Property Q&A in Chicago>Question Details

baluckett, Home Owner in Chicago, IL

how do i change my single family home to a multiunit?

Asked by baluckett, Chicago, IL Thu Jan 31, 2013

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you will need to follow the rules the city has about collecting rent @ your of is where you start
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 1, 2013
To Baluckett,
You should look up your address on the city of chicago zoning map. http://( for zoning map then enter your address in the search windows). The site will tell you what the zoning is for your address. Then you should contact the Zoning Dept. tell them your address and zoning district. They can tell immediately if you would need to CHANGE your zoning designation OR file "as of right". Changing your zoning will require aldermanic support, takes a long time AND there is no guarantee your application will be accepted. If you have the opportunity to file "as of right" then check your lot size against any other multi unit building within 10 lots of your address. (use the same zoning map). Your lot will have to accomodate parking for the number of units that you want to create. As a licensed architect I have a great deal of experience with this sort of thing. Feel free to contact me.
Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 1, 2013
Dear Home Owner,

You will definitely need to apply with the City of Chicago Zoning Ordinance Administration. Visit . But before contacting the zoning office go to your alderman’s office and speak to him and her about your plans and why you want to convert the single family home into a multifamily unit. Essentially you want to get your alderpersons blessing.

Here is what the application. Read through it thoroughly as the application lays out the order in which you must do everything:…

At some point you will also need to consult with a license architect to have blue prints drawn up showing the changes to the existing structure according to Chicago building code. Than you will need to hire a contractor to do the work and the contractor will have to apply for permits to do the work.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 1, 2013

Do you even know what your current zoning allows for? Are there other multi-units on the block? Did you talk to your neighbors? And you will probably need your Alderman's blessing for any exceptions or variances that may be required. Get in touch with an architect before you do anything to see if it's even cost effective.

Best of luck.

Ian Halpin / Broker
Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty
425 W. North Ave. / Chicago, IL 60610
O: 312.335.3220 / F: 312.229.9190 / C: 773.531.4479 |
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 31, 2013
You will need to see if you can change it through the housing department. Then from there you will need to fill out the required permits, etc. Once you get that done, you then need to get an architect to draw up the plans.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 31, 2013
The abilty to do this depends on what the zoning for your property allows. Contact the building department to see if it is a posibility. If so, which it usually is NOT, you need to hire an architech to draw up plans and go through a huge 'process' with the city.
This is rarely accomplished.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 31, 2013

You need to hire an architect to draw up plans. Take the plans to the zoning commision for approval. It is a process, but it is possible. The value in the market is converting 2 flats into single family homes.

Best regards,

Ivan Sagel
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 31, 2013
You must apply with the city to change the zoning.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 31, 2013
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