LOGAN SQUARE — A project that would bring 63 studio apartments to the neighborhood was criticized by some Monday night as too dense, but the developer touted his plan as a way to provide housing for students and young professionals.
The five-story apartment building at 2340 N. California Ave. — which would include 63 studio apartments, three one-bedroom units and a penthouse — is being developed by Enrico Plati of Savoy Development, who called it "an unusual project but also a progressive project."
Plati's presentation drew a crowd of more than 120 people to a sometimes-tense meeting of the Greater Goethe Neighborhood Association Zoning and Planning Committee at the Haas Park field house.
Upzoning, parking concerns, density and questions over what sort of clientele would be attracted to the apartment building were among the issues raised.
Some thought the building would be out of step with the neighborhood’s character.
“What you have here looks like it belongs in the West Loop,” said longtime resident and business owner Paul Kamp, drawing applause. “Logan Square is already a desirable place to live because it’s low density — what you have there is not low density.”
Plati, a developer of 35 years, compared his vision for Logan Square to his past work in the West Loop, stating that he “truly believes [Logan Square] will be just as desirable” as Downtown in years to come.
While the project is being developed under city guidelines as a single room occupancy project — traditional SROs often are considered undesirable because they attract a transient population — Plati said the SRO connection is only because the city lacks a designation for what he called “micro apartments.”
His project will be not be a “decrepit building … lacking amenities,” he said.
Unlike traditional SROs which are designed for low-income clientele, Plati said his proposed apartment complex will be geared toward students and young professionals at a minimum $1,000 monthly pricetag per room. He said he expects the rooms to fill up within a few months of completion.
Addressing concerns about a lack of parking around the building, Plati said he expected fewer than a dozen residents of the apartments would own cars. The public transit-friendly building will include an i-Go car share in-house, he added.
“It will be something that is seriously lacking in Chicago at this point,” Plati said of his proposal.
While much of the crowd spoke in opposition to the plan, some spoke in favor of it, with one supporter referencing its relatively reasonable rents in an increasingly popular neighborhood and its proximity to mass transit.
John Amdor, a UIC graduate student in urban planning, called such projects "critical to the vitality of cities."
“We should be eager to welcome people,” said Amdor. “If you think I don’t care about this neighborhood then you’ve got it wrong.”
In addition to the 66 apartments, the proposed building would house 5,000 square feet of commercial space on the first floor. Ten percent of the units would be subsidized, according to Plati.
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