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President’s Award
University Commons




South Water Market served as the major produce distribution market in Chicago – the largest of its type at the time of construction in 1925. The six warehouses, the longest being over 800 feet long, featured matching terra cotta facades and were designed by Chicago architects, Fugard and Knapp. Nearly vacant and decaying in the 1990s, the owners and the City of Chicago sought proposals for new uses of the site. While several proposals involved demolishing most or all of the warehouse buildings, Enterprise Companies alone put forward a plan that called for renovating the existing structures. The developer then set about securing ownership of the buildings from remaining tenants, as well as successfully listing the site on the National Register and taking advantage of a state preservation tax incentive program. The renovations preserved the loading docks and canopies, which were incorporated into the design of the residential units. The underground parking is accessed from the rear alleys. Completed in 2007, University Commons’ 926 housing units are located adjacent to the University of Illinois at Chicago campus.


Photo credits: 1-3,5-8 Pappageorge/Haymes Ltd. 4 Craig Skorborg






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