LAKEVIEW — A workspace for tech startups may soon be opening in the heart of Lakeview.
Desk Labs would open in the long-vacant building at 3033 N. Clark St., said Thomas Moore, an attorney representing building owner Mushin Okmen.
Desk Labs, run by tech company Fueled's founding partner Tony Christos, would rent out desks and spaces to digital startups, with two to three floors and spaces for 30-60 startups. Entrepreneurs would have access to shared facilities and private space.
"The idea is to take this derelict building ... and renovate it to make it usable for this Desk Labs organization," Moore said.
Okmen has committed to a $60,000 renovation of the building, Moore said.
Moore approached South East Lake View Neighbors Monday in hopes of receiving approval for a zoning change on the building.
Currently, the building does not comply with modern fire or accessibility codes, and the group needs to add 700 feet to the back to meet standards, Moore said.
The zoning change would include a provision that limits the building owner to adding that 700 feet, meaning the building could not be further expanded. Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) also has requested a provision that no liquor sales would be allowed in the building.
South East Lake View Neighbors will vote on the zoning change at next month's meeting. The vote is not binding, but neighborhood group rulings typically act as an important advisory to the alderman.
Correction: A previous version of this article reported that Desk Labs has a partnership with 1871. While Christos has a working relationship with a board member of 1871, there is no formal relationship between the two companies.