CHICAGO-The city hopes to find a developer willing to rehab the historic Supreme Life Insurance building as well as five neighboring townhouses, converting the properties to retail and office use. The planning and development department already has held pre-bid conferences and has set a Dec. 19 deadline for proposals.

The site is the southeast corner of 35th Street and King Drive in the Bronzeville neighborhood. The two-story, 22,692-sf L_shaped Supreme Life Insurance building is zoned for business use while the townhouses, all vacant and ranging from 2,250 sf to 4,000 sf, are in a residential zone. Besides capitalizing on a location in the Bronzeville Tax Increment Financing District, the developer will be able to tap $1 million in financial assistance toward their redevelopment costs because the property also is in an Empowerment Zone.

The developer will be required to restore the buildings’ 80-year-old facades. City planners also are discouraging taverns and liquor stores, convenience stores, currency exchanges, warehouses or storage facilities in developers’ plans.

Founded in 1919, Supreme Life was the first African-American owned and operated insurance company in the northern US. It moved into the second floor of 3501 S. King Dr. in 1921. The company survived the Depression and modernized the building in 1950.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?


© 2023 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.

Dig Deeper


GlobeSt Net Lease Spring 2024Event

This conference brings together the industry's most influential & knowledgeable real estate executives from the net lease sector.

Get More Information


Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join now!

  • Free unlimited access to's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt

Copyright © 2023 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.