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Plan for Shops, Apartments Near Austin and Lawrence Gets Alderman's OK

By Heather Cherone | November 5, 2014 5:30am
 Ald. Tim Cullerton (38th) said he will support a zoning change required by the project.
Ald. Tim Cullerton (38th) said he will support a zoning change required by the project.
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38th Ward Office

PORTAGE PARK — Plans to build apartments and shops on a now vacant parcel of land near Lawrence and Austin avenues have the support of Ald. Tim Cullerton (38th).

The proposal to build a four-story mixed-use development in the northwest corner of Portage Park that includes three six-unit apartment buildings is similar to a plan that was approved by city officials many years ago but dropped in the midst of the Great Recession, Cullerton said.

"I think it will be a nice addition to the neighborhood," Cullerton said.

The 24-unit development will include 54 parking spaces, more than required by city ordinance, including 24 indoor spots, Cullerton said.

At the alderman's request, the project will include additional space for snow piles in order to avoid eliminating parking spaces.

Nicholas Fitkas, the project's attorney, did not return a phone message, nor did architect Jonathon Splitt.

The project requires a zoning change that requires the approval of city officials. Cullerton said he changed the property's zoning after the original proposal fell apart to avoid an unwanted, dense development from being proposed by the property owner.

The development won the support of residents who live near the development who attended a community meeting Oct. 29, as well as Ald. John Arena, whose 45th Ward is adjacent to the property, Cullerton said.

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