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Big Changes Ahead For Lincoln Ave. As 3 Big Construction Projects Coincide

By Mina Bloom | March 15, 2016 1:17pm
 A rendering of the Elevate Lincoln Park project, which will replace the Lincoln Centre condominium building.
A rendering of the Elevate Lincoln Park project, which will replace the Lincoln Centre condominium building.
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LINCOLN PARK — Prepare for some heavy construction work on a Lincoln Park stretch of Lincoln Avenue beginning this spring as three major projects take shape: The massive Children's Memorial Hospital and Lincoln Centre projects are beginning demolition at the same time in April, and construction on DePaul University's music building is already underway.

"It's not the most ideal, but it is good to get it done and over with and move on," Justin Moore, president of Wrightwood Neighbors Association, said after a community meeting Monday evening.

The projects "have been on the back burner for years, so it's finally good to see them moving forward," he said.

Demolition on the Lincoln Centre condominium building at 2518-2540 N. Lincoln Ave. — which is adjacent to the Apollo Theater and recognizable by the outdoor tennis courts visible from the Brown and Red Lines — will begin in April and last for 1½ years. 

The developer behind the project, Baker Development Corp., announced the name of the project is Elevate Lincoln Park, which now has its own website.

Plans include a 10-story building with 191 luxury apartments, 16,300 square feet of retail space and 160 parking spaces. The building should be move-in ready by summer 2017.

Also in April, crews will begin demolishing the six-acre Children's Memorial Hospital site just a couple blocks away near the intersection of Lincoln Avenue, Fullerton Avenue and Halsted Street. Demolition is expected to last a year.

Those plans include two apartment buildings with 540 units, about 160,000 square feet of retail and up to 60 condominiums. If all goes according to plan, the entire project will be complete in about 3½ years.

A third construction project — the redevelopment of DePaul University's music building at the same intersection — is also underway. Construction is expected to last 2 years and 4 months.

At the meeting, a couple of residents expressed concern over the coinciding construction projects, saying they would create a "nightmare" for drivers in the area. 

"We can just bear down for 18 months and get it over with," the developer's attorney, Rolando Acosta, said in response. "Our approvals were late summer. Children's was delayed for other reasons. There's anxiety on both sides to get moving."

Once complete, Elevate Lincoln Park will offer homes ranging from $1,800 for a studio to about $4,000 for a two-bedroom, according to Daniel Slack with Baker Development Corp.

"It's really a luxury property with high amenities," Slack said. 

Acosta urged neighbors to contact the development team with any questions or concerns by visiting the project's website. 

He said the developer plans to keep street closures and parking restrictions to a minimum. 

Like the developers behind the Children's Memorial project, Baker Development Corp. has a plan in place to exterminate rats displaced by the work. Developers are required to do on-site rodent abatement from the time excavation begins until excavation is complete or risk fines.

Acosta said the team started doing abatement last spring, and is continuing to work with the city and the Ald. Michele Smith's 43rd Ward office to do more preventive baiting.

Children's developer, Dan McCaffery, told neighbors at a meeting earlier this month that the rat problem would be "awful" when the hospital buildings come down. 

A rendering of the rooftop pool at Elevate Lincoln Park, which will replace the Lincoln Centre building, 2518-2540 N. Lincoln Ave. [Courtesy/Baker Development Corp.]

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