Reinvented Industrial Building on Elston
Size: 35,000 SF
Acquisition Date: 2005
The Foundry on North Elston Ave. is an interesting chapter in the history of our company. It is a lesson in modularity, as well as, being in the right place at the right time. The building caught Lichter Realty’s eye in early 2005. It was previously owned and occupied by Chicago Vacuum Casting, which was founded in 1962 – it now operates in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In the spring of 2005, Tom met with the owner about assessing value and eventually becoming the listing office. The story ended up being rather different. Upon initial walkthrough, it was clear that we were better positioned to buy it rather than market it. He saw the immense potential in the space and knew he had to have it. After several conversations, Tom purchased the building from the owners.
The building has many of the touchstones we like to see in a property, including multi-tenant scenarios, parking, good ceiling height, ample ingress and egress, and lot of modularity. The Foundry wasn’t turnkey overnight though – totally renovated over a span of four years, part of this work included rebuilding a section that had a fire. The roof over the second floor space needed many roof joist replacements, as well as work on the inside. The work was done with expertise and care. This handcrafted touch remains a sound principal within the Lichter brand. After the deferred maintenance was fixed, Tom demised multiple spaces inside the property to begin renting it out to commercial businesses.
This building also implemented many of the features we still use today. We use spiral ducts, exposed brick and subway tiles to feature the modern, industrial style of our spaces. On the exterior, our use of streamlined lighting fixtures and goosenecks set us apart from other buildings on the Northwest Side.
Currently, we rent to a wholesaler, a local dance company and an event management business. This variety of uses creates a great balance within the building. Located in the Jefferson Park neighborhood, the building is nestled in between I-90 and I-94 for ultimate highway access. We are so pleased to have this property in our core portfolio and look forward to maintaining it for years to come.