Moving closer to a groundbreaking date, Pullman Artspace Lofts, the affordable artist work/live community complex to be constructed in historic Pullman Chicago, has received its latest approval from the City of Chicago and a key federal agency.
The result of a mandatory federal review process triggered by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 and based on letters from nearly 40 historic preservation and other consulting agencies, the City’s Department of Fleet and Facility Management’s “Section 106 Summary of Decision” concludes that the construction of the needed housing on an empty lot, vacant since the 1930s, will have no adverse effect and makes recommendations on management of the building process. In addition, the City’s determination was recently affirmed by the report from the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP), an independent federal agency which is tasked with reviewing these type of projects. These approvals were an important next step in obtaining needed government approvals.
“The thorough and extensive 2FM report demonstrates the cares and concerns of the community have been heard and it ensures the community that the project will continue moving forward while maintaining Pullman’s historic character and integrity,” said Deborah Jackson, a Pullman resident and member of the Pullman Arts Board. “I applaud the development team and all of the agencies and individuals for all their hard work in the extensive, engaging and collaborative planning process and earning the community’s support for this exciting new project,” added Jackson.
Once completed in 2019, the $18 million Pullman Artspace Lofts, developed by Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives, Pullman Arts, and national work/housing arts leaders Artspace Projects will be the first new residential development built in the historic Pullman community in decades.
Besides 38 work/live spaces, Pullman Artspace Lofts will feature approximately 2,000 square feet of community space, including a community gallery, working studio and meeting and classroom spaces for residents. The work/live spaces will be a mix of studios, one-bedrooms, and two-bedrooms, while the historic buildings will have their masonry exteriors and stair halls returned to near-original condition and new HVAC, electrical and plumbing systems installed.
The developers have been regularly engaging and collecting feedback about the project from the community. (Contact Artspace Community Engagement Timeline or visit www.cnigroup.org for more information.) Construction is expected to begin in late summer or early fall of 2018.
Besides earning the various approvals, the developers have hired MW Associates, an MBE consulting firm, to manage a diverse contracting team and workforce. The outreach efforts to encourage participation of M/WBE firms is already underway.