SB Friedman led two consulting teams that were engaged by the City of Chicago to explore various scenarios for the redevelopment or reuse of a former City Colleges of Chicago facility in the Englewood Community Area. The 18-acre site and 975,000-square-foot building became vacant in 2007, when the college was relocated to a new facility at 63rd and Halsted Streets.
In its initial engagement, the firm partnered with a landscape architecture firm and other consultants to create a redevelopment plan for the site. This engagement focused on creating an implementable plan, and included market analysis for residential and retail uses, alternate development concepts, and economic feasibility analysis. The ultimate purpose of the plan was to provide the background research needed to solicit developers for the redevelopment of the site through an RFQ/RFP process.
After establishing a development program for the site that provided a menu of market feasible uses, the firm led a design charrette with key representatives of the community. Workshop participants created four alternative development scenarios for the site based on the market parameters. The firm then researched key assumptions and constructed a financial model to assess the economic feasibility of the four concepts. The financial model considered such factors as rents, sale prices, construction costs, demolition/site preparation, soft costs, and developer overhead and profit. This analysis showed that demolition costs for the existing concrete frame structure and associated site preparation costs would be a significant obstacle to redevelopment. The firm also estimated the potential Tax Increment Financing (TIF) revenues that would be generated by the alternate redevelopment concepts if a TIF district that included the site were established.
In a subsequent engagement, SB Friedman led a consulting team that included architecture and construction cost estimating firms to explore the feasibility of reusing the existing facility as a public high school or a park district facility. The firm met with representatives of potential end users to assess the programming needs of each user, and then toured the facility to identify necessary repairs and elements of the building which might inhibit adaptive reuse. The team developed conceptual plans for each reuse scenario, and utilized these plans and accompanying specifications to develop high-level construction cost estimates for each scenario. Finally, the firm integrated these estimates with projections of costs and revenues generated by redevelopment of the balance of the site to provide a comprehensive assessment of the financial feasibility of reusing the facility.