Leopardo Project Wins ENR Midwest Project of the Year

The Leopardo-built Independence Library and Apartments won ENR Midwest’s Project of the Year in the office/retail/mixed-use category. The 82,050-square-foot, six-story, LEED Gold-seeking structure located at 4022 N. Elston Ave. uniquely bundles a public library with affordable housing. The library portion officially opened in January 2019 with a ribbon cutting attended by then mayor, Rahm Emmanuel. The apartment portion of the project wrapped in early fall 2019.

The new library features an open floor plan with large expanses of natural light, comfortable seating, easily accessible and mobile shelving, group tables, play areas and a community room. The building also includes a graduated seating staircase, rooftop terrace and garden, as well as a parking structure with a park-like area off the second floor with spaces for library patrons.

The apartments portion occupies the four floors above the library branch and consists of 44 affordable residences for seniors, each of which features a colorful balcony. In addition to the library, tenant amenities include a fitness room and access to the rooftop green space.

Serving as general contractor, Leopardo collaborated with John Ronan Architects, Chicago Public Libraries, Chicago Housing Authority and Evergreen Real Estate Group to complete the project.

The Independence Library and Apartments was chosen as the Project of the Year recipient from a list of carefully-curated entries and will be featured along with other winners in the November edition of ENR Midwest. The project team will also be honored at ENR’s annual award breakfast on December 5.

Leopardo would like to acknowledge our partners at Autodesk for submitting the nomination.

Photos © James Florio