Chicago’s premiere men’s hat maker will convert a former fire station in Beverly into millinery under a former fire station in Beverly into millinery under a redevelopment plan approved today by City Council.
Optimo Hat Company Inc. will rehabilitate the two-story firehouse at 1706 W. 95th St. for its new production facility and headquarters. The ground floor will be dedicated to the craft of custom hat-making and the second floor would house offices.
Valued at $190,000, the property will be sold for $1.Total project cost for the first-floor renovations would be $422,000. The $400,000 conversion of the second floor will be tied to the opening of additional retail outlets for the company. The project will create 10 new jobs over the next five years.
Built by the Chicago Fire Department for Engine Co. 121 in 1915, the 6,400-square-foot building closed in 2008 after a new, larger station was built nearby.
Founded 18 years ago, Optimo hats have been used in movies such as “Public Enemies,” “Road to Perdition” and “J. Edgar”and on a range of celebrity clients like musician Buddy Guy and actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks.
Optimo's current millinery space on South Western Avenue will be converted to a retail location after the move.
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