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Developers Trim Roots Pizza, Apartment Project in Lakeview

By Erica Demarest | September 10, 2014 8:53am | Updated on September 15, 2014 10:30am
 Developers want to build Roots Pizza and 19 apartments in a four-story building at 2941 N. Clark St.
Roots Pizza
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LAKEVIEW — A new Roots Pizza location is coming to Lakeview, but the building that will house it will be smaller than initially planned.

Earlier this summer, developer John Livaditis said he hoped to build the city's third Roots Pizza at 2941 N. Clark St., a long-vacant property in southeast Lakeview. Above the restaurant would sit 33 one-bedroom rental apartments.

On Monday night, Livaditis presented revised plans to the South East Lake View Neighbors group. He's now aiming for 19 one- and two-bedroom units.

"We're going to do four stories that blend in pretty well with the neighborhood buildings," Livaditis said as he presented revised renderings.

Roots Pizza will anchor the building with a 4,600-square-foot restaurant at ground level. The family-friendly pizza joint launched in Ukrainian Village and is currently building a second location in Lincoln Square.

Developers in Lakeview plan to bump out the sidewalk on Clark Street to make the area more pedestrian-friendly with trees and planters.

The building's second, third and fourth floors will house 19 apartments, mostly one-bedroom units. Amenities would include a bike room, elevator and dog-wash station.

Current zoning for the property only allows for 12 apartments and requires a 1:1 parking ratio, said Stephen Stults, an attorney on the project.

Livaditis' team is seeking a zoning change to allow for the seven additional units and a 20-percent parking reduction. Revised plans would create 14 residential parking spaces behind the building, accessible from a back alley.

"As a city, I think we want more people walking, more people riding bikes, using bike lanes," Livaditis said. "Probably half the tenants won't have cars. I think people who want to live in that area don't have cars."

Members of the South East Lake View Neighbors group voted 13:6 in favor of the proposed zoning changes.

Livaditis must still seek approval from Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) and the city's zoning board.

Some residents at Monday night's meeting complained about possible congestion. According to developers, food and beer delivery trucks for Roots Pizza will park along Clark Street and bring supplies through the front of the building before business hours.

And adding parking, pizza delivery drivers and more garbage collectors to the narrow alley behind the building could prove problematic, some residents said.

Livaditis said he would continue to work with neighbors as he fine tunes details. The developer is currently under contract for the Clark Street property and plans to close within 30 days.

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