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CHICAGO-Details of the plan are in flux, but the Homan Square area will get another 1,200 residential units over the next five years. The $200-million project includes a mix of rental and for-sale units, many of them in three current buildings formerly used by Sears, Roebuck & Co. and its Allstate Insurance Co.

The five-story Sears administration building, six-story MDL building and 10-story Allstate building total about one million sf in the 3200 and 3300 blocks of W. Arthington and Polk streets. Plans by Royal Imperial Development’s Sterling Park LLC, which acquired the 12.6 acres from Shaw Co., include 637 units in those buildings, another 467 in three new 14-story buildings, a 75-unit senior assisted-living facility and 21 townhouses.

Previous plans called for the buildings to be converted to office, commercial or manufacturing uses, but market forces made that unfeasible, suggests Fred Deters of the department of planning and development. Already, 500 residential units have been created in the Homan Square redevelopment project, along with community centers and a 1.7-acre park.

“It’s a huge increase in the number of units,” notes plan commission member Allison Davis. The project nonetheless received a unanimous endorsement Thursday and is expected to get city council approval.

Sterling Park LLC managing member Mordecai Tessler says the exact mix of for-sale and rental units, as well as financing, are among the details still to be worked out. However, he hopes work can begin before the end of the year.

Work at the former Sears administration building at 3333 W. Arthington St. is governed by the Commission on Chicago Landmarks. That building and the MDL building at 3301 W. Arthington St. are part of a district listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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