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Clarendon Park Neighbors Approve Zoning Changes for FLATS Developer

By Josh McGhee | August 19, 2015 8:17am | Updated on August 19, 2015 1:34pm
 Developer Cedar Street Co. requested zoning changes for it's development, at 975 W. Wilson Ave., a proposed 7-story building with 138 residential units.
Developer Cedar Street Co. requested zoning changes for it's development, at 975 W. Wilson Ave., a proposed 7-story building with 138 residential units.
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Courtesy of Cedar Streets

UPTOWN — The Clarendon Park Neighborhood Association has "unanimously" approved zoning changes that bring the neighborhood one step closer to building yet another FLATS Property in Uptown, according to Ald. James Cappleman (46th).

Developer Cedar Street Co. requested zoning changes for its development at 975 W. Wilson Ave., a proposed 7-story building with 138 residential units. The developer sought to reduce zoning parking requirements to add an additional 52 spots, according to Ald. Cappleman's website.

On Aug. 6, the plan was presented to the Clarendon Park Neighborhood Association and "had unanimous support from the neighbors that attended," according to the 46th Ward website. Representatives for the alderman declined to give out voting totals, including the number of people that voted.

Now, the 46th Ward Zoning & Development Committee will advise Cappleman on the zoning change request, according to the alderman's office.

The proposal for the plan indicates the building would require about 138 parking spots, but because it is a Transit Oriented Development, it will only need to have about half of those spots, 69. That number dropped to 52 spots by factoring in another reduction for smaller units. The full proposal is available here.

The new development will be built in parking lot of the shuttered El Pollo Loco. Its neighbor on Sheridan Road, Emerald Tower at 4541 N. Sheridan, will also be going through some changes that building is now also under FLATS management, according to a building manager.

On July 20, zoning changes were accepted for a property at 1050. W. Wilson Ave. by Truman Square Neighbors, which allowed for a 7-story building with 102 units and only 21 parking spots. The full proposal for that building is available here.

Earlier this month, the Clarendon Park Neighbors Association was one of two block clubs that voted "overwhelmingly" for residential zoned parking. Seventy-three percent of members in the neighborhood groups, which also included the Magnolia-Malden Block Club, supported the idea. All of the other neighborhood organizations voted against having zoned parking on their streets, or were on the border of a neighboring ward, Cappleman said.

Nine other block clubs or community groups voted against the zoned parking. Some residents said it was counterproductie to an inclusive neighborhood, while others were skeptical that the online voting process really represented their neighborhood's views.

"The whole voting process was weird. The cut off was weird, Aug. 1, that's when a lot of people are moving out and moving in," said resident Loretta Rode after the votes were tallied. "A lot of people don't even know it's a topic of conversation."

Ald. Cappleman has been vocal in his approval of new Transit Oriented Development ordinances, which reform Mayor Rahm Emanuel's 2013 TOD ordinances. In July, Emanuel introduced more incentives for developing near CTA and Metra stations, which included expanding the size of TOD zones, eliminating parking requirements in these areas and adding new incentives for affordable housing.

“I have continually promised to bring more positive changes to my ward," Cappleman said.

"For this and other reasons, zoning is especially important now, and working with Mayor Emanuel and my colleagues in City Council we can bring more development to my Ward and across our city and as importantly, generate needed revenues,” the Alderman continued.

In July, Cedar Street bought two properties adjacent to the Lawrence Avenue "L" stop, including the 10,000-square-foot building at 1101 W. Lawrence Avenue that houses a Chase Bank, for $1.3 million. They also bought the 19,300-square-foot parking lot at 4750 N. Winthrop Avenue for $1.4 million, according to a press release from real estate company Sperry Van Ness.

Tim Rasmussen, who brokered the deal, said the scale of Cedar Street's investment in Uptown and Edgewater is growing at a fast pace, adding that the "activity is a direct result of the great transportation infrastructure" in the neighborhoods.

The development company also owns the historic Wilson Avenue Theater building at 1050 W. Wilson Ave. and the FLATS building at 1325 W. Wilson Ave., among many others.

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