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Office high-rise by Old St. Pat’s wins backing

Updated: May 21, 2012 8:58AM

The city’s planning agency Thursday endorsed a new office building close to Old St. Patrick’s Church on the Near West Side and approved changes to a long-standing development proposal for property two blocks away.

The Chicago Plan Commission approved a 22-story office tower at 625 W. Adams, the southeast corner of Adams and Desplaines, now a parking lot. Old St. Pat’s, which is kitty-corner from the site, owns the property.

The church has joined with Alter Group Ltd. and White Oak Realty Partners LLC to build the office building. It would include space the church could use for outreach plus five levels of parking, comprising about 400 spaces, that parishioners could use on Sundays. The other site on the Near West Side is a nearly two-acre parking lot at 645 W. Madison. The commission agreed to revise a plan so developer Philip Mappa could build housing on the parcel, which is just west of Presidential Towers.

An earlier plan allowed only for office construction. Mappa has tried to attract users to the site, next to the Kennedy Expressway, since 2003. He’s allowed to build up to 1.5 million square feet.

In another matter, the commission approved a developers’ proposal to renovate aging office buildings at 20, 22, and 28 E. Jackson. DJ Acquisitions LLC wants to offer up to 199 residential units that will be marketed to graduate students attending school downtown.

City officials said the work will cost $57 million and that the buildings should be ready for occupancy in the fall of 2013. Office tenants would be relocated to 228 S. Wabash.

The City Council will review the commission’s decisions.

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