Posts Tagged new life for old Chicago firehouse

New use for old Chicago firehouse (more)

This from Dennis McGuire, Jr:

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The rehabilitation of two historical Jefferson Park buildings could help revitalize the neighborhood, and the developer is looking for tenants.

For the past eight years, developer Tim Pomaville has been working to transform the Jefferson Park firehouse at 4841 N. Lipps Ave. into a mixed-use residential development. The initial plans involved Lake Effect Brewing Company setting up its taproom on the ground floor, but years of delays and complications to buy and rezone the property prompted the brewery to pull the plug in 2022.

Ambrosia Homes, Inc. has similar plans for the Lero building at 4762 N. Milwaukee Ave. Pomaville. Both buildings are ready for commercial tenants to draw people to Jefferson Park. Ambrosia Homes unveiled plans to invest $2.4 million into the former Jefferson Park firehouse in 2018.

Built in 1906, the firehouse has been vacant for years. The city council agreed to sell the property to Ambrosia Homes in 2021 as part of its $1 land sale program. Ambrosia paid $208,000 to the city, which used the money for remediation reimbursement. Lead paint and asbestos had to be removed from the fire station.

With Lake Effect’s taproom on the ground floor, the plan was to add a third floor and building nine apartment units in the upper levels.

The property had to undergo a zoning change in 2020, and a liquor sales ban was lifted along the street in 2021. After six years of waiting, Lake Effect couldn’t weather any more delays as its lease at 4727 W. Montrose Ave. was up at the end of 2022, the owner said at the time. Instead, the brewery found a different location.

Now, Ambrosia Homes is looking for another business to take over the space. The ground floor could be split into two 4,000-square-foot units that would each be rented for about $3,700 a month. Plans for the residential portion of the building have also changed. The firehouse will likely remain two stories, and the upstairs will have four apartments.

While some potential tenants have asked about buying the firehouse, Ambrosia Homes is not looking to sell.

Named after its former owner, the building functioned as a billiard hall and amateur boxing ring in the 1920s. Over the years, the two-story bow truss building has also housed a relief center for people struggling with food insecurity, a community hall and a furniture business. The building has largely sat vacant for the past 30 years.

The Lero is a prime location just a short walk from the Jefferson Park Blue Line station and next to a cannabis dispensary called Cannabist, which revitalized two empty storefronts in 2022.

Like the Jefferson Park firehouse, the Lero’s ground floor could be split into two 5,000-square-foot units. Rent for each would be $3,800 a month, but Ambrosia Homes is willing to sell the building for $695,000.

If Ambrosia retains ownership of the Lero, they plan on building six apartments on the upper floor and are considering adding a third floor. The building has six parking spots in the back.

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New use for old Chicago firehouse (more)

This from Dennis McGuire, Jr.:

Engine 108’s old house on Lipps.

Excerpts from

Lake Effect Brewing Company’s planned move to a historic Jefferson Park firehouse has been scrapped, but the brewer still plans to open a taproom nearby.

Lake Effect Brewing partnered with developer Ambrosia Homes in 2016 with plans to open its first taproom and kitchen on the ground floor of a vacant firehouse at 4841 N. Lipps Ave. Last year, the city council agreed to sell the firehouse, built in 1906, to Ambrosia Homes for $1. Nine rental loft apartments were planned on the floors above. The $2.4 million development was scheduled to be completed by this summer, but the city has been slow to approve needed permits.

The location was approved for a zoning change in 2020 and a liquor sales ban was lifted along the street last year, but with the clock ticking on Lake Effect’s current space at 4727 W. Montrose Ave., the brewery owner said he  couldn’t wait any longer. The brewery’s lease is up at the end of the year, and the timeline for the firehouse project remains uncertain. After looking at several empty buildings along the Northwest Side that had the correct zoning and liquor moratorium rules, Lake Effect secured an Avondale storefront this month and plans to move operations in the next few months.

The firehouse development is still moving forward despite delays and is waiting for the city to approve small rendering changes with hopes that construction can begin later this summer. The developer will add a third floor to the firehouse for apartments, which needs to be completed before any work can begin on the ground floor.

If construction can begin later this summer, tenants could move into the apartments by summer 2023.


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Former Chicago firehouse for sale (more)

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At a Plan Commission meeting June 15, officials will introduce a resolution to sell 102-year-old firehouse in Rogers Park at 1721 W. Greenleaf Ave. to Jim Andrews and Dean Vance, a long-time neighborhood couple who have sought to renovate the building for years.

They want to transform the firehouse into a work-live space that would include rooftop solar panels, a geothermal heating and cooling system, and two greenhouses. Other features would include parking for up to 10 cars; transforming the building’s 10,000-square-foot concrete lot into a landscaped garden; restoration and retention of the firehouse’s facade; and an emphasis on maintaining as much of the architectural integrity as possible.

The two would live on the second floor, while the first floor would be used for their ad agency and therapy practice. 

They attempted to buy the building during the city’s last round of bids in 2013-2014 and were among three finalists selected by community members to potentially take it over, but an error by the city required the process to be halted and restarted.

Earlier this year Ald. Joe Moore (49th) said though he had gone through a community input process to recommend the best buyer to the city, he was told he would have to choose the highest bidder instead.

In February, the city opened the Greenleaf Avenue firehouse back up to bids for the third time since it closed in 2009 and issued a request for proposals with a target selling price of $315,000.

The estimated $1,657,540 renovation could potentially triple the property’s value to about $925,280.  If all goes according to plan, the pair hope to have the renovations are finished by the end of 2018.

The station, formerly home to Engine Co. No. 102, has been on the market several times since it closed in 2009 after the construction of a newer firehouse. The 6,323-square-foot building was finished in 1915 and sits on a 8,934-square-foot lot.

thanks Dan & Dennis

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New use for old Chicago fire station (more)

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Unique Places to Get Married Around Chicago

Firehouse Chicago

Firehouse Chicago.

Though it’s now a quaint and beautiful event space, Firehouse Chicago was once—you guessed it—a firehouse. The Northside building was home to Engine Company 70 for more than 100 years, and included four horse stables in addition to its high ceilings and white glazed brick. The building was renovated to maintain its original character and beauty, including antique doors and lighting, making it not only a unique and spectacular wedding venue, but also an unforgettable setting steeped in history. 1545 W. Rosemont, 773-850-1545

thanks Dan

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New use for old Chicago firehouse

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Work will soon be underway for the $600,000 transformation of the historic 1928 firehouse on Ridge Avenue into a headquarters and movie house for the currently Andersonville-based Chicago Filmmakers, city records show. The total budget to transform the firehouse into Chicago Filmmakers’ new home is $1,000,000.

Permits issued by the city Friday include the construction of a 149-person movie theater, artistic and instructional spaces and offices, the addition of an elevator and exit stairs, plus upgraded plumbing and electrical systems.

Once the firehouse is renovated, the nonprofit film organization would use the building to offer weekly screenings of independent films and documentaries, as well as classes available to the public.

The firehouse was sold to Chicago Filmmakers by the city in 2014 for $36,000, but the group has been focusing on fundraising since to raise the $600,000 necessary for changes.

Initial plans place the main entrance to the building off of the alley, with a concession stand and bathroom built just inside. The existing parking lot on the property includes 15 spaces.

Next door to the firehouse, a recently demolished residential structure is slated to become a park or green space.

thanks Dan

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