Chicago-based Structured Development has entered into an agreement with the Menomonee Club to purchase its 36,000-square-foot community center at 1535 N. Dayton Street, known as the Drucker Center. Structured plans to develop a new facility for the nonprofit organization on a portion of its 2.5-acre site at the southwest corner of Blackhawk and Kingsbury streets, where the developer has proposed a 200,000-square-foot mixed-use center called The Shops at Big Deahl.
Under the agreement with the Menomonee Club, which is contingent upon Structured’s ability to secure approvals from city officials, the developer will assume control of the existing site, allowing for the development of a 197-unit apartment building. An existing planned development for the Shops at Big Deahl site would be revised to allow for the development of an over 50,000-square-foot recreation center, which would be completed in 2020. The revision would also expand the planned development with additional land at 855 W. Blackhawk Street, which Structured acquired in August 2017.
“The Menomonee Club has been an integral part of this neighborhood for over 70 years and in the Halsted Triangle since 2001,” said J. Michael Drew, founder of Structured Development. “Being able to provide it with a new state-of-the-art facility acknowledges its place as a key part of the fabric of the greater Lincoln Park community and, more specifically, the Halsted Triangle. The growing residential and mixed-use plans for the surrounding area make Menomonee Club an even more important resource for the community.”
The Shops at Big Deahl is one of several proposed projects in and around the recently rezoned North Branch Industrial Corridor, whose new land use guidelines allow for a mix of residential and commercial uses. As planned, the mixed-use development would include 165,000 square feet of retail and commercial space, the 50,000-square-foot Menomonee Club Community Center and a half-acre park.
“Since 2015, we have been assembling adjacent sites bordered by Kingsbury, Blackhawk and Dayton streets in order to bring modern retail and office spaces to the Halsted Triangle as the surrounding area continues to grow and evolve,” said Drew. “The Shops at Big Deahl will feature a mix of uses designed to complement the many planned and existing developments nearby.”
Founded in 1946, the Menomonee Club expanded its offerings to the community with the acquisition and redevelopment of the 36,000-square-foot Drucker Center in 2004 through a donation by the Drucker Family Foundation. Recognizing the opportunity to expand its programs to the community far into the future, the Menomonee Club and Structured pursued discussions for a new facility to provide recreational and social programming for children of all ages.
The proposed facility will enhance programming through the inclusion of nearly 11,000 square feet of gymnasium space, including two regulation-sized basketball courts on the third floor. Expanded fencing, dance and judo studios will be located on the second floor, which will open to a 9,500-square-foot rooftop soccer field and play area, marking the first time the Lincoln Park location has had dedicated outdoor space for activities. In addition, the new recreation center will nearly double the current number of parking spaces, improving accessibility for members who do not rely on nearby public transportation options.
Structured is in advanced negotiations with key anchor tenants for The Shops at Big Deahl and has completed demolition of the buildings at 1450 N. Dayton Street. The firm recently executed a lease with San Francisco-based Planet Granite for a 40,000-square-foot climbing gym and anticipates the start of construction in spring 2019 after the entitlement and permitting process has been completed.