Before an Extra Alarm Fire, Buffalo Grove-Based Svigos Development Was Working to Convert Mulligan Elementary School to Apartment Building

Buffalo Grove-based Svigos planned to convert Mulligan School — a former Chicago Public Schools elementary school — to an apartment building with 24 units. The developers planned to renovate the building “true to what it was” by preserving old fixtures and finishes as well as the basic layout of the building. Svigos Vice President Nick Vittore told Crain’s Chicago Business in September 2013 that there would be new apartments, a mix of two- and three-bedroom units, averaging about 1,500 square feet, that would be named after the spaces they’re replacing, including former classrooms, the principal’s office and common areas such as the cafeteria, library and gym. The plan for the gym was to convert it to a large 3,000 square-foot apartment unit.

This afternoon Svigos was taking over the property at 1855-63 North Sheffield Avenue from Chicago Fire Department’s crews that were finishing up after an overnight job of firefighting and securing of the property. Svigos would be responsible for creating a perimeter fence around the ruins, formerly known as Mulligan School. The building had been granted landmark status last February.

The school had been vandalized several times over the past several months, which was the reason firefighters were greeted by guard dogs, described as “attack dogs” when they responded to the fire emergency just after 1:00 a.m. The fire was already jumping from the second to the third floor and about to break through the roof when firefighters arrived.

The fire alarm was elevated to a 2-11 at 1:31 a.m. and a 3-11 at 1:59 a.m. By morning the building was an ice castle from water applied during firefighting operations with an air temperature of about 11°F and a wind chill of -8°F. Some hot spots were still burning after sunrise.

Svigos Asset Management manages several residential and commercial properties the City of Chicago and suburbs, including Cambridge Commons Shopping Center at Buffalo Grove Road and Dundee Road.

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