Published November 13, 2021
Published reports and media show multiple large industrial properties in Chicago’s McKinley Park neighborhood recently changing hands or being placed up for sale, including the iconic faux clock tower at South Damen Avenue and West Pershing Road.
Joining the historic Central Manufacturing District tower are three warehouses of the Clock Tower Industrial Center at 1919 to 1965 W. Pershing Road, Chicago, and adjoining land, all for sale for $12 million, according to a commercial real estate listing from property owner and manager Imperial Realty Company.
Although the property is currently zoned for manufacturing and is adjacent to a Planned Manufacturing District and related industry, including the Norfolk Southern Railways rail yard and the MAT Asphalt plant, its real estate listing presents the property as a “multi-family redevelopment opportunity.”
No Protections for Tower
The faux clock tower — a water tower heavily adorned with architectural elements of its period — is not protected from demolition or alteration, as it does not enjoy Chicago, state or federal landmark status.
In 2020, Preservation Chicago named the Pershing Road section of the Central Manufacturing District, which includes the clock tower and warehouses, as one of Chicago’s most endangered historic places. In 2021, Preservation Chicago did the same for the Original East District.
Original East District Purchases
Within the Original East District of the Central Manufacturing District, the Atlanta-based Stonemont Financial Group has purchased property at 3501, 3601 3647 and 3651 S. Ashland Ave., Chicago, according to The Real Deal, a publication focused on Chicago real estate news.
In the article “Stonemont Pays $80M for properties near Amazon shipping facility,” reporter Connie Kim, with research assistance from Christian Bautista, reveals that Stonemont paid $80.3 million for these properties.
The article also provides background on Stonemont’s financial backing for the property now hosting Amazon’s last-mile warehouse at South Ashland Avenue and West 35th Street, as well as Stonemont’s larger involvement in real estate to support the burgeoning logistics industry.
The entire Central Manufacturing district is on the National Register of Historic Places, which provides federal and state tax credits for historic redevelopment. The Clock Tower Industrial Center real estate listing also noted that the property resides within a TIF district and Enterprise Zone.
“This investment represents an exceptional opportunity to acquire an extremely well-located existing industrial-warehouse property with tremendous value-add and multi-family redevelopment potential,” the listing stated.
This property also recently received attention as part of a student-led redesign of the entire Pershing Road stretch of the Central Manufacturing District. As reported here in the McKinley Park News, this project won the 2021 C40 Reinventing Cities international sustainable design competition.
Representatives for Imperial Realty Company had not replied to requests for comment as of the time of publication of this article.