$15 million restoration underway for historic Mark Twain hotel

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Mark Twain
The historic Mark Twain Hotel is finally getting a much-needed renovation under the Chicago SRO Preservation Ordinance. Image source: https://www.mccafferyinterests.com/

One year after the historic hotel was purchased by New York-based, non-profit developer The NHP Foundation for $21 million, the The Mark Twain Hotel is finally getting an overhaul making it the first major redevelopment project under Chicago’s Single-Room Occupancy (SRO) Preservation Ordinance.

Improvements include updating the 85-year-old structure’s mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems. Although The Mark Twain will remain as an SRO, the total unit count will decrease from 151 to 148 as rooms will be expanded to accommodate a new kitchen space.

The renovation seeks to lessen displacement of the building’s current residents and to attract higher grade retail tenants to the ground floor.

“This is a historically significant property that’s been neglected for a long time,” Mecky Adnani, vice-president of acquisitions and development of The NHP Foundation, told the Chicago Tribune. “We want to comprehensively rehabilitate the property and fully reposition it while continuing to serve the same population that it has served in the past.”

A renovation/alteration permit was issued to the developer on Oct. 17. The estimated project cost is $15 million.

The Mark Twain is located above the Clark and Division Red Line stop. It is across a Jewel grocery store and The Sinclair, a 35-story luxury apartment. The building is also among the handful nominated by The Commission on Chicago Landmarks for the National Register of Historic Places.

Currently, apartments rent at the former hotel for $650 a month and the building is almost fully occupied. After renovation, rents are expected to rise from $1,200 to $1,300 a month.

The 58,000 sq. ft. building was originally designed by Harry Glube and was completed 1932. McCaffery Interests is the developer.

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