Historic Chicago Building Receives $53M Loan

The NHP Foundation has commenced renovation on the Mark Twain Hotel. By the end of 2019, the property will encompass 148 affordable units.
Rendering of Mark Twain Hotel
Rendering of Mark Twain Hotel

The NHP Foundation has closed on a $53 million loan for the renovation of the roughly 90-year-old Mark Twain Hotel in Chicago, which the non-profit acquired in 2016. The Art Deco-style building will feature 148 affordable studios and 9,000 square feet of retail space for seven stores. The overhaul is possible under Chicago’s single-room occupancy preservation ordinance, which incentivizes property owners to continue offering housing at affordable rates.

Located at 111 W. Division St., the building is across from The Sinclair, a recently completed, 35-story luxury tower with a Jewel-Osco supermarket. The Red Line station beneath the property underwent a $50 million renovation in September 2015. Built in 1932, the residential hotel was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2017.

Renovation plans call for the addition of private kitchenettes, a new elevator, plumbing and electrical work, a roof deck as well as making the property accessible to impaired residents and restoring the building’s vintage facade and common areas. The ground-floor retail component of the building is also slated for a complete upgrade.

Complex recapitalization efforts

A combination of tax-exempt bonds, an FHA 220 loan, tax credit equity investments in low-income housing and historic tax credits, a bridge loan, a project-based voucher section 8 contract, an energy grant and a sponsor loan made the financing possible.  

Bellwether Enterprise, Chicago Community Loan Fund, the City of Chicago, ComEd, Enterprise Community Investment and the Chicago Housing Authority are all part of the renovation project. Weese Langley Weese Architects Ltd. and Linn-Mathes Inc. are involved in the development process, while Heartland Housing Property Management is in charge of property management.

Construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2019. Until then, residents of the Mark Twain building have been temporarily displaced, with all costs covered by the ownership.

Image courtesy of Studio 97