Chicago’s older buildings are known the world over as incredible architectural assets. The city is experiencing growth and investment that is bringing population, employment, and vitality back to the city. Townhomes are being rehabilitated and new apartment blocks are sprouting up near transit stops. Commercial corridors are bustling with new restaurants, bars, and business. New employers are moving into repurposed older buildings. But many vacant and underutilized spaces still exist in the city’s diverse, distinctive neighborhoods.
Building on Chicago’s Strengths: The Partnership for Building Reuse examines the value that older buildings lend to Chicago's neighborhoods as well as how the city can overcome barriers to building reuse and unlock development potential.
Through a series of meetings, interviews, and workshops organized by the ULI Chicago District Council, the Partnership engaged more than 80 community development practitioners, land use professionals, historic preservation advocates, green building leaders, and city staff. These stakeholders have identified barriers to building reuse, opportunities to increase reuse-based development, and recommendations for how to increase building reuse and revitalization in Chicago.
With the list of barriers to building reuse in mind, the stakeholders reconvened to develop strategies to overcome these obstacles. Key recommendations for new policies and programs include:
To advance the Recommendations from the Partnership for Building Reuse, the Advisory Committee identified three implementation strategies:
A collaboration between the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Urban Land Institute, the Partnership for Building Reuse fosters market-driven reuse of vacant and underused buildings in cities across the country. Chicago is one of five cities participating in this initiative.
Read the executive summary or download the press release. The full report will be available shortly.
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The Preservation Leadership Forum of the National Trust for Historic Preservation is a network of preservation leaders — professionals, students, volunteers, activists, experts — who share the latest ideas, information, and advice, and have access to in-depth preservation resources and training.
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