to break-up the monolithic appearance of the building. The building is built to the lot line, leaving little room for landscaping, but Loyola will upgrade and maintain limited greenery along the sidewalk.
Parking in the building will be accessed through the rear and the Sheridan Road access will remain gated and closed.
Loyola will name the building “Bellarmine Hall” after a Jesuit saint and peaceful Jesuit retreat center in the northwest suburbs.
For a rendering of the new facade, click on the attachment below:
The long-awaited rehabilitation of this vacant building and additional security will be a welcome addition to the neighborhood.