It used to take so long to get hot water in some apartments in the massive Riverside Plaza housing complex that tenants would leave the water on all day. After a $65 million renovation to the historic 1,303-unit housing complex, the water bill for owner Sherman Associates has been cut in half. More importantly, new plumbing, windows, heating, cooling and other renovations have improved life for the estimated 4,500 mostly immigrant tenants of what Mayor R.T. Rybak calls the city's "Ellis Island." The partners in the renovation held a big party Wednesday to mark the completion of the renovations, and offered tours of the complex, which is instantly recognizable in the city skyline because of its enormous scale and brutalist architecture softened by multicolored panels. I tagged along on a tour with owner George Sherman, who bought the complex in 1988, and got a bird's-eye view of the project.
Krista Bergert of the city Department of Community Planning and Economic Development pulled together a wealth of facts about the renovation. I've attached it below.