University Plaza Renovation & Expansion

DeKalb, Illinois

The University Plaza Redevelopment Project located in the City of DeKalb represents a major reinvestment in the community and is one of the largest structures in DeKalb. This planned development transforms a fifty-year-old property and allows 290,000 sq. ft. of residential space to thrive for many decades to come. The new design dramatically transforms the interior of the entire complex by remodeling each apartment to include a living room, kitchen, bedroom(s), and bathroom. Renovation of the entire Central Building with updated resident services and recreational facilities completes the update. The west half of the Central Building features a dramatic new entry that anchors the west façade and provides a much needed prominent front door to the complex. The reception space was relocated to give a comfortable and communal gathering space upon entering. The new coffee bar is conveniently located between the main axis that connects both towers, and also doubles as a group interaction and study area.

Because of the change in occupancy, the project required zoning variances for multiple issues.  Sharp Architects Inc. led the project and the client through an extensive Planned Development Residential approval process.  We successfully negotiated variances for a quantity of parking spaces, lighting, landscaping,  signage, and telecommunication equipment to the advantage of our client and the community.

The process involved multiple public hearings at both the Planning Commission level and with the DeKalb City Council.

Client: Capstone Real Estate Investments, LLC

Project Size: 290,000 SQ. FT.

Completed: 2015