LAKEVIEW — Plans for a high-rise at Broadway and Sheridan hit a snag Monday night when the 46th Ward Zoning and Development Committee voted against the project.
Developer Sedgwick Properties announced this summer plans to replace a vacant gas station at 3901 N. Broadway with an 18-story mixed-use building.
After residents complained about the size and scope of the project, Sedgwick bumped the proposal down to a 15-story building with 101 rental apartments, 68 parking spaces and 5,000 square feet of retail space.
For some residents, that still wasn't enough.
On Monday night, the 46th Ward committee — which includes local block clubs and condo associations — voted against the plan. Neighbors argued the project was too big, would cause too much congestion and didn't provide enough parking spaces.
Ald. James Cappleman (46th) said he supported the decision.
"I've always backed the committee's decisions," he said, "and I'm not going to stop."
The committee said it would support a smaller project on the lot — something similar in size to the six-story Chateau Hotel, which sits kitty-corner at 3838 N. Broadway.
"We are not opposed to development; no one wants an empty gas station," said Aileen Tien, who owns a condo next door to the lot. "But this building is too big."
Rolando Acosta, an attorney for Sedgwick Properties, said the idea was to build something similar in size to Halsted Flats, which sits 1½ blocks away at 3740 N. Halsted St. That building is 165 feet tall, he said, and the Sedgwick project would be 170 feet tall.
The current proposal calls for ground-level retail space, two floors of parking (34 spots per level) and 101 rental apartments, ranging in size from one- to three-bedroom.
Some neighbors argued that a 15-story building would need more than 68 parking spaces. They also worried that not providing commercial parking could lead to retail vacancies in an area that's already struggling with empty storefronts.
Acosta again pointed to Halsted Flats.
"As of [Sunday], Halsted Flats has 236 units rented," he said, "and they're using 138 parking spaces. So in terms of tenants leasing the parking, it's running just shy of 60 percent. We're [going to offer enough parking for] about 70 percent of tenants."
The developers said they'd aim for businesses like coffee shops or bakeries, which would cater to locals and wouldn't need extra parking.
Several members of the community said they'd welcome the project.
"As someone who lives across the street from this development, I have to say, I don't care about parking," Brian Richardson said. "I don't live in Elgin because I prefer to live in a city where I can walk places, I can take the bus, I can take the train.
"I'm disheartened to think we would not support new development, new housing, new people coming into the neighborhood."
Tressa Feher, Cappleman's chief of staff, said she would meet with the developers to decide how to proceed.
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