UPTOWN— FLATS Chicago has won a key approval in its quest to convert a long-vacant, red brick firehouse on West Gunnison Street into four apartments.
The North Uptown Neighbors block club sent its approval of the plan to the office of Ald. James Cappleman (46th).
“There was little to no objection at all from neighbors,” said Lindsay Huge, an officer of the block club in charge of zoning and redevelopment.
Huge said after the meeting on Nov. 19, where developer Jay Michael presented plans to the neighborhood group, he put a call out to neighbors asking if there was any opposition to the plan.
There was a slight question about plans for parking in the back of the building, but concerns were quelled because nothing about the current parking footprint would change under the plan, Huge said.
“Everyone just seems glad that something is being done with a long vacant building,” said Huge.
Plans for the 1920s, two-story firehouse at 1217-19 W. Gunnison St. would require a zoning change from a single-unit structure to a multiunit building. Designs show two-bedroom, two-bath apartments, new windows, doors and light fixtures. A second-floor balcony would be added to the back, according to the plans.
Michael said the renovation plans pay homage to the history of the building.
“I really love that building,” said Michael. “It’s full of Uptown treasures.”
Michael said he doesn’t expect the process will be “too complicated” moving forward, but he expects to have a better idea of a construction timeline once the zoning changes are approved by the city.
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