CITY HALL — A pair of new side-by-side apartment buildings near the corner of Diversey Parkway and Hampden Court won approval Thursday from the Plan Commission.
The commission approved a six-story, 30-unit apartment building with ground-floor retail at 521 W. Diversey, former site of the Market Place Foodstore, which had been in the area, previously as Shop & Save, going back to the Roaring '20s.
The commission OK'd another seven-story, 15-unit apartment across the alley to the south at 2753 N. Hampden.
Ald. Michele Smith (43rd) pointed out that developers originally sought a single, 17-story, 78-unit condominium on the site, but the community rejected it. The pair of proposed new apartment buildings are being constructed "as of right," she added, meaning no zoning changes are necessary, but she nonetheless signed off on it, saying, "We are satisfied with this proposal."
The Plan Commission found they did not violate the city's Lakefront Protection Ordinance and voted unanimously that they could go forward.
The building at the corner of Diversey and Hampden will have ground-floor retail with an entrance at 521 W. Diversey, while residents will enter around the corner at 2773 N. Hampden. Ald. Tom Tunney (44th), a member of the Plan Commission, said he lives nearby across Diversey, and he cheered the return of merchants to the former site of the Market Place Foodstore.
"Diversey is struggling," Tunney said, and he welcomed the return of a commercial property on the site to spur economic revival along what he called the "Diversey corridor."
Ald. Walter Burnett Jr. (27th), who is also on the commission, called the pair of buildings a "beautiful development," although he expressed disappointment that, because there's no zoning change being sought, they're not subject to the city's affordable-housing ordinance.