Developers eye two dozen condos in Chicago’s Albany Park

Four buildings would rise from the ashes of a brewery and gym destroyed by fire

Developer Alan Candea along with a rendering of 4343-4357 North Richmond Street (Getty, Dreamtown)
Developer Alan Candea along with a rendering of 4343-4357 North Richmond Street (Getty, Dreamtown)

In the ashes of the Twisted Hippo Brewery and Ultimate Ninjas Gym in Chicago’s Albany Park might rise two dozen condominiums.

Developers Alan Candea and his wife, Colette, have filed plans to build four buildings with six condos each at 4343-4357 North Richmond Street, Block Club Chicago reported.

The 24 homes on the Northwest Side would replace a vacant lot caused by a conflagration in an adjacent apartment building that torched the two businesses last February. 

Plans call for four 6,250-square-foot buildings, to contain four three-bedroom, two-bathroom units and two four-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath plans, according to documents filed with the office of Alderwoman Rossana Rodriguez of the 33rd Ward. 

Each 3.5-story building would have a rooftop deck and a parking garage for six cars.

The condos would list between $525,000 and $700,000 each, according to the developers.

The buildings would not include any retail since they’re facing Richmond instead of the Montrose commercial strip, Alan Candea told Block Club. Rossana Rodriguez-Sanchez must approve a special-use permit for the residential-only buildings.

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“I’m asking for a special-use because no one wants commercial on the first floor. It’s all residential there,” Candea said. “It’s a residential neighborhood. … To have commercial on the first floor there would be a disaster.” 

Candea, a co-founder of Chicago-based Candea Development, said he’d still build the project if the special-use permit isn’t granted. It’s not clear if the development firm he owns with his brother, Armand, is involved in the Albany Park project.

“I’m hoping to be able to do something really nice there,” Candea said. “If you drive up and down Richmond on that pocket, it’s all six-flats there. So it would fit right into the neighborhood.” 

Candea is also building an 18-unit mixed-use complex across the street at 2924 West Montrose Avenue. That four-story building will include an unspecified area for shops and restaurants, plus 31 parking spaces.

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The alderwoman rejected Candea’s request for a zoning change for that project after neighbors complained about posts the developer’s brother made on social media during unrest in 2020.

After the fire, Twisted Hippo reopened at District Brew Yards in the West Loop. Owner Marilee Rutherford told Block Club she’s still looking for a new permanent Albany Park home. 

— Dana Bartholomew