INCREASING LAND VALUES IN RESURGENT AREA LEADS ARCHITECT/DEVELOPER TO CHANGE THE DIRECTION OF AN INFILL PROJECT
5945 N. Magnolia in Chicago is where I was planning to build a speculative single family residence in 2015 and marketed it under the moniker EDGEBOX. At the time, it looked like an opportunity to design a distinctive design in a neighborhood that was clearly on the rise and in which I had previous success with our project the PERISCOPE HOUSE. Coming on the heels of that design success, it seemed clear that another single family house, this time ground up instead of an adaptive reuse made a ton of sense. Following a belabored land purchase process that lasted 15 months, we came up with a design that took advantage of the site without overbuilding, got a building permit and put it up for sale. The perfect buyer quickly came along and it seemed that we were on course to start building in the summer of 2016. Unfortunately due circumstances beyond my and the buyers control, he could not purchase the house. Fortunately we had not built it. Normally I would have just put it back on the market and looked for a new buyer, but I had recently became aware of the decrease in housing available in north side Chicago neighborhoods after hearing a report on the radio.
Lots of people are either de-converting multi-unit buildings into a single family house, or are tearing them down to build a house. When I purchased this property, the existing house was dangerously dilapidated house that had dozens of building violations and beyond repair. It was torn down upon our taking possession. Current zoning allows up to 4 units on the over sized (33 x 125) property and it is located on a block of predominately multi-unit buildings. It is also is adjacent to Broadway Street which is quickly developing into a vital commercial street with a new Whole Foods and vast array of restaurants and other goods and services. There is also a CTA elevated train stop within 1 block. It is a great location for apartments and I want to do my part in bringing back more dwelling units to an area where the increase in density is a plus. The newly designed 4 unit building contains (2) 1 bedroom, 1 bath units; (1) 2 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath unit, and an expansive, 5 bedroom, 3 bath Owners unit. All apartments have in-unit washer/dryers, generous outdoor balconies, floor to ceiling glass in living spaces and high end finishes. Construction will be energy efficient and sustainably built. I am so positive about the area, that I am going to keep the building and will be living in one of the units. Construction is anticipated to start in August 2017.
Nicholas Design Collaborative