A site rendering from IBT Group illustrates their proposal for rehabilitation of the historic warehosue at 1769 W. Pershing Road.

Development Teams Pitch Visions for Central Manufacturing District Properties

Published March 8, 2023

The three finalist respondents to a Request For Proposal (RFP) to overhaul an historic Central Manufacturing District warehouse presented their plans at a community meeting on Tuesday, March 7, 2023.

Business Grows Here - Space - Resources - Community

Teams from IBT Group LLC, Quartermaster Outpost Studios LLC and LG Pershing Sound Studios LLC provided slides and answered questions at the online meeting, conducted by the City of Chicago’s Department of Planning and Development (DPD).

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As previously reported here in the McKinley Park News, IBT Group LLC proposes a mixed-use development of commercial and residential spaces, while Quartermaster Outpost Studio LLC and LG Pershing Sound Studios LLC presented plans for facilities specially designed to serve the film industry.

Not Enough Sound Stages

“As studios and platforms race to create content, there’s an increase in demand, with Chicago as one of the key locations,” said Cherie Park, business development manager for Cinelease and a member of the LG Pershing Sound Studios team.

“There’s no signs of things slowing down,” Park said. “There’s just not enough sound stages.”



Landmark Status

The rehabilitation would take place at the massive, and currently derelict, Central Manufacturing District warehouse at 1769 W. Pershing Road in Chicago's McKinley Park neighborhood and the adjacent property next door at 1717 W. Pershing Road, which now houses a parking lot and truck shed.

Maintaining the historic look of the warehouse was one of the primary requirements of the RFP, said Nolan Zaroff, lead planner for DPD and meeting emcee.

Business Grows Here - Space - Resources - Community

Business Grows Here - Space - Resources - Community

“We expect the winning proposal to pursue landmark status,” Zaroff said. This includes maintaining the five-story pedestrian bridge and street facade between the warehouse and its neighbor to the west, Zaroff said in response to an audience question.

Amazing Views

A site map from the City of Chicago's Request for Proposal illustrates the layout and scope of the proposed redevelopment.A site map from the City of Chicago's Request for Proposal illustrates the layout and scope of the proposed redevelopment.The IBT Group proposed other connections between these buildings, outlining an idea for a seven-acre rooftop park covering three of the historic warehouses. This development team was the only one of the three with a proposal not tied to the film industry.

Instead, IBT proposes to “activate 120 housing units,” said Gary Pachucki, IBT Group principal and founder. He outlined other proposed use of the property, including 200,000 square feet of flex lab and business space, and a 3/4-acre park knocked out of the center of the warehouse.

“There are amazing views,” said Patrick Carata, architectural design director of Epstein Global, a development company attached to the IBT Group team. “One of the main features of the design is the amazing green roof.”

Keep the Detail

Carata highlighted the IBT Group proposal as the only one that maintains the exterior elevations of the historic warehouse to “preserve the building 360 degrees all the way around.”

“We really wanted to keep the architectural detail,” he said.

Chicago Track Record

The second team presenting its proposal highlighted its local successes and its deep bench of partners, all of whom are ready to fund and execute the project, said Matthew Walsh, co-chairman of The Walsh Group and part of the Quartermaster Outpost Studio team.

“We have the track record of building community brands and businesses right here in Chicago,” Walsh said. Other committed partners include Morgan Stanley, Cacciatore Capital, creative firm Just Don, architecture firm Holabird & Root and film company Chicago Media Angels.

Ready To Move In

In addition to 40 residential rooftop units, possibly to be used by film studio employees and contractors, Walsh said, the project calls for 425,000 square feet of mixed-use business space in the warehouse, and a 75,000-square-foot movie studio space to replace the truck shed on the adjacent property.

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“Cacciatore Capital has made the commitment to push this project forward,” Walsh said. “Chicago Media Angels is ready to move in.”

Depth of Floor Plates

The third proposal presented at the meeting, from LG Pershing Sound Studios, also called for a film industry-specific development, proposing a project with six large indoor production stages, including two built in the back of the warehouse space currently occupied by several floors, which would be demolished.

“One of the challenges of this building is the depth of these floor plates,” said Tom Krischbraun, managing director at JLL and part of the LG Pershing Sound Studios team. Some warehouse spaces are several hundred feet from a window line, he said.

Extraordinary Opportunity Generator

Zaroff said the RFP noted this and that maintaining the facade visible to the public was the DPD’s main priority. “This building has a very large floor plate,” he said.

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A big part of LG Pershing Sound Studios’ proposal is creation of local well-paying jobs, Kirschbraun said. “The skim-off benefits of what a studio does are pretty localized,” he said.

“You’ve got a lot of small businesses that would benefit directly from this,” Kirschbraun said. “It’s an extraordinary generator of opportunity around the area.”

Provide Feedback Here

Zaroff said the best way for the community to provide feedback on the proposals would be through a multi-lingual community scorecard, available online:

The scorecard feedback form will be open for two or three weeks, Zaroff said, and then an evaluation committee will meet in late March.

Final selection is anticipated in early April 2023, he said, with community engagement in the project continued after this.

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