The DNAinfo archives brought to you by WNYC.
Read the press release here.

Cornelia Avenue Zoning Change Sought for 20-Unit Apartment Building

By Ariel Cheung | March 27, 2015 5:31am

LAKEVIEW — Contractors hope young professionals and budding families will be drawn to a new apartment building on Cornelia Avenue, but neighbors are concerned a requested zoning change would "set a precedent" for taller buildings and fewer parking spots on the quiet street.

Contemporary Concepts Inc. plans to raze the current single-family house at 1045-47 W. Cornelia Ave. to make way for the 20-unit, four-story apartment building.

Hawthorne Neighbors eventually approved the plan, and after making several recommended changes from the board, Contemporary Concepts Inc. asked the zoning board to increase the allowed number of units, height and square footage.

"We as a board thought that encouraging new housing and development is a good priority, especially bringing added vitality to the Clark Street corridor," said Adam Rosa, Hawthorne Neighbors board president.

The brick exterior of a proposed apartment building at 1045 W. Cornelia Ave. will feature two shades of gray. Contractors said landscaping and a 4-1/2 foot steel fence would compliment the facade. (Hawthorne Neighbors/Studio Dwell Architects)

But it was largely the reduced parking request that concerned Mike Cornwall, who lives on the block and owns rental property there. Cornwall said he believed the lack of parking would take its toll on street parking.

If the request is granted, the 20-unit building would have 16 parking spots, which "is not going to fly with my neighbors," Cornwall said. "All my renters have cars. I'm thinking there's not enough parking there."

Given the proximity to the Red Line Addison stop, Contemporary Concepts owner Michael Breheny said young adults — the target building population — would likely use public transportation, meaning 20 parking spaces would be unnecessary.

In the recently built apartment building at 3301 N. Sheffield Ave., only one tenant rented parking space, Breheny said, but Cornwall said that wasn't necessarily the case on Cornelia Avenue.

The first floor of the planned apartment building at 1045 W. Cornelia Ave. includes four apartments, a bike room, 16 parking spaces in three garages, rear-alley access. (Hawthorne Neighbors/Studio Dwell Architects)

Cornwall also said he was worried allowing the zoning change would "set a precedent," but Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) said such decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.

"I think each case would be judged on the merit of the presentation. Sure, some people well say, 'On Cornelia you did this,' but I think it's their job to sell the development," Tunney said at Tuesday's bimonthly Hawthorne Neighbors meeting.

If the zoning change is approved, the building plan would fall short of the maximum 25 units and stand just slightly taller than other buildings on the street. The fourth floor would include a community room and shared patio area, and the building would also feature green roofs above the garages.

For more neighborhood news, listen to DNAinfo Radio here: