820 S. Michigan

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A Chicago landmark and former headquarters of the Johnson Publishing Co. reopened as an innovative, 150-unit co-living residential high-rise in the South Loop. African American architect John Warren Moutoussamy designed the original modernist structure, built in 1971 and occupied shortly after by the publishing empire. Founded by John H. Johnson, Johnson Publishing Co. was well known for its early leadership in featuring the black American experience through magazines like Ebony and Jet. The business operated from Michigan Avenue for nearly 40 years before eventually selling the building.

In the transformation to co-living apartments, new ownership worked to preserve design elements that signal the property’s important history, including an original “EBONY JPC JET” sign now overlooking a rooftop terrace.

Managing partner 3L Real Estate, LLC was responsible for implementing the project. Principal investor Argosy Real Estate Partners retained DMA to provide both initial due diligence and ongoing consulting services. DMA’s role helped ensure a high-quality, cost-effective outcome and included review of the project schedule, total development cost budget, major construction and design contracts, monthly site inspections, change orders, and other design, construction, and schedule issues.

Chicago, IL
Mike Levin
Mike Levin
Team Lead
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