Greenleaf Ave. Firehouse Final Bids Include Hindu Temple, Private Home

By Benjamin Woodard on January 6, 2014 10:21am 

 Ald. Joe Moore (49th) announced three final bids for the Greenleaf Avenue Firehouse: proposals for a home-office space, a Hindu temple and headquarters for two organizations.
Ald. Joe Moore (49th) announced three final bids for the Greenleaf Avenue Firehouse: proposals for a home-office space, a Hindu temple and headquarters for two organizations.
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Top and bottom left: Andrews-Vance; Right: NCR

ROGERS PARK — The three final bids for the vacant, city-owned firehouse on Greenleaf Avenue are proposals for a Hindu temple, a home-office space and headquarters for two economic support and social organizations, officials said.

The firehouse, at 1723 W. Greenleaf Ave., has sat empty since firefighters moved out in 2009. The city requested bids for the property earlier this year, along with other vacant firehouses in the city.

The final bidders include Jim Andrews and Dean Vance, who propose a work-living space; Rogers Park's Hare Krishna Temple; and Northside Community Resources and Northside Community Development Corporation, which want to use the firehouse as a community space and new headquarters, according to a statement from 49th Ward Ald. Joe Moore.

Moore plans to hold a public meeting at 7 p.m. Jan. 13 at the United Church of Rogers Park, 1545 W. Morse Ave, to gather comments about the proposals.

He urged residents to attend "to learn more about the proposals and express your views on which proposal you think is the best fit for the community and the future of the Greenleaf Avenue firehouse."

Jim Andrews and Dean Vance (and their dog "Tango")

Proposal: Andrews and Vance want to transform the firehouse into a "work-live" space. The renovation would include rooftop solar panels, geothermal heating and cooling system, and two greenhouses, according to site plans. The two said they would live on the second floor, while the first floor would be used for their ad agency and therapy practice. Developer Scott Whelan, who also constructed Fountainhead restaurant in Ravenswood, could complete the rehabilitation by the end of the year.

Bid: $250,000

Construction Costs: $788,000

Total Proposed Investment: $1.04 Million

International Society for Krishna Consciousness

Proposal: Known as the Hare Krishna Temple, the Hindu organization has been based on Lunt Avenue a block away from the firehouse for more than 30 years. The temple would offer yoga classes, massage therapy, counseling, meditation classes, after-school programs and would expand its free meal program to seniors, according to plans. The first floor would include a kitchen and open space for programming, while the backyard would be transformed into a community garden and gathering space. The second floor would include apartments.

Bid: $302,500

Construction Costs: $710,000

Total Proposed Investment: $1.2 million

Northside Community Development Corporation and Northside Community Resources

Proposal: The two nonprofit economic support and social organizations would make the first floor of the firehouse a community space for public meetings and other programming, while the second floor would be office space, according to plans. The organizations offer housing assistance, homeowner counseling services and support services for victims of violent crime.

Bid: $25,000 (according to bidding document obtained from city)

Construction Costs: $445,000 to $641,000

Total Proposed Investment: $470,000 to $666,000

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