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McHugh And Crea Construction Teams Deliver First Apartments In Three-Year Prairie Shores Renovation In Chicago

June 4, 2021

James McHugh Construction Co., one of the country’s largest commercial contractors with a concentration in multifamily work, along with its joint venture partner Crea Construction, a minority- and woman-owned general contracting firm, announced they have completed interior renovations to more than 150 units at Prairie Shores, a five-tower apartment complex in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood. Located on 20 acres at 2801-3001 S. Martin Luther King Drive, Prairie Shores is just south of McCormick Place and west of Lake Shore Drive and 31st Street Beach. With 1,675 total units, Prairie Shores is one of the largest rental communities south of the Loop.

Developed from 1957 to 1961 and purchased in 2019 by Chicago-based firms Golub & Company and Farpoint Development, along with New York-based Goldman Sachs, Prairie Shores is undergoing a multi-phased renovation. It is a project that has perfect timing given the renewed interest in the historic Bronzeville neighborhood, according to McHugh Construction.

“We’re currently working on three very different multifamily projects in Bronzeville at various stages of development and construction, so to say this area is having a resurgence is an understatement,” said Michael Meagher, president of McHugh Construction. “Because of new-construction projects that will deliver over the next few years, it was very smart of Prairie Shores ownership to get out in front by renovating its units now so they can capture the attention of renters looking for a more modern and sophisticated living experience.”

Within the apartments, the McHugh/Crea joint venture is overseeing the installation of new appliances, countertops, plank flooring, plumbing, fixtures and lighting, plus electrical system upgrades and painting. Building corridors will also receive new finishes.

The team began staggered renovations of the classic studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments at Prairie Shores in the fall of 2020. With units being renovated in phases, the community could maintain its high occupancy levels and minimize disruption for current residents.

“Daily coordination with Prairie Shores’ property management team has been a critical piece of the renovation process as we are working in occupied buildings,” said Kate Ivanova, vice president of operations for McHugh Construction. “We are sharing loading docks, elevators and building access points for our construction activities with tenants who are moving in and out, as well as building services such as refuse removal. That’s where our years of multifamily construction and renovations experience pays off – we know how essential it is to maintain close communications with property managers, how to stay on schedule during a pandemic, and most importantly, how to get work done without disruption to the tenants’ daily lives.”

Designed by Evanston, Ill.-based Kaufman & O’Neil, the newly renovated units feature a more open floor plan and stylish interiors, including white kitchen cabinetry and granite countertops with barstool seating that overlooks the living area.

McHugh/Crea worked with Chicago-based commercial stone subcontractor GI Stone, who is sourcing, fabricating and installing nearly 40,000 square feet of granite in the units’ kitchens and baths.

“After completing the stonework for dozens of luxury multifamily high-rises throughout downtown Chicago, we are thrilled to bring our knowledge and discerning eye to a property as significant as Prairie Shores,” said Sandya Dandamudi, president of GI Stone. “The durable stone we’ve chosen makes the apartments looks so fresh and bright – it’s the type of stunning finish that will be beautiful for years to come.”

The Prairie Shores interior renovation project is the latest in a long-term relationship between McHugh Construction and Golub, for which the general contractor built the Class A Atwater Apartments at 355 E. Ohio St. in Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood and the Waldorf Astoria Chicago, formerly the Elysian Hotel Chicago, at 11 E. Walton St. in the Gold Coast. McHugh is also working with Golub to renovate the lobby and common areas at Orrington Plaza, the tallest office building in Evanston, Ill.

About James McHugh Construction Co.:
Since its founding in 1897, James McHugh Construction Co. has earned its reputation as a builder of landmark, one-of-a-kind structures in Chicago and across the Midwest. While best known for building some of Chicago’s most iconic structures such as St. Regis Chicago (Vista Tower), Aqua Tower, NEMA Chicago, Marina City, and Navy Pier’s Centennial Wheel, McHugh is equally passionate about delivering impactful projects that deliver more equitable and affordable housing while providing diverse and inclusive opportunities for contracting partners and field labor alike. The company’s mission has always been to promote a seamless and positive project experience with excellence and innovation. It is known for its unwavering commitment to its clients, its ability to deliver exceptional results on time and within budget, and its dedication to growing and developing its partnerships with subcontractors. For more information on the company, visit

About Crea Construction:
Crea Construction, Inc., is an African American- and woman-owned general contracting firm, founded July 2007 by Rea Johnson, president of the company. With more than 20 years of combined construction experience, Crea Construction, Inc., has a diversified project portfolio. The firm believes that repeat and referral business is achieved by customer satisfaction in all areas, including sustainability, timeliness, safety, attention to detail and service-minded attitudes. Every member of Crea’s construction team maintains the highest levels of professionalism, integrity, and honesty in relationships with clients.


Prairie Shores Interior: James McHugh Construction Co. and Crea Construction, Inc., have begun a phased renovation at Prairie Shores, a five-tower apartment community in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood.


Prairie Shores Kitchen: The kitchen in one of the newly renovated units at Prairie Shores in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood showcases modern cabinetry, granite countertops and stainless-steel appliances. James McHugh Construction Co. and Crea Construction, Inc., are joint venture general contractor partners for the phased interior renovation project at the apartment complex.