Chicago’s Near South Side is one of the most dynamic communities here. From a Native American homeland, it is currently in the midst of a metamorphosis of progress in conjunction with mega-developments within Chicago. South Bridge will bring new life to this community.
Today I will discuss the newest real estate development in the Near South Side community - South Bridge. I will share everything you need to know about this, from its history to the amenities and homes on offer here.
Now let’s get started.
What is Southbridge?
The Community Builders and McCaffery are currently building Southbridge in Chicago’s Near South Side area. This is a development planned to achieve best-in-class urban and sustainable standards while connecting the neighborhoods of the South Loop, Chinatown, and Bronzeville. This dynamic location offers fresh life to a neighborhood famed for its energy and history.
Southbridge will have 206 mixed-income apartment units on floors two through six with approximately 17,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor. These will comprise studios, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom layouts.
Now before we see what South Bridge has to offer, let’s first delve into the history of the area.
History of Southbridge
Chicago’s Near South Side area, where the South Bridge is under development, has a long, storied history.
In 1863, Lind Medical School/University, an affiliate of Mercy Hospital got its first medical school building at State Street and 22nd Street.
In 1888, Wesley Memorial Hospital’s charter is granted and opened at 24th Street and Dearborn Street.
In 1891 - Quinn Chapel AME, Chicago’s oldest African American congregation with a long history of activism, bought land at 24th Street and Wabash Avenue to move their parish.
In 1892, 22nd Street Green Line “L” Station opened at 12 E. Cermak Rd.
In 1906, Medical School becomes Northwestern University Medical School
In 1920, Northwestern University Medical School moved to Chicago Avenue and Lake Shore Drive.
In 1955, Harold Ickes Homes, an 11-building, 1,006-unit development designed by prominent Chicago-based architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, opened its doors.
In 1969, Cermak-Chinatown Red Line “L” Station opened.
In 1977, 22nd Street Green Line “L” at 12 E. Cermak Rd. Station closed due to low ridership.
Harold Ickes Homes is demolished in 2010. After many years of community appeals, the CHA launched a search for redevelopment partners in 2014 and selected the Community Builders and McCaffery Interests the following year. The Chicago City Council approved zoning for Southbridge in 2019.
Permits for the buildings at 2310 and 2344 S State Street were approved back in late October 2019. Southbridge 4 Master Owner LLC is listed as the owner of the applications, with McShane Powers Joint Venture listed as the general contractor. Anthony Akindele of Nia Architects is listed as the architect of record for the two structures.
What does South Bridge offer?
South Bridge is a diverse multi-use neighborhood. It has mixed-income housing, rich retail spaces, and transit-oriented development. A new public plaza, anchored by a new community recreation facility, unites an existing park with a proposed recreation field.
A. Residential Units
The entire South Bridge project is zoned for a total of 972 mixed-income homes plus 65,000 square feet of retail. Roughly 45 percent of its 847 rental units will be offered at an affordable rate and 20 percent of the 125 for-sale residences will be affordable.
a. 2310 S State Street and 2344 S State Street
There are two residential towers on the South Bridge. The two buildings, 2310 S State Street and 2344 S State Street, are located on S State Street between W 23rd and W 24th Streets.
Each building will contain a mixture of 103 affordable and market-rate apartments. These apartments feature nine-foot ceiling heights, luxury vinyl tile throughout, quartz kitchen countertops, contemporary tile backsplashes and baths, stainless steel kitchen appliances, stacked washers and dryers, and spacious walk-in closets. Select units also come with private balconies.
Apartment units range from 490 to 580 square feet for a studio and are priced between $1,425 and $1,600 for market-rate residences. One-bedrooms scale from 570 square feet to 770 square feet, with prices ranging from $1,600 to $1,915 for a market-rate unit. Lastly, two-bedrooms fall between 915 and 1,115 square feet, priced between $2,125 and $2,400. Affordable options are limited to those making less than 60 percent of the area median income, in compliance with The Department of Housing and Urban Development.
c. 23rd Place
23rd Place provides the city of Chicago with new, well-appointed flats. At the confluence of the South Loop, Chinatown, Bronzeville, and the Motor Row District, you'll find active community amenities and fascinating retail locations.
B. Retail Space
South Bridge also planned for 65,000 square feet of retail space. Here you can shop and dine at local cafes, artisan boutiques, and regional retailers.
C. Community Facilities
South Bridge seeks to complement the Chicago Near South Side community with best-in-class amenities.
Building-wide amenities include spaces such as a resident rooftop lounge, a demonstration kitchen, outdoor grills, fire pits, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a private conference room, a dog spa, bike storage, terraces, and community flex space for events and celebrations.
a. Park 540
South Bridge also features Park 540, a five-acre nature park. Walking trails, a playground, a picnic shelter, a basketball court, restrooms, and a skatepark are all available in the park.
b. Jones Track and Field
The transit-oriented development will also provide quick access to the adjoining Jones College Prep track and field complex, both of which are operated by the Chicago Park District.
D. Transit-oriented development
As a TOD, or transit-oriented development, South Bridge is designed to give everyone equal access to local and citywide opportunities and resources using the most efficient and healthy combination of transportation modes, at the lowest financial and environmental cost, and with the highest resilience to disruptions.
The development will have rear surface-level parking for 108 vehicles. There is also a variety of public transit options in the immediate vicinity, including north and southbound Route 29 stops at the adjacent corners of both State & 23rd as well as State & 24th. Other buses in the area include stops for Route 21 at Cermak-McCormick Place Green Line station, less than a three-minute walk northeast of the northern building. Red Line service can be found at the Cermak-Chinatown station via an eight-minute walk northwest. Lastly, Metra service is accessible at McCormick Place station via a 20-minute walk east.
a. 23rd Place Road
The first phase's construction will coincide with a number of infrastructure upgrades, including new sewers, the rehabilitation of 23rd, 24th, and Dearborn streets, and the creation of a new roadway known as 23rd Place.
What’s The Progress in 2022?
The southern building, 2344 S State Street, is ahead of other buildings in South Bridge. The metal framework has been erected on the outer edge and interior of both the ground and second stories, as well as the second-floor deck and concrete slab. The concrete slab for the third-floor deck has also been poured. In both stories, facade infill has begun, with the sheathing left exposed until the final brick cladding is applied. It also has plumbing lines installed.
The northern structure, 2310 S State Street, is also under construction. The second-floor deck and concrete slab have also been poured, and metal framing has been erected on the first and second levels' perimeter edges. At the top of the first story, workers welded and worked on the construction.
The rest of the South Bridge development is hard at work in ongoing construction. South Bridge developers expect completion of the project around late spring or early summer of 2022.
Chicago’s Near South Side is an area worth visiting. Full of history and diverse cultures, it is now in the midst of transformation through real estate development.
South Bridge is a sustainable, transit-oriented development that seeks to create a neighborhood with mixed-income housing and diverse metropolitan amenities. It is still under construction but it definitely has the potential to revitalize the Near South Side area.