OLD TOWN — It's been nearly three years since the Chicago Plan Commission approved the Atrium Village Development, and the project is finally moving forward.
A Canadian real estate firm bought the Old Town property from the original developer in 2014 and is now ready to start work on the 1,500-unit project.
The redevelopment of the mixed-income complex will eventually include four high rises on the seven-acre site.
The first phase of the project at the Southwest corner of Division and Wells Street will include knocking down four existing residential low-rise buildings and one mid-rise building on the site.
In their place Onni Group, the developer, will construct a 341-foot-tall, 32-story tower with 405 apartments.
Studios in the building will likely rent for about $1,500 with one-bedrooms renting for between $1,800 and $2,100, according to the developer.
The first phase will be apartments including studio through three-bedroom units.
"We really wanted to construct a building that really matched the neighborhood better than the previous one did," said Brian Brodeur, development manager at Onni Group.
Paul Biasco outlines the massive development:
Demolition on the project is expected to begin in the next few months, according to Brodeur.
The first phase will also include 25,000 square feet of retail.
The first tower will include 342 parking spaces for residents and an additional 74 for retail customers.
The developer is in talks with a grocery store to lease space at the corner of Division and Wells.
The new designs of the buildings vary slightly from the original project, which was approved by the City Council in 2012.
That plan called for four high rises of 28, 36, 41 and 44 stories, according to previous reports.
The developer originally planned to have the tallest building of the bunch set back from the "L" to accommodate a potential Brown Line "L" stop in the future.
Ald. Walter Burnett (27th) revived talks of building a new stop at Division and Orleans during a presentation of the Cabrini-Green redevelopment plan in April.
The overall plan also calls for a two-acre park in the middle of the complex, which will be privately operated but open to the public.
The full plan also calls for 47,000 square feet of commercial space.
Current residents of the mixed-income Atrium Village complex who attended the community meeting where the plans were presented Monday voiced concern that they would be forced out of their building.
A representative for the developer said the group still plans to make 20 percent of units in the building affordable, with 10 percent of them restricted to those making 60 percent or less of the area mean income and 10 percent for those making 80 percent or less of the mean income.
Brodeur said the developer is still working to finalize the affordable housing element of the project.
There are currently 225 affordable units on the site, and once the five-phase project is complete, there will be approximately 300 affordable units, according to Brodeur.
Burnett said he will hold the new developer to the deal that the original developer agreed to, stating that residents of Atrium Village were told they could move back into the building once the project is complete.
“Most important are these folks coming back home," Burnett said. "They are worried about coming back home. They live in affordable housing right now and they are worried about their rents being affordable when they get back. There was a commitment made.”
A rendering of the first 32-story tower that will be constructed on the site.
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