James McHugh Construction Co., one of the country’s largest commercial contractors with a concentration in multifamily work, along with its joint venture partner Crea Construction, a minority- and woman-owned general contracting firm, announced they have completed interior renovations to more than 150 units at Prairie Shores, a five-tower apartment complex in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood. Located on 20 acres at 2801-3001 S. Martin Luther King Drive, Prairie Shores is just south of McCormick Place and west of Lake Shore Drive and 31st Street Beach. With 1,675 total units, Prairie Shores is one of the largest rental communities south of the Loop.
Developed from 1957 to 1961 and purchased in 2019 by Chicago-based firms Golub & Company and Farpoint Development, along with New York-based Goldman Sachs, Prairie Shores is undergoing a multi-phased renovation. It is a project that has perfect timing given the renewed interest in the historic Bronzeville neighborhood, according to McHugh Construction.
Within the apartments, the McHugh/Crea joint venture is overseeing the installation of new appliances, countertops, plank flooring, plumbing, fixtures and lighting, plus electrical system upgrades and painting. Building corridors will also receive new finishes.
The team began staggered renovations of the classic studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments at Prairie Shores in the fall of 2020. With units being renovated in phases, the community could maintain its high occupancy levels and minimize disruption for current residents.
“Daily coordination with Prairie Shores’ property management team has been a critical piece of the renovation process as we are working in occupied buildings,” said Kate Ivanova, vice president of operations for McHugh Construction. “We are sharing loading docks, elevators and building access points for our construction activities with tenants who are moving in and out, as well as building services such as refuse removal. That’s where our years of multifamily construction and renovations experience pays off – we know how essential it is to maintain close communications with property managers, how to stay on schedule during a pandemic, and most importantly, how to get work done without disruption to the tenants’ daily lives.”
Designed by Evanston, Ill.-based Kaufman & O’Neil, the newly renovated units feature a more open floor plan and stylish interiors, including white kitchen cabinetry and granite countertops with barstool seating that overlooks the living area.
McHugh/Crea worked with Chicago-based commercial stone subcontractor GI Stone, who is sourcing, fabricating and installing nearly 40,000 square feet of granite in the units’ kitchens and baths.
The Prairie Shores interior renovation project is the latest in a long-term relationship between McHugh Construction and Golub, for which the general contractor built the Class A Atwater Apartments at 355 E. Ohio St. in Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood and the Waldorf Astoria Chicago, formerly the Elysian Hotel Chicago, at 11 E. Walton St. in the Gold Coast. McHugh is also working with Golub to renovate the lobby and common areas at Orrington Plaza, the tallest office building in Evanston, Ill.