The Transportation Building in Printers Row, past and present

Transportation Building, 600 S Dearborn St, Chicago

Here at Yo HQ we have file cabinets filled with old promotional materials and press releases about hundreds of Chicago developments. Here’s some info about one, pulled at random from the archives:

Despite its location inside the Printers Row District, the 22-story Transportation Building at 600 S Dearborn St didn’t house printing companies. As its name suggests, it was home to businesses that needed close contact with the city’s rail lines.

In the ’80s, the Community Resources Corporation converted the long and narrow building into an apartment complex with 294 units in 14 different floor plans, and features like plush wall-to-wall carpeting, fully equipped kitchens, individually controlled heat and air, electronic key card and intercom systems, and laundry and receiving rooms. For $50 a month, renters could have their home furnished with a bed and bedroom furniture, a sofa or loveseat, and a dining table and chairs, with bedding, linens, housewares, artwork, silk plants, microwaves, televisions, and all-important VCRs available for additional costs.

Starting in 1996, Equity Marketing Services oversaw the conversion of the Transportation Building from apartments to “soft loft” condos. Equity renovated the building’s lobby and common areas, and replaced its units’ kitchen appliances, bathroom vanities, carpeting, windows, and HVAC system, at a cost of $5 million.

According to an old press release tucked away in our file cabinets, Equity was targeting “young urban boomers,” suburbanites returning to the city, and middle-aged buyers who earned a median of $47,300 a year and “will be emptying their nests as children move up and out, or changing their nests through divorce or widowhood.” The homes were marketed at base prices from $83,900 to $194,900.

Today, nine units at the Transportation are listed for sale: six one-bedrooms with 900 to 983 square feet, priced from the $180s to $270s, and three two-bedrooms with 1,100 to 1,800 square feet, priced from the $330s to $400s. Monthly assessments for those units run from $268 to $590. One-bedrooms are also available to rent from $1,350 to $1,675, and two-bedrooms from $1,995 to $2,000.

Thanks to its location immediately south of the Loop, the Transportation Building is deemed both a walker’s and rider’s paradise by WalkScore.com, earning a 98/100 and perfect 100/100, respectively.

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