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New Structure Going up on Memorial Drive

By Nancy Leighton
A new multi-use building is under construction at 301 Memorial Drive. Planning work started several years ago with demolition of old industrial buildings on the property.
Around the first of the year excavations for the foundation started. When everything was dug out to the correct level, concrete retaining walls were poured in place along Memorial Drive and Hardy Street. On February 20, ready mix concrete trucks lined up to be filled at Argosy Concrete at 885 Glenwood Avenue. When full, the trucks made their way to 301 Memorial Drive to pour the footings for the building.
According to Mr. Brooks Hall of Archetype Design, LLC, architect for the project, they have poured the very lowest level slab of the parking deck and are working on pouring the next level up from that so that the construction workers can park below the building as they work on it. Space is very tight around that address and construction parking is always a problem. Most likely the second level will be used for supplies and staging. The construction company working on the development is J.M. Wilkerson Construction.
The four story building will have 3,300 square feet of retail space at street level. It will have three floors of residential apartments containing 85 units with elevators and fire sprinklers. There will be 126 underground parking spaces with gated entry. The retail level will have a Nichiha exterior skin. The upper levels will have cementitious siding panels with precast concrete faux stone sills and lintels. The windows and doors will have aluminum frames.
A drive down Memorial Drive reveals many vacant lots and abandoned buildings which are characterized by deterioration and desolation. Many years ago a group of Grant Park residents approached the city to come up with a new plan for Memorial Drive. After many studies, planning, rezoning and economic downturns some of the improvement projects are beginning to take shape.

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