RTM Engineering Consultants’ Oakley Square Apartments project received the Polk Bros. Foundation Affordable Rental Housing Preservation Award at the 22nd Annual Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards (CNDA) managed by LISC Chicago on February 18, 2016. The award was presented to The Community Builders, Inc., the project’s nonprofit real estate developer, and was one of two RTM projects recognized at the CNDA event. Click here to read about the Dorchester Art + Housing Collaborative project that also received an award.
Formerly known as St. Stephens Terrace, the 15-building residential complex underwent a major rehabilitation and renovation to transform it into what now is called the Oakley Square Apartments. The development covers an entire city block, and consists of 12 two-story townhomes and three seven-story midrises that were reconfigured to include air conditioning, new appliances, new lighting, and community-focused areas, such as a children’s library, hobby kitchen, gym, and a clinic run by Rush Medical Center.
As part of the A/E team led by Pappageorge Haymes Partners, RTM provided MEP services for the Oakley Square Apartments project. A thorough evaluation was conducted to survey existing building systems to accurately calculate and incorporate new loads created by the updated equipment and reconfigured spaces. Since the community areas were converted from residential units, RTM designed new MEP systems for these spaces. Additionally, the site lighting was retrofitted to provide new energy saving lights with night sky full cut-off fixtures. Phased construction and intra-campus relocation provided a smooth process for residents that ended in a “Welcome Wagon” return to their refurbished apartments.
“I truly appreciate the opportunity for RTM to be a part of such an inspiring and impactful redevelopment,” stated Doug Brewer, Principal at RTM Engineering Consultants. “This project focused not only on rebuilding the physical structure, but also on fostering a sense of community by involving tenants and neighborhood stakeholders in the planning process and designing welcoming and functional gathering spaces for residents to enjoy.”
The Polk Bros. Foundation Affordable Rental Housing Preservation Award aims to recognize developers that have upheld the affordability of existing rental housing in properties at risk due to expiring affordability requirements or sub-standard conditions.