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'Horrendous' Congestion Feared As Lakeview, Lincoln Park Projects Collide

By Erica Demarest | September 9, 2014 8:42am
 Developers want to build a 50-unit apartment building at 506-514 W. Diversey Pkwy. by spring 2016.
506-514 W. Diversey Pkwy.
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LAKEVIEW — Developers on Monday night announced plans to create a 50-unit apartment building near Diversey Harbor in Lakeview.

The Parkway East project at 506-514 W. Diversey Pkwy. would include ground-floor retail, two stories of residential parking, 44 two-bedroom apartments and six three-bedroom penthouse suites.

"These are rental units," developer Jeremy Michor said Monday at a South East Lake View Neighbors meeting. "It will be built on a higher-end finish."

Two-bedroom apartments will be roughly 1,100 to 1,200 square feet, Michor said. Three-bedroom penthouses, which will take over the building's top two floors, should average 3,200 square feet.

Michor wouldn't speculate on rent prices, saying it would depend on the market when his project launches.

The building will offer 50 parking spaces — one for each unit. Drivers can access parking-garage floors through an alley behind the building, which would also be used for move-ins and garbage collection.

Michor said Yak-Zies, a long-standing sports bar at 506 W. Diversey Pkwy., won't be impacted by the development. It will remain open, and ownership won't change.

The developer said he hoped to start construction by spring 2015, with an open date of spring 2016.

But a proposed development across the street — for 78 residential units at 523 W. Diversey Pkwy. in Lincoln Park — could be problematic.

Lexington Homes LLC hopes to build a 17-story condo building on the site of The Market Place Foodstore, just feet away from Michor's project in Lakeview.

Residents on Monday complained the dual projects would bring too much construction and too many people to an already congested area.

"Traffic's going to be horrendous," said Cheryl Cornell, who's lived in the area for 33 years. "You're putting 50 units where none existed. They're going to put 78 units where none existed. ... That area is horribly congested already. Just drive down Diversey on a weekend. It's scary."

Bennett Lawson, chief of staff for Ald. Tom Tunney (44th), said his office would work closely with Ald. Michele Smith (43rd) as the projects move forward. Diversey Parkway draws a line between the two wards — and the two developments.

"They are aware that this is possibly coming down the line. They are aware of 3030 [N. Broadway, which will soon house a five-story shopping complex], as well," Lawson said.

"Nothing happens in a vacuum, so when CDOT reviews the planned development, all of those planning projects are taken into consideration," Lawson said, adding that plenty of proposals never get off the ground.

"They take what's in the hopper now," he said.

Michor said he planned to commission a traffic study of the area. Once that's complete, members of the South East Lake View Neighbors group will vote on whether to support the development.

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