LINCOLN PARK — Demolition on the condo building on Lincoln Avenue just southeast of Sheffield Avenue will begin in March to make way for a 107-foot-tall apartment building dubbed Lincoln Centre, according to developer Warren Baker.
Baker's latest plans to build a transit-oriented development at 2518-2540 N. Lincoln Ave. — complete with 200 residential units and ground-floor retail — were approved by the city's zoning board of appeals and the full city council in late July.
Ald. Michele Smith (43), whose ward includes the development, as well as the affected community group, Wrightwood Neighbors, also support Baker's latest plans.
Now, Baker said, all that's left to do is apply for city permits before demolishing the current condo building, which is recognizable from the Red and Brown Lines for its tennis courts. While he doesn't know where the current tenants are all moving, he said they were given "sufficient lead time" and the building is already starting to empty out.
The development, which was designed to revitalize Lincoln Avenue, was first proposed more than a year ago. Using feedback from residents and Ald. Smith, Baker has scaled it down by offering 25 fewer units and 50 fewer parking spaces.
The building will have a three-story parking garage with 138 parking spaces, which will be split between residents of the building and commercial businesses along Lincoln Avenue.
Studio apartments will start at about $1,600 per month and the penthouse will rent for about $6,000 per month, Baker said.
Original plans called for a courtyard that faced the "L" tracks, but Baker changed it so the courtyard now faces Lincoln Avenue, thanks to a suggestion from Smith.
"We hit it out of the park when it came to coming up with tremendous improvements over the previous plans," Baker said.
He's aiming to attract millennials, young 30-somethings and empty nesters who aren't reliant on owning a vehicle. The building will have a "high-end, "almost hotel-like" feel with a "club-type ambiance," he added.
Construction on the Lincoln Centre building should be completed by summer 2017, Baker said.
After it's built, Baker believes Lincoln Avenue, which some say could use some economic stimulation, is going to "become the hottest area in Lincoln Park."
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