Meet Lake Street Studios the MHN Excellence Gold in ‘Workforce’

Chicago—Yesterday’s Single Room Occupancy (SRO) has been redesigned to meet today’s market for micro units. A Gold winner in the MHN 2015 Excellence Awards Workforce Category, the 61-unit, 39,800-square-foot Lake Street Studios demonstrates the outstanding execution of developer Interfaith Housing Development Corp.’s functional and aesthetic objectives for a specific demographic, in this case, homeless and at-risk homeless individuals. All of the apartments in the nine-story building fit today’s definition of a “micro-unit,” whose size is reflective of today’s market of living large by living small.

See the full list of MHN 2015 Excellence Award winners here.

As the city emerges from the recession and many other types of market-rate housing developments are once again being constructed in the areas near Chicago’s Loop, it’s refreshing to see that there is still a place and support for workforce housing. All of the units have urban kitchenettes, full baths, unobstructed views of the downtown skyline and easy access to mass transit. Amenities include a library, exercise room, roof garden, and common laundry room. Supportive services will also be provided onsite.

In terms of design, the exterior features a composition of white and blues with a warm copper accent to underscore the masonry of the surrounding buildings.

Lake Street Studios, with architectural design by Harley Ellis Devereaux, represents what can be accomplished when everything is tight. “Everything” includes the site, budget and program. The project embodies the zeitgeist of our time and place, and is reflective of three current housing trends—workforce housing, micro-units and transit-oriented development.