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Five-Story Apartment Building To Replace Vacant Lot On Howard Street

By Linze Rice | April 20, 2017 5:04am
 Two renderings for the development at 1531 W. Howard St., as well as what the property currently looks like.
Two renderings for the development at 1531 W. Howard St., as well as what the property currently looks like.
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ROGERS PARK — A new five-story, 38-unit apartment complex known as the Howard-Rogers Lofts is set for development on Howard Street, Ald. Joe Moore (49th) told residents this week. 

The project is headed by Jay Johnson of Cornerstone Investment Group and Eric Theisen and Freddy Ellis of Watermark Equity, who bought the property at 1531 W. Howard St. as a foreclosure within the last couple years. 

The site, just west of where Rogers Avenue crosses Howard Street, contains an empty lot and two buildings left behind by former businesses, which will be demolished to make way for the "condo-grade" dwellings, Moore said. 

Car and bike parking, storage space for residents and 2,900-square-feet of retail space will be available on the first floor, while the remaining four floors will hold the apartments. Floor plans show the units will be split into one and two bedroom apartments with lofts on the fifth floor, which may have additional bedrooms.

A community space and work out room will be on the second floor, plus additional rooftop space with a grill and outdoor seating said to offer views of the lake and downtown, Moore said. 

Although the development does not require any special use permits or zoning changes, Moore is holding an informational meeting with the developers at 7 p.m. Monday at the Willye B. White Field House, 1610 W. Howard St., where community members can ask questions about the project. 

"I asked the developers to present their plans to the community as a courtesy, given that the development will represent a significant improvement to the property in question and Howard Street as a whole," Moore told residents in an email.

It's not the first time the site has been eyed for development, the alderman said. 

About 10 years ago, another property owner pitched a five-story condo building with retail in the same place — however that plan "fell victim to the Great Recession," Moore said. 

Its current developers estimate the building should be up and completed within the next 2½ years.

The building slated for 1531 W. Howard St. [Provided]