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Lakeview Building That Was Once A John Dillinger Haunt Could Be Razed

By Ariel Cheung | February 17, 2017 5:58am
 The Chicago Planning Commission approved a zoning change Thursday to allow for a seven-story, transit-oriented development at 3921 N. Sheridan Road.
City Approves Transit-Oriented Development At Sheridan And Dakin
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LAKEVIEW — A major project on the north edge of Lakeview will head to City Council for a vote after getting approval from the city's Plan Commission Thursday.

And it could lead to the demolition of an old haunt of the notorious bank robber John Dillinger.

The proposed redevelopment of the Lakeview Ace Hardware site would raze the long-standing building from 3911-3921 N. Sheridan Road and replace it with a seven-story apartment building with ground floor retail shops.

As a "transit-oriented development" near the Sheridan Red Line "L" stop, the building would have 120 apartments and 44 interior parking spaces. The city allows some projects close to public transportation to have far fewer parking spaces than normally would be required of buildings of their size.

Eight apartments would be designated as affordable housing.

Developer Joe Lomanto said he will reopen his Ace Hardware store in the new building and hopes to secure the other tenants, as well. The building houses Oh Fusion, Curry Point, Burger Hub and Artemio's Bakery.

Renderings of the project show a masonry building designed to complement the neighborhood. A green roof with a deck also is planned.

A rendering shows the elevation from the west side of the building facing Sheridan Road. [46th Ward]

Site plans for 3921 N. Sheridan Road. [46th Ward]

While East Lakeview Neighbors initially were skeptical of such a tall building when presented with plans in November, the group eventually recommended it to 46th Ward Ald. James Cappleman. The ward's zoning and development committee then unanimously approved the project in January.

The building approved for demolition has a long history, housing a pool hall frequented by prolific Depression-era bank robber John Dillinger in its earliest days.

More recently, it has housed Pizza Rustica (which later moved across the street), Nineface Thai, Rick's Cafe Casablanca and Crepe Town.

Learn more about the development on the 46th Ward website.

A rendering shows the building's north side, which would face Dakin Street. [46th Ward]