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Wrigleyville Parking: Residents Petition for Fewer Spots on New Development

By Serena Dai | October 29, 2013 7:33am
 Developers of the long-stalled Addison Park on Clark project hope to gain city approval this fall for an adjusted plan with 148 apartments, 493 parking spaces and nearly 170,000 square feet of retail space.
Addison Park on Clark Renderings
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WRIGLEYVILLE — An apartment complex development across from Wrigley Field got the OK from a city commission, but some residents are now trying to rein in the number of parking spaces allowed for the project.

Nearly 500 spaces are far too many for the Addison Park on Clark development, said Ryan Wallace, a five-year resident of east Lakeview. Wallace and a group of a dozen North Side residents started a petition calling on M&R Development's Tony Rossi and Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) to downsize the lot.

As of late Monday afternoon, 52 people had signed.

The long-stalled development, which would span most of Addison from Sheffield to Clark, is steps away from the Addison Red Line stop and major bus lines. A recent city ordinance allows less parking on a new development if it's near major public transportation, meaning Addison Park would only legally need 74 spaces, the petition argues.

More parking means more traffic and more pollution, the petition says, and in the winter the lots would add little to the community.

"During off-hours, your investment may lose money as parking sits vacant," the petition says.

The development still needs approval from the City Council zoning committee and the full council.

Rossi said he considered the plan a done deal, considering the commission's approval. Already, Linda Searle of the plan commission questioned the need for so many spaces and was told by Rossi and Tunney that the neighborhood needs the parking. 

Most parking has been lost to development, Tunney told the commission, and the neighborhood needs more due to the traffic that Wrigley Field attracts.

Parking was major sticking point between Tunney and the Cubs during Wrigley Field renovation negotiations. The Cubs ultimately agreed to focus on remote parking solutions, traffic light adjustments on Clark and a 300-space lot near the Taco Bell on Addison.

Tunney also told the commission that development was "sorely needed" in the area.

"There is momentum to reduce parking around train stations, but not when they have an unparked stadium," Tunney said. "You gotta take all this into consideration."

Only about 100 of the spaces are likely be filled by Cubs fans, Rossi said. The health club and retail tenants will demand parking, he said. Though it's still unclear what retail that might be, Rossi said he thinks they will need parking beyond game days.

"They’re running businesses, and they want people to park there," Rossi said.

During Wrigley Field negotiations, residents also petitioned against a proposed 650-space, double-deck garage at Grace and Racine, and the Cubs nixed the idea. Some of the same people who pushed that petition are pushing this one, Wallace said. 

A complex like Addison Park on Clark should be using car sharing spaces or offering transit benefits to residents and retail customers, the petition argues. 

"Reduce your vast parking in favor of better ideas that don't put more cars on our streets," it said. 

Wallace gets frustrated with the development process in the neighborhood, where he thinks leaders don't understand the impact more cars could have in the neighborhood in the long term, he said.

"The initial/primary goal is to show the developer and the alderman that this is NOT what the community wants," Wallace wrote in an email.

He's hopeful that opposition may prompt reduced parking in the project, but Rossi dismissed the petition, saying the plan has already been through weeks of public process and that numbers are set.

"Sorry you didn't get in the mix sooner," Rossi said. "I don't know what we could have done to make it more public."

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