MPC Tours Skender’s New Advanced Manufacturing Facility on Chicago’s Southwest Side - Metropolitan Planning Council

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MPC Tours Skender’s New Advanced Manufacturing Facility on Chicago’s Southwest Side

MPC Leadership Circle members enjoyed a tour and presentation at Skender’s new, forward-thinking modular building factory

Liz Granger, Metropolitan Planning Council

On August 8, Metropolitan Planning Council’s Leadership Circle members enjoyed a full tour and presentation by MPC Leadership Circle member Tim Swanson at Skender’s new advanced manufacturing facility on Chicago’s Southwest Side at 3348 S. Pulaski. Skender, a vertically integrated design, construction and advanced manufacturing firm, recently launched modular building production there at the end of May. The facility will use Skender’s unique, fully-integrated process that takes modular building projects from concept to technical design to advanced fabrication to onsite completion.

“Our production launch is an important milestone in our radical new approach to building. By bringing design, manufacturing and construction under one brand and one integrated team, we can dramatically improve productivity and build more efficiently while increasing the quality of materials and finishes, as well as the energy performance,” said Mark Skender, CEO, Skender and MPC Executive Advisor. “We are proud to open our facility with a premier workforce and a project that demonstrates a new housing delivery model capable of changing how we fight the affordable housing crisis. This is a true gamechanger.”

The first modular building project is an order of 10 affordable-rate, three-flat apartment buildings from Chicago developer Sterling Bay that will help address the city’s critical affordable housing shortage. These steel-frame three-flats will be completed and ready for occupancy in a nine-week production schedule – 80% faster than conventional construction methods – and at a 5% to 20% lower project cost, depending on the comparable delivery method.

The highly efficient modular building process, completed almost entirely in a climate-controlled environment, increases quality and safety, reduces price, eliminates weather risk and significantly reduces delivery schedule. Skender, a 64-year-old legacy builder, engineers and manages the entire turnkey sequence. Other projects in the design stages include modular building for affordable and market-rate multifamily, healthcare and hospitality.

In conjunction with the new factory, Skender has reached a new, unique union agreement with the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters that allows Skender’s manufacturing employees to organize and become bargaining members.

At full capacity in about 18 months, Skender’s facility will employ 150 people. To help source, train and prepare the workforce for specialized careers in manufacturing, Skender has partnered with Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters, Cara Chicago, Heartland Alliance, Chicago Women in Trades (CWIT), Central States SER and the Jane Addams Resource Corporation (JARC).

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Members of the Leadership Circle provide the strong philanthropic foundation upon which MPC’s programs thrive. In appreciation of members’ generous support, the Leadership Circle provides access to valuable content on regional research and trend analysis, exclusive networking events, discounted tickets to MPC’s Urban Think & Drink and Roundtable events, briefings from prominent speakers on timely topics, and one-of-a-kind experiences.


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