UPTOWN – Developments are set to transform a block of Clark Street in the city center this year, as four projects totaling more than 100 units begin construction.

The 4500 block of Clark Street – between Sunnyside and Wilson avenues – is in line for two development projects and two redevelopment projects. Two of the buildings will be condos while the other two will be rentals.

As Uptown has experienced a development boom in recent years, builders have increasingly turned to Clark Street, on the western border of the neighborhood. The projects will transform what is currently a sleepy expanse of single storey retail buildings. Some of these projects have met with opposition from neighbours.

The first upcoming project on Clark Street is the 56-unit apartment project at 4511 N. Clark St.

MCZ Development’s project will replace an existing one-story commercial strip with a five-story apartment building. A rezoning of the project has been approved by Ald. James Cappleman (46th) and the City Council despite opposition from a group of neighbors who had previously successfully blocked Clark Street projects.

RELATED: Would a new development on Uptown’s Clark Street help immigrant businesses or the “disrupted” neighborhood? Residents are mixed

Since the approval of the MCZ project, three other projects on the same block have been announced. This does not include the 25-unit development in a former gym building at 4410 N. Clark St., one block south.

Some neighbors feared a tidal wave of development would follow and wondered if the projects would change the makeup of a commercial strip dominated by immigrant-owned businesses. Others said the increased density would help a Clark Street corridor that has struggled in recent years.

The city has since announced that it will conduct a study of this stretch of Clark Street to see how it can be reconfigured to be more friendly to pedestrians, residents and businesses.

The four upcoming developments in the 4500 block of North Clark Street:

4537 N. Clark Street

Credit: Joe Ward/Block Club Chicago
A vacant lot at 4537 N. Clark will become 14 condos and the neighboring warehouse will be converted into 24 apartments.

Longford Design + Construction is bringing a mixed-use building with 14 condos to the property at 4537 N. Clark St. that has long been slated for redevelopment.

The company demolished a commercial strip on the site last summer in preparation for its four-story building, which will include commercial space on the ground floor and 14 three-bedroom condos, 15 parking spaces and a terrace on the roof.

The building is being constructed within the property’s existing zoning after three previous attempts to rezone and build denser projects on the site failed.

In 2017, Longford proposed a 24-unit condominium building for the site at 4547 N. Clark St.. Due to concerns from neighbors, the project was scaled back to 18 units, according to Curbed Chicago.

Credit: Courtesy of Longford Design + Construction
Longford Design + Construction is constructing a 14-unit condominium building at 4537 N. Clark St.

This was also not accepted by the Dover Street Neighbors Association, and a new developer arrived and proposed a 24-unit rental project with 12 parking spaces. This too was rejected by the Dover Street group, Curbed reported.

Since this happened, a new Clark Street Neighbors Group has been formed, reducing the influence of Dover Street neighbors on Clark Street projects as part of Cappleman’s local zoning process.

Longford has returned to the site and built a project that does not require rezoning or input from neighbors.

A building permit has been applied for but not yet issued, records show.

4533 N. Clark Street

Credit: Google Maps
Honore Properties is looking to reuse 4533 N. Clark St. with 24 apartments.

Neighboring the Longford condo project at 4537 N. Clark St. is a 115-year-old warehouse that is being converted into 24 apartments.

Honore Properties is working to transform the warehouse at 4533 N. Clark St. into a mixed-use building that will feature 3,000 square feet of ground floor retail. A third floor is added to the existing building to accommodate the 24 apartments. No parking space is included in the project.

A rezoning to allow the project was approved last year.

A building permit was issued in December. Work is underway and expected to be completed this year, Cappleman said in an email to voters.

4504 N. Clark Street

Credit: Joe Ward/Block Club Chicago
The existing retail building at 4504 N. Clark is receiving an addition of 12 units.

A developer has purchased the building at the northwest corner of Clark Street and Sunnyside Avenue and is working to add a four-story addition with 12 units.

The property at 4504 N. Clark St. will be converted into a residential building, with the existing first floor housing 23 parking spaces, according to building permit records. Floors two through four will house residences with balconies, including second-floor and rooftop terraces. The units will be condos for sale, according to Uptown Update.

The building permit for the extension has not yet been issued. Permits for the demolition and renovation of the existing structure were approved late last year, according to city records.

Raftery Construction purchased the existing building in 2021 for $1.5 million, property records show. It has been vacant for years, after jewelry company Fox Village moved from the building to 4625 N. Clark St., Uptown Update reported.

This building is adjacent to the site of the MCZ development which started the wave of construction activity on the block.

4511 N. Clark Street

Credit: Courtesy of 46th Ward Office
MCZ Development proposes to build a five-story development at 4511 N. Clark St.

After being approved in 2020, MCZ’s 56-unit building at 4511 N. Clark St. is expected to start in the first half of the year.

Plans call for a five-story building with retail space on the ground floor, 28 parking spaces and a roof terrace. There will be 12 studios, 24 one-bedroom apartments and 20 two-bedroom apartments, according to the plans presented to the public during the approval process.

Ten percent of the units will be designated as affordable for households earning 60 percent of the region’s median income, or $39,180.

The building will replace an existing commercial strip on Clark Street. A demolition permit has been applied for but not yet issued, records show. Construction is expected to begin in June, Cappleman told his constituents.

The commercial strip at 4511 N. Clark St. would be redeveloped into a five-story building. [Google Maps]

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