ANDERSONVILLE — The proposals from the Chicago Waldorf School and a developer partnering with the TimeLine Theatre Co. were favored in a survey to take over the former Lyman Trumbull Elementary School building.
The survey, conducted by Ald. Pat O'Connor's 40th Ward office, included 310 responses. Of those responses, 80 percent found Waldorf's proposal "acceptable," while 55 percent found TimeLine and Chicago Development Corporation's proposal "acceptable."
However, of the 176 respondents who lived within 10 blocks of Trumbull, at 5200 N. Ashland Ave., 77 percent approved of Waldorf's plan and 65 percent approved of the theater plan. None of the other four plans came within 33 percentage points.
The results bode well for the two leading proposals, their proponents said Tuesday.
"We anticipated this. We heard it from the community since November as we’ve been going door to door," said Luke Goodwin, Waldorf's administrative director. "It was meant to be a school; it should be a school."
The growing Rogers Park school has been looking for a new space for years, although the school isn't absolutely sure it'll be moving. There is also a plan in the works to renovate the current facility and erect a new building across the street on Loyola Avenue.
"We’re pursuing both and having conversations about both," he said.
But Goodwin also made the differences between Waldorf's and TimeLine's proposals clear.
"Having an independent school come to Andersonville would be great for the Clark Street corridor," he said. "A theater supports restaurants, but a school supports everything."
But Chicago Development principal Howard Weiner said Tuesday his plan to build out a first-floor theater for TimeLine and 47 condos or apartment units above would keep most of the property on the tax rolls.
"We had always tried to conceive a project that had numerous community benefits and preserved the school," he said.
He said the his plan would be to sell the theater portion of the former elementary school to TimeLine.
One of the questions favored Weiner's proposal over Waldorf's. The question asked respondents living nearby to rank the proposals from most desired to the least desired. The ranks were then totaled, giving Waldorf 178 and Chicago Development 175. (Note that the lower score means the higher average preference among respondents.)
Now, the city is crafting an official request for proposals for Trumbull's prospective owners.
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