NEAR NORTH — A developer is seeking to demolish a 110-year-old church near the former Cabrini-Green towers to construct a luxury condominium building.
Belgravia Group and the Conlon Company are seeking city approval to build a 50-unit, six-story condo building on the site of St. Dominic Roman Catholic Church.
The church at Sedgwick and Locust streets has been vacant since 1990.
The vacant St. Dominic's Church (DNAinfo/Paul Biasco)
The brick church still is owned by the Archdiocese of Chicago but is under contract with Belgravia pending a rezoning approval. A city survey has deemed the building to be historically significant.
Eighty percent of the land was rezoned last year, but Belgravia is seeking to rezone an additional 20 percent as the project has grown by five units.
"Obviously there's a desire and a demand for more housing in this area, and it's all pushing north of Chicago Avenue," said Alan Lev, president of the Belgravia Group.
A rendering of the condominium building proposed to replace St. Dominic Church (Belgravia Group)
Representatives from the Conlon Company and Belgravia Group were at a community meeting hosted by the Near North Unity Program Monday night to present the development.
The majority of community members who attended voted in favor of the project, according to Sharon Wheeler, program manager at Near North Unity Program.
Paul Biasco says there's been little opposition to the plan:
Last July, the City Council granted a zoning change for 357 W. Locust St., the church building. Belgravia is now seeking to rezone 355 W. Locust, a three-unit residential building, to include in the project.
The developer is seeking to build a 58-car parking lot on the bottom floor. There will be 10 condos on each of the five floors above the parking garage. The condos will range from 1,235 square feet to more than 1,900 square feet.
Thirty-five of the condos will be three-bedroom units and the remaining will be two-bedroom units, according to Lev.
The two-bedroom units will start in the $400,000 range, and the three-bedrooms will start at $600,000.
"I've been in this neighborhood 26 years, so I've kept my finger on the pulse of this neighborhood," Lev said. "Obviously a lot of things were happening south of Chicago Avenue, now they are happening north of Chicago Avenue, which is natural."
St. Dominic's Church has been vacant since 1990. (DNAinfo/Paul Biasco)
The residential building to the east of the church is also slated for demolition. (DNAinfo/Paul Biasco)
The project is expected to generate 100 construction jobs.
If the proposal sails through the City Council, Belgravia expects to start construction in the fall.
Preservation Chicago has been outspoken about the future of the church in the past and cited the building during its annual Chicago 7 news conference of the seven most endangered buildings in Chicago in 2014.
The preservation group has pushed for the church to be preserved or incorporated into development at the site.
St. Dominic's was founded in 1905 in a mostly Italian neighborhood, and the building was constructed by William Brinkmann, according to Preservation Chicago.
It was constructed in a mix of Roman and Gothic styles and included a school, which was attended by 400 children.
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