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Shops, Apartments Near Austin and Lawrence Dropped

 Ald. Tim Cullerton (38th) said he is disappointed the development fell apart.
Ald. Tim Cullerton (38th) said he is disappointed the development fell apart.
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38th Ward Office

PORTAGE PARK — A plan to build apartments and shops on a now vacant parcel of land near Lawrence and Austin avenues that had the green light from city officials is dead, Ald. Tim Cullerton (38th) said Tuesday.

The proposal to build a four-story mixed-use development in the northwest corner of Portage Park that included three six-unit apartment buildings would have been a nice addition to the neighborhood, Cullerton said.

"I don't know what happened, but the property is back up for sale," Cullerton said.

Cullerton said he planned to introduce a measure at Wednesday's City Council meeting that would change the property's zoning in order to prevent a dense development from being built without input from nearby residents.

The 24-unit development was to have included 54 parking spaces, more than required by city ordinance, including 24 indoor spots.

City officials approved a zoning change for the project in January at Cullerton's request, an action which the measure to be introduced Wednesday would reverse if approved.

A similar development planned for the site fell apart during the Great Recession, and Cullerton changed the property's zoning designation to avoid a development that was too dense from being built by the property owner.

Cullerton, who will retire next month from the City Council, said the property should transformed into both shops and apartments because of its location at the gateway to the business district near Lawrence and Austin avenues.

"It'll be up to the community and the new alderman now," said Cullerton, who will be replaced by Ald. Nicholas Sposato, who now represents the 36th Ward.

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