Old warehouses in Humboldt Park revived as 6-acre creative office campus

A sunset pink and blue sky with clouds rests over an outside gravel walkway and seating area between two one-story brick buildings.

Humboldt Lit | Ratio Architects

Ratio Architects is the designer for Humboldt Lit

Originally built in the 1940s, three warehouses in Humboldt Park will be overhauled into a creative office campus called Humboldt Lit.

The project at the 6-acre site at 1334 N. Kostner Ave. is led by developer IBT Group and designed by Ratio Architects. Renderings for the project show plans that call back to Fulton Market’s revival—exposed Chicago brick, dark steel beams, string lights, walkable streetscapes.

The $50 million development is being marketed towards businesses in creative industries, like furniture makers or tech companies, according to Block Club Chicago. Currently it is home to a used furniture company but was originally built for lighting manufacturer Pyle-National. Cawley Chicago is representing the commercial listing and move-ins are targeted for June 2020.

The site plan includes renovating three warehouses totaling 250,000 square feet and creating 186 parking spaces, according to Ratio Architects. The design includes a landscaped greenway between the larger building and the two smaller ones with some bike parking, space for food trucks, benches, and other outdoor seating.

During a renovation of the building Ratio found industrial doors and signs that they plan to use in the build out, Block Club reported. Projects like this that involve historic preservation are a core priority for Ratio. Across the Midwest they’ve helped preserve Art Moderne bus terminals, 1950s diners, formal gardens, and hotels.

This project marks an effort by developers to find popular real estate outside downtown and the West Loop. While the space is there, West Humboldt Park lacks the abundant transit of those trendy corridors. While there are three bus routes and a Metra station nearby, the area doesn’t have a close L station, bike lanes are scarce, and walkability is mediocre.

In a low, slung open-layout room, a black iron beam ceiling runs over a concrete floor. There are modern steel tables, a lounge area with brown couches under a skylit, a mesh metal staircase, and a bar in the distance.
Ratio Architects
Interior view of the warehouse space.
A concrete floor with red shuffleboard lining sits in front of a four steel stools at a rustic wood bar countertop next to a dining room closed off by fogged glass paned window room dividers.
Ratio Architects
A view of the bar and kitchen area.
The architectural drawing shows the square footage for three buildings and the layout of the project with parking, landscaping, walkways, and roads.
Ratio Architects
A preliminary site plan for Humboldt Lit.
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