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99-Unit Development Near Juarez High School in Pilsen Approved

By Stephanie Lulay | February 11, 2016 6:29am
 Fox Chicago LLC will build 99 units in an existing building at 21st and Laflin streets near Benito Juarez Community Academy. 
Fox Chicago LLC will build 99 units in an existing building at 21st and Laflin streets near Benito Juarez Community Academy. 
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PILSEN — The city approved plans Wednesday for a three-story, 99-unit apartment building in Pilsen. 

Fox Chicago LLC will develop 99 units in an existing building at 21st and Laflin streets near Benito Juarez Community Academy. The plan to rezone the property cleared the city's Committee on Zoning, which Ald. Danny Solis (25th) chairs, on Tuesday, and the full City Council approved the plan Wednesday. 

The site, formerly home to a factory, had been vacant for more than 30 years, Solis said. 

The building will include a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units. About 52 parking spaces will be developed on the site and the building's ground floor will include 4,200 square feet of retail or office space, according to plans. 

The projects includes 10 percent affordable housing — less than the Pilsen Land Use Committee's 21 percent affordable housing mandate. The committee approved Fox Chicago's plan because the developer was also donating an acre of land to nearby Benito Juarez Community Academy that will be used to expand sports fields, Solis said. 

"The Land Use Committee considered it and thought it was a good proposal," he said. "The [donated] property was a assessed at $1.3 million." 

Neighbors living within 250 feet of the site were invited to weigh in on the project at a community meeting last week, Solis said. 

Byron Sigcho, director of the Pilsen Alliance, an advocacy group, said the entire Pilsen community should be notified when a community meeting concerning a large-scale development is to be held. Sigcho challenged Solis in the 2015 race, but the longtime alderman was ultimately re-elected. 

"All of Pilsen should have input," Sigcho said. "That's not the way to approve projects. That's not the way to win legitimacy in the community." 

While the 99-unit development was approved this week, Solis likely won't sign off on a 500-unit project in Pilsen near University Village, he told DNAinfo Chicago this week.