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CHICAGO-Bold Development has begun a $10 million redevelopment of a historic East Garfield Park property to bring 114,000 sf in 68 apartment units to the building. The six-story 2620 W. Washington Blvd. building was purchased by Bold last month for $3.7 million. The building, which was designed in the 1920s by architect Paul Gerhardt, is up for landmark status on both city and national levels, according to Bold president Steve Olsher.

“The overall vision is just to create really modern, funky loft space that leverages the intrinsic beauty of this landmark building,” Olsher says. “It’s 10 minutes from downtown, and you can create units that are big and spacious and give the consumer a good place to live with a lot of amenities for fairly inexpensive (costs).”

The building will be called Bold L&H Lofts, after the company which once occupied it, L&H Stove Company. Olsher says he had his eye on the property since 2002, when he first submitted a letter of intent to acquire the property, he says. The property was sold to another party in 2002, and changed hands another time since then, before Bold purchased it last month. Bold acquired the property from Mansion View Development Corp., which at one time planned to construct an additional four floors on top of the building, to be used for condominiums.

Olsher says the renovations will enhance its existing character and capitalize upon the building’s high ceilings and large windows. “They used an amazing amount of terra cotta on the outside,” Olsher says. “On the inside, you get the benefit of tremendous amounts of space with irreplaceable details that you just don’t find on modern properties.”

Floors one and two of the building will offer indoor parking for tenants, with floor one also containing around 3,400 sf of commercial retail space. Floors three through six will be strictly residential, Olsher says. “From a tenant’s perspective, it’s a self-contained building,” Olsher says. “Everything they’re going to need is going to be under one roof.”

Olsher says tenant leases could begin as early as next June, with the building expected to be fully occupied by September 2009. Asking lease rates will be around $1.27 per sf for the one and two bedroom units, which will vary in size from 700 to 1,200 sf, according to Olsher. The company has not yet secured a leasing agent for the property.

Olsher says the building will be energy efficient and is expected to obtain LEED certification. The project is financed by a $8.1 million JPMorgan Chase acquisition and construction loan.

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