New Development Replacing City Lit Books in Logan Square

New Development Replacing City Lit Books in Logan Square

The transformation of the historic Logan Square Blue Line terminal into the Metropolitan "L" Apartments marks a significant milestone in Chicago's commitment to affordable housing. Spearheaded by Bickerdike Redevelopment, with architectural expertise from LBBA Architects, this project aims to blend the area's rich history with the needs of its contemporary residents. By repurposing the site at 2525 N. Kedzie Boulevard, the initiative promises to deliver 94 affordable housing units to a neighborhood grappling with the challenges of rapid gentrification. This blog will delve into the project's construction dynamics, architectural innovation, and its contribution towards fostering an inclusive community within Logan Square.

This ambitious project, which replaces a one-story commercial building currently housing City Lit Books, is a testament to the city's efforts in promoting equitable transit-oriented development (ETOD).

The two multi-story buildings, separated by a mini plaza for enhanced community interaction and connected to Milwaukee Avenue, aim to meet diverse resident needs and will include the following: 


 - 96 Residential units

 - Made up of one, two and three-bedroom layouts

 - Ground floor will contain 5,200 square feet of retail space for City Lit Books

 - 20 vehicle parking spaces

 - 96 bicycle spaces


The main building fronting Kedzie will step up in height from three to seven-stories as it moves away from the street, creating rooftop terraces for residents. The front building will utilize a mix of brick and precast panels for its facade. The rear structure will rise three-stories and be clad in the same materials. Additionally, the shared rooftop amenity space and the inclusion of private inset balconies demand a thoughtful approach to outdoor living spaces in multifamily housing.


Architectural Considerations

Chicago Yimby reports that LBBA Architects' design for the development pays homage to the site's historical significance while addressing modern living needs. The cream-colored brick and black metal panel accents, combined with the arches on the lower floors and inset balconies at the top, represent a blend of traditional and contemporary architectural elements. The strategic use of space to create a mini plaza not only enhances the development's aesthetic appeal but also promotes community engagement and accessibility to Milwaukee Avenue.


Affordable Housing Impact

The Metropolitan "L" Apartments project is a critical step toward addressing Logan Square's affordable housing shortage. By leveraging the site's proximity to the Logan Square Blue Line station, the development aligns with the city's transit-oriented development ordinance, facilitating more density and fewer parking spots. This approach not only maximizes the site's potential but also contributes to the broader goal of creating more accessible and affordable housing options in high-demand areas.


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The developer has now secured a 99-year lease on the site and has begun applying for funding including LIHTC money. With its zoning application in motion, the project could begin demolition by the end of the year though an official timeline has not been revealed.

This project not only preserves the neighborhood's historical essence but also opens new doors for families and individuals seeking a place to call home in the heart of the city. With collaboration between Bickerdike Redevelopment, LBBA Architects, and city officials, the development embodies a shared vision for a more inclusive, accessible, and vibrant Logan Square.

As construction progresses, the community eagerly anticipates the revitalization this landmark project promises, marking a significant step forward in ensuring Logan Square remains a diverse and welcoming community for generations to come.


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Posted by Judy Lamelza

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