Chicago city council green lights Covent Hotel multifamily renovation

A $21M renovation of a historic building will create 30 affordable studios in Lincoln Park

2653 N Clark Street (Wikipedia via Jim Roberts)
2653 N Clark Street (Wikipedia via Jim Roberts)

The Covent Hotel building is set for a $21 million mixed-use renovation after the Chicago City Council approved a plan to convert the property into affordable studio apartments.

Located at 2653 N Clark Street, the Lincoln Park property is currently a Single Room Occupancy building, meaning the property had rentable rooms with shared laundry, bathroom and kitchen facilities. The NHP Foundation, a non-profit real estate organization dedicated to preserving affordable housing, is leading the effort to renovate the property. The City Council’s approval will allocate city funds to NHP Foundation to complete the project, according to Chicago YIMBY.

The property sits several blocks from Lake Michigan and currently includes 64 rooms that will be converted into 30 studio apartments. The apartments will be earmarked for tenants making between 30 and 50 percent of Lincoln Park’s Area Median Income of $100,000, according to Chicago YIMBY. The building’s current residents will be given preference if they choose to return once the renovation is completed.

Additional renovations include turning the eight ground-floor retail spaces into four, as well as replacing the building’s doors, windows and elevators. The project will be financed through tax-exempt bonds, loans, tax credits, and city financing. The project was initially pitched in 2019, and little in the design has changed since then.

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Beyond the Covent renovation, the developer is proposing a new construction seven-story building adjacent to the hotel. Designed by Brininstool + Lynch, the project would incude ground-floor retail, a parking lot, and 84 units. The developer plans to pay almost $800,000 because only two of the units will be affordable. That $800,000 will go toward renovation costs of the Covent.

The Covent Hotel was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2017. Built in 1915, it was one of Chicago’s residential hotels that were built during the early 1900s to house Chicago’s fast-growing working class population.

[Chicago YIMBY] — Miranda Davis

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