LINCOLN PARK — A proposal to build a 10-story mixed-use development near the intersection of Clybourn, Fullerton and Ashland avenues was met with fierce opposition from neighbors at a community meeting this week.
Property owner Arie Zweig briefed a few dozen neighbors Thursday evening at Little Sisters of the Poor, 2325 N. Lakewood Ave. on his proposal to build the project at 2300 N. Clybourn Ave., a vacant commercial site that formerly housed a FedEx and Kinko's.
Zweig is seeking a zoning change to build the tower taller than five stories, which is what current zoning allows. If approved, the 105-foot-tall project would include 85 apartments, about 9,000 square feet of retail space and 85 parking spaces for residents and 18 for retail use.
Based on a vote, all but three neighbors at the meeting opposed the zoning change and would rather the development was built within the current zoning parameters. They said traffic on Clybourn Avenue is already a "nightmare" and fear that more density will bring an influx of cars and more traffic.
Other neighbors said the zoning change could set a precedent in the neighborhood for future development.
Zweig said he's still finalizing the numbers, but expects rents to start at $1,500 for a one bedroom and go up to around $2,500 for a two bedroom.
Sarah Barnes, an attorney representing Zweig, said the Chicago Department of Transportation has been working on the proposal for more than a year. During that time the department conducted a traffic study and determined that the development wouldn't worsen congestion, she said.
"It's not going to stay vacant. I can assure you," she told neighbors.
Zweig stressed that he operates a family-run business.
"We want to have a wonderful building for many, many years to come," he said.
Ald. Brian Hopkins, whose 2nd Ward includes the development, said he brought the project to neighbors because he thought it "had a chance."
"We can tell when developers are so focused on the bottom line. I don't believe he's that type of person," Hopkins said of Zweig.
But after hearing from neighbors, Hopkins said he will encourage the developer to go back to the drawing board and incorporate suggestions.
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