EDGEWATER — A seven-story apartment building filled with small units that would rent for "serious money" could replace a car wash between the Jimmy John's and Le Pita on North Broadway in Edgewater.
At a community meeting Thursday night, Ald. Harry Osterman (48th) and representatives from City Pads LLC and Catapult Real Estate Solutions LLC spoke with residents at the Edgewater Library about the 187-unit planned development.
The building at 6145 N. Broadway would cost approximately $27 million and could be built in about a year if approved, developers said. The property is now home to Superior Hand Car Wash & Detail Center.
The majority of the units in the building, more than 80 percent, would be studios renting from $1,250-$1,300 a month. One-bedrooms would be leased starting at $1,650 and two-bedrooms would rent for $2,100 said Andy Ahitow, a partner at City Pads and founder of Chicago Apartment Finders.
Sizes would average around 400 square feet, and 10 percent of apartments would be rented at discounted prices in accordance with Chicago's affordable housing laws, said Paul Dincin, a managing member at Catapult.
The building also would include 60 parking spaces that would rent for about $125 per month.
A 4,000-square-foot ground-floor retail space could go to a single retailer or be split in half, but would likely be leased to a fast food chain, developers said.
Dincin said his group was aiming to market to a younger crowd who prefer privacy and less space, and possibly work a Downtown job and commute — similar to other transit-oriented developments that have sprouted up along the Blue Line in Logan Square and Bucktown.
Dincin emphasized high-density, transit-oriented developments — which are allowed to have far fewer parking spaces than normally required by city law — were "all the rage" in popular areas across the city.
He called Edgewater "stable, the real deal," and added it wasn't a "flash-in-the-pan kind of neighborhood."
But some at the packed meeting Thursday expressed concern that the combination of high rents with small units was unrealistic for renters looking to plant roots in Edgewater.
One woman said people tend to look at the Far North Side or other fringe areas to maximize their dollar and pay less for more space.
Dincin acknowledged the apartments would cost renters "serious money," but said he was confident they would be filled with tenants and the building was a reflection of current market demands.
"The question is: Is Edgewater ready for this high of rent? We believe the answer is yes," Dincin said.
Osterman said generally speaking he has noticed the trend of smaller units for higher prices that seem to appeal to renters in their 20s and 30s around the city.
"More projects like this are coming down the line," Osterman said. "There is a market out there for this that is finding our community."
Dincin said his experiences and research showed that young professionals are looking for a personal "sanctuary" who "don't want roommates in any way, shape or form."
A rendering of the building's front facade, including a set back seventh floor. [DNAinfo/Linze Rice]
Amenities include outdoor grilling stations, a hot tub and fire pit, as well as an indoor community party room that contains a kitchen and pool table. Dincin likened the area to an "Italian private piazza," though some worried its location behind one building and at the bottom of another might block it from sunlight.
A fitness center would also be available to residents.
Each unit will have its own washer and dryer as well as individual climate control with personal furnaces and air conditioners.
Though the original plan was to include only about 30 parking spaces, Dincin said he took Osterman's recommendation to include more. Each unit would have a space for put a bike, as well as personal storage.
Some community members said they were concerned more renters who had cars than developers expected could cause problems with parking on already congested nearby streets, while others said parking spaces not used by tenants should be leased to the public.
The building would also likely prohibit tenants from renting out their units as Airbnb locations, Dincin said.
Developers said they'd also not yet decided on a pet policy, and said someone would be working a door or lobby station around the clock.
The L-shaped building would be made of dark brick and special concrete panels that imitate the look of wood, with its entrance nearly hidden to the public.
Each apartment would receive ample natural light because of the structure's shape, Dincin said.
The building is also set back from Broadway as to not "overpower" the street, Dincin said.
Because of the size of the project, community meetings must be held on it. Another informational meeting will be announced and held before a more formal meeting is held where Osterman will gauge community support with a vote.
A rendering of the hot tub and outdoor recreation area. [DNAinfo/Linze Rice]
Ald. Harry Osterman (48th) said it was too early for him to take a stance on the project yet, but he had noticed many other similar developments happening throughout the city. [DNAinfo/Linze Rice]
A typical studio unit. [DNAinfo/Linze Rice]
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