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Heart of Uptown Development Up for 46th Ward Zoning Committee Vote Monday

By Josh McGhee | July 25, 2016 1:59pm | Updated on July 25, 2016 2:36pm
 The proposal, which requires a zoning change, must be approved by neighbors and the zoning committee.
The proposal, which requires a zoning change, must be approved by neighbors and the zoning committee.
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Courtesy of Facebook/ MX3 Architects

UPTOWN — After receiving the support of the Truman Square Neighbors group, a zoning change that would pave the way for a 197-unit apartment building in the heart of Uptown heads to the 46th Ward Zoning and Development Committee Monday night.

At 7 p.m. the committee will meet at the auditorium at Weiss Hospital, 4646 N. Marine Dr., to discuss and vote on the proposal for the northeast corner of Broadway and Wilson Avenue, according to Tressa Feher, chief of staff for Ald. James Cappleman (46th).

Last week, the Truman Square Neighbors organization voted 86-9 in favor of the zoning change that would allow the 11-story structure to be built.  Only residents living within the block club's borders, which are Wilson Avenue to the South, Lawrence Avenue to the North, Broadway to the West and Sheridan to the East, were allowed to vote, Feher said.

Votes from outside the borders were disregarded along with those with no address given, according to a letter of support from the block club, which did not specify how many votes were disregarded.

While residents overwhelmingly supported the building, there were also some criticisms: the building is too tall, too dense, there isn't enough affordable housing or the design doesn't match the aesthetics of the area, according to neighbors' comments included in a letter by group to Cappleman.

Residents also said the building could help spur development in the area when coupled with the renovations of the Wilson "El" Station. "Adding more lights and people" will help curb crime at "a hotbed for drugs and crime," according to neighbors comments.

The zoning change would affect the two buildings on the site that currently host Family Dollar, Rainbow Shops, City Sports and Wilson Optical, which would be demolished and replaced by the new structure. Though there will be retail space in the new building, business owners say their future is uncertain.

Joey Oh, who has owned City Gold inside City Sports, 4601 N. Broadway, said e was "already prepared" for possible construction.

"Why not?" he said. "It could be better than it is right now."

Representatives of the businesses told DNAinfo they would be attending the meeting Monday.