CRM wants 50-story resi building for Clybourn Place overhaul 

500-unit tower could replace vacant retail building and parking lot, but needs zoning approval in Lincoln Park

CRM Properties Eyes 50-Story Resi Tower in Lincoln Park
CRM Properties’ Jeff Malk with Clybourn Place shopping center (LinkedIn, CRM Properties, Getty)

CRM Properties wants to inject multifamily into a North Side retail complex that’s lost some of its major tenants.

The Deerfield-based firm is planning a complete overhaul of the mostly vacant, 3-acre Clybourn Place shopping center, at 1800 North Clybourn Avenue in Lincoln Park, which has seen departures of the original Goose Island Beer brewpub, Patagonia and Bed Bath & Beyond as tenants in recent years, CoStar reported

Redevelopment plans call for almost 71,000 square feet of retail space and up to 500 apartments and pedestrian walkways on and around Willow Street. For the multifamily portion to come to fruition, CRM would need approval to build up to 50 stories high, which could change the trajectory of an area that’s lined with low-rise residential buildings.

“Due to its underlying zoning, the strong retail core, its proximity to other affluent neighborhoods, and its prime access, the area has become a mecca for residential development,” CRM principal Jeff Malk told the outlet. 

CRM hopes that other large-scale mixed-use developments will proliferate in the neighborhood over the next 10 years, Malk said. 

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Other proposed high-rise residential projects are underway near Sterling Bay’s Lincoln Yards megadevelopment. Notable among them are Georgetown Company’s 37-story apartment project and Fern Hill’s 44-story, 500-unit rental tower in Old Town.

CRM’s plan for Clybourn Place, set to be renamed the Willow Street District, involves demolishing most existing buildings. However, part of the former Bed Bath & Beyond structure and two historic masonry towers from a 1908 William D. Gibson Company spring plant will be preserved. A retail building will be designed to complement those architectural elements.

The proposed residential tower would occupy the southwest edge of the site, replacing a vacant retail building and surface parking. CRM plans to complete the retail phase by early 2026 before seeking approval for the residential component. 

The redevelopment will require a zoning change and might face opposition from local groups concerned about traffic congestion. Malk acknowledged the forthcoming debates about the tower’s height but stressed the project’s primary focus on establishing a premier retail destination in the Clybourn Corridor.

—Quinn Donoghue 

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