EDGEWATER — Developers of the Overture Edgewater luxury senior high-rise building saw support from over 85 percent of residents who attended the final community meeting on the project before Ald. Harry Osterman (48th) announces whether or not he will give the builders his blessing.
A packed house attended the community meeting Thursday night at St. Andrew's Greek Orthodox Church, with 67 residents raising their arms in support of the building and another 10 voicing disapproval.
The project at 5440 N. Sheridan Road would include a 16-story building with 174 rental units for seniors with active lifestyles aged 55 and up on what is currently a two-lot plat of land used as parking.
The site was set to be developed as the Bluewater Project in 2007, but the idea fell through as the market crashed and later expired.
In the last few years, Greystar Development has stepped in to pitch several iterations of a high-rise project and, in the summer of 2015, announced plans to make it a senior living community.
"Throughout the last six years since I've been alderman, there's been times when the principals involved in this development have come to me with different ideas and proposals," Osterman said. "I never felt that those proposals were up to snuff with what I think the community wants, which is quality development."
Originally called the Overture Edgewater Beach because of its location in an area of the neighborhood known as Edgewater Beach, the "Beach" portion was dropped in mid-December because the Edgewater Beach Apartments Corporation owns exclusive rights to the words, "Edgewater Beach," according to Salvatore Bondi, president of the Edgewater Beach Apartments board of directors.
The building is designed by architect Steve Rezabek of Pappageorge Haymes and would consist of a 4,500-square-foot first floor lobby.
A three-level parking garage would hold 204 spaces — including 60 spots to be used by residents across the street at 5445 N. Sheridan Road on the garage's top floor.
Residents would enter the garage off of Sheridan Road, while drivers who live across the street would enter from Catalpa.
In the alley behind the building would be additional spaces for guests, two spaces for car-sharing vehicles and two dumpster enclosures.
Builders would also install security cameras around the property's perimeter.
Gary Wallace, a representative of Greystar, said because of the amenities available to the Baby Boomer target group, rents would be subject to a 30 percent premium.
Included in those amenities are an outdoor area with a pool, barbeque area, space for dogs, possible putting green, in-building salon and spa, workout and fitness areas, classes, concierge service, happy hours, continental breakfast, legal services and more.
Dwellings would come in the form of one-bedrooms, one-bedrooms with a den and two-bedrooms.
Square footage of the units range from about 800 to 1,285 at the largest, or about 1,013 square feet on average.
Inside, each would have a full-size washer and dryer, as well as a private balcony, Wallace said.
Eighteen of the units would be made affordable in accordance with city housing laws.
Several attendees, many who live nearby in the high-rises that dot North Sheridan Road, offered support for the project. Sandy Chaet of the Association of Sheridan Condominium/Co-op Owners (or ASCO), who represents the residents of most of those high-rises, said her board stood behind the project.
Other said they were in favor of the development because they felt anxious about the potential of leaving the space open to other developers who may pitch a less desirable idea.
"It's the right time ... it's unrealistic to think it will ever be undeveloped," one resident stood up and said.
A few residents said they were also concerned about the building's height and how it may obstruct the view for homeowners who bought nearby property before the project was proposed.
If given the green light, the project would require approval as a Planned Development with the city, as well as approval from the Chicago Plan Commission in regards to the Lake Michigan and Chicago Lakefront Protection Ordinance before heading off to City Council.
If approved on all fronts, the Overture Edgewater would be fully constructed in about two years, attorney Graham Grady of Taft Law Firm said.
A look at the proposal for 5440 N. Sheridan Road. [Greystar Development Corp.]