Credit Worthy News

NH&RA Awards Five Timmys to MHA Projects

Posted by Katherine Ferguson on Thursday, November 3, 2016

Yesterday in Boston, the National Housing & Rehabilitation Association (NH&RA) presented nine prestigious “Timmy” Awards. This is the 11th year of the program that honors the memory of Boston architect, educator and preservation advocate, Timothy J. Anderson and acknowledges outstanding real estate projects that transform older, historic buildings into new uses with historic tax credits.

Congratulations to all of the winners and finalists, and especially to the project teams of which we had the honor of being part of.


Best Commercial/Retail/Non-Residential Project

Location: Chicago, IL

Developer: The Stony Group, LLC
Architect: Fitzgerald Associates Architects
Historic Consultant: MacRostie Historic Advisors LLC



Best Historic Rehab Utilizing LIHTCs – Small

The Lofts at NoDa Mills
Location: Charlotte, NC
Developer: The Community Builders
Architect: Shook Kelley, Inc.
Historic Consultant: MacRostie Historic Advisors LLC

*Also a finalist for Judges’ Award: Best Historic Mill or Factory Rehabilitation



Best Market Rate/Mixed-Income Residential

ARC at Old Colony
Location: Chicago, IL
Developer: MCJ Development and CA Ventures
Architect: Pappageorge Haymes Partners
Historic Consultant: MacRostie Historic Advisors LLC



Judges' Award: Best Historic Mill or Factory Rehabilitation

A-Mill Artist Lofts
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Developer: Dominium
Architect: BKV Group
Historic Consultant: MacRostie Historic Advisors LLC

*Also a finalist for 
Best Historic Rehab Utilizing LIHTCs - Large

1_A-Mill_Impact Image.jpg


Judges’ Award: Achievement in Sustainability

Monsenor Romero Apartments
Location: Washington, DC

Developer: NHT Enterprise
Architect: Wiencek & Associates
Historic Consultant: MacRostie Historic Advisors LLC



FINALIST | Best Market Rate/Mixed-Income Residential

Edge at Union Station
Location: Worcester, MA
Developer: Vision Properties
Architect: Benoit Design Group
Historic Consultant: MacRostie Historic Advisors LLC



FINALIST | Judges’ Award: Most Innovative Adaptive Reuse

Nichols Tower at Homan Square
Location: Chicago, IL
Developer: Foundation for Homan Square
Architect: Solomon Cordwell Buenz
Historic Consultant: MacRostie Historic Advisors LLC




Topics: Awards, NH&RA

Landmarks Illinois Celebrates Stony Island Arts Bank

Posted by Katherine Ferguson on Thursday, October 20, 2016

Over the weekend, Stony Island Arts Bank was honored at Landmarks Illinois’ 2016 Richard. H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Awards. This program is designed to recognize “extraordinary stories of people saving special places throughout the state and show how historic restoration has a positive impact on communities, the environment and the people of Illinois.”

Stony Island Arts Bank is the recipient of this year’s Rehabilitation Award. In addition to its role in the community as a gathering and education space, Stony Island is an example of excellent rehabilitation effort and creativity to repurpose the building for a new use. The transformation of the badly water-damaged west offices into a two-story library housing the collections of the Johnson Publishing Company (publishers of Ebony and Jet Magazine) and the basement, submerged in water for several years, were notable to the panel of judges.

8_StonyIsland_AFTERBankingHall_creditMHA.jpg| Banking Hall

| 2nd Floor Office

| West Offices

| Basement

In addition to the physical rehabilitation of the building, the award is an acknowledgement of the impact that artist Theaster Gates, developer of the project, and the Rebuild Foundation have had on Chicago’s South Side with their “pioneering approach to community revitalization.”

Congratulations yet again to this well-deserving rehabilitation and historic tax credit project that we are honored to be a part of.

Topics: MHA Midwest, Awards

Commission on Chicago Landmarks Honors Outstanding Preservation Projects

Posted by Katherine Ferguson on Thursday, October 13, 2016

In a reception held today at the Chicago Athletic Association, the Commission on Chicago Landmarks will honor four MHA Midwest projects among their 2016 Preservation Excellence Award winners. The Commission’s annual Preservation Excellence Awards recognize outstanding rehabilitation projects that involve notable improvements to Chicago local landmarks.

Congratulations to four of our MHA Midwest clients among the esteemed honorees this year:

Client: Foundation for Homan Square

11_NicholsTower_AFTER14thFloor_creditDarrisLeeHarris.jpg| Credit: Darris Lee Harris Located in Chicago’s West Side community of North Lawndale, the 14-story Nichols Tower at Homan Square was originally known as the Sears, Roebuck & Co. Merchandise Building Tower, the tallest structure within the Sears Company’s former administrative headquarters and mail-order complex. Part of the Foundation for Homan Square’s initiative to re-envision the abandoned complex and revitalize the surrounding community, the seven-year $17 million rehabilitation of the Tower was completed in the fall of 2015. Retaining many of its original features and finishes, the 14-story building now houses multiple non-profit organizations and a 14th floor observation room for community use. MHA Midwest served as historic tax credit consultant on the project and prepared the building’s local landmark designation.


Client: CA Ventures LLC and MCJ Development

ARC_OldColony.jpg Originally constructed as a downtown office building in 1893, Chicago’s Old Colony Building continued to house office tenants into the 2010s but lost its historic appeal due to many outdated renovations. CA Ventures LLC acquired the building in 2014 and completed a $61 million rehabilitation including restoration of the building’s masonry facades and the uncovering of the long-hidden main entrance archway and columns. Inside, CA Ventures LLC transformed the 17-story Old Colony Building into ARC at Old Colony, a 204-unit student housing complex with restored entry lobbies at the ground floor, and historic 1890s office features incorporated into upper floor residential units. The sensitive rehabilitation of the Old Colony Building has ensured the future of one of Chicago’s earliest skyscrapers for decades to come. MHA Midwest served as historic tax credit consultant on the project.


Client: AJ Capital Partners

Chicago_Athletic_Association_Hotel.jpg Located along historic Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago, the Venetian Gothic style Chicago Athletic Association (CAA) was completed in 1893 as a private athletic club for men (and in the late 20th century, women) of the Chicago elite until 2007. AJ Capital Partners and Commune Hotels & Resorts took ownership of the vacant CAA in 2012 and transformed the intricately detailed structure into a 241-room hotel that opened in May 2016. The rehabilitation restored the terra cotta and brick façade, and rehabilitated interior features bas-relief woodcarving, 19th century stained glass, and ornate marble staircases. Historic club rooms and athletic facilities have been transformed into new hotel lobbies, bars, restaurants, event spaces and fitness areas, and a new sensitive rooftop addition houses a new bar with spectacular views of Chicago’s Millennium Park and Lake Michigan. MHA Midwest served as historic tax credit consultant on the project.


Client: MB Real Estate

11.4.15_Timmys_MotorClub.jpg As American automobile ownership expanded in the early twentieth century, the Chicago Motor Club was a downtown haven for early cross-country motorists. This 1928 Art Deco gem housed club offices along with a grand three-story high lobby lined with help counters and a large 29 foot-wide road map painted by artist John Warner Norton. After standing vacant for over a decade and threatened with demolition, MB Real Estate purchased the building in 2014 and undertook a $38 million rehabilitation that converted the 17-story Chicago Motor Club to a 143-key hotel. In addition to extensive exterior rehabilitation, the three-story ground floor lobby, including the large Norton mural, was restored. A 1928 Model A was installed on a lobby mezzanine as a nod to the year the Chicago Motor Club opened its doors. Rehab architects Hartshorne Plunkard created an exquisite LEED-certified design that provided modern hotel accommodations while preserving the building’s original Art Deco features. MHA Midwest served as historic tax credit consultant on the project.


Topics: MHA Midwest, Awards

MHA Receives 2016 Wintrust Housing Partners in Innovation Award

Posted by Katherine Ferguson on Tuesday, October 11, 2016

9.28.16_MercyHousingAward.jpgJohn Cramer, MHA Midwest Senior Associate, accepts the 2016 Wintrust Partners in Innovation Award from Theresa Handley, Board Member of Mercy Housing Lakefront and a Vice President for Wintrust Financial Corporation, during the Mercy Housing Lakefront Moving Forward Together program | Photo credit: Eileen Molony

MHA Midwest was part of a project team honored on September 28th, 2016 at Mercy Housing Lakefront’s Moving Forward Together dinner for our work on The Lofts on Arthington in Chicago. MHA Midwest along with our fellow project partners accepted the 2016 Wintrust Partners in Innovation Award, given by Wintrust Ventures to community leaders and organizations that are catalysts for change.

Since 2011, MHA Midwest served as historic tax credit consultant for Mercy Housing Lakefront on The Lofts on Arthington, a $60 million conversion of the former Sears, Roebuck and Company Merchandise Development and Laboratory (MDL) Building to affordable rental housing.

The MDL Building is one of four original main buildings of the Sears, Roebuck and Company Mail Order Plant, a sprawling administrative and distribution complex located in Chicago’s Homan Square community and listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. Completed in 1916, the MDL Building originally served as the printing center for all of Sears’ catalogs and publications and later housed the company’s merchandise development operations and product testing laboratories. After Sears left the site in 1973, the MDL Building was only marginally used and fell into disrepair after over twenty years of vacancy.

Scheduled for completion in 2017, The Lofts on Arthington will house onsite educational services and 181 one- to four-bedroom affordable housing units for 600 residents, including 350 children.

The Lofts on Arthington is MHA Midwest’s third major rehabilitation project at the former Sears complex – the Sears Power House was completed in 2009 and Nichols Tower in 2015 – and will help continue the exciting revitalization of Chicago’s Homan Square community.

The recipients of the 2016 Wintrust Partners in Innovation Award for The Lofts on Arthington included:

  • Applegate & Thorne-Thompson PC
  • Chicago Department of Planning and Development
  • Chicago Housing Authority
  • Chicago Realty Company
  • Citi Community Capital
  • DENCO Construction LLC
  • Environmental Solutions, Inc.
  • Federal Home Loan Bank
  • First Eagle Bank
  • James McHugh Construction Company
  • MacRostie Historic Advisors LLC
  • Nationwide Insurance
  • RBC Capital Markets
  • Alderman Michael Scott Jr.
  • Solomon Cordwell Buenz

9.28.16_MercyHousingAwardgroup.jpg | Photo credit: Eileen Molony

MHA is proud of our role in this important historic rehabilitation. Congratulations to all of our project partners on the 2016 Wintrust Partners in Innovation Award and to Mercy Housing Lakefront on this outstanding affordable housing development.


Topics: MHA Midwest, Awards

MHA Midwest projects win ULI awards

Posted by Katherine Ferguson on Thursday, June 2, 2016

In a field of 12 finalists for ULI Chicago’s 5th Annual Vision Awards, MHA Midwest was the historic consultant for four projects: ARC at Old Colony, Chicago Athletic Association, Hampton Inn (Chicago Motor Club), and Stony Island Arts Bank. These projects represented almost all of the landmark properties that made the list, and are outstanding examples of adaptive reuse and the positive impacts of historic tax credits.


ARC at Old Colony
Client: CA Ventures and MCJ Development


Chicago Athletic Association
Client: AJ Capital Partners


Hampton Inn (Chicago Motor Club)
Client: Integrated Motor Club, LLC


Stony Island Arts Bank
Client: Theaster Gates

In addition, former client and friend of MHA, the late Jay Michael of Cedar Street Company, was honored posthumously as a ULI Young Visionary.

Congratulations to our deserving clients. These projects were honored at a ceremony on June 1, 2016.

Topics: Awards