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Condo Plan At Collapsed Church Site OK'd By Wicker Park Community Group

By Alisa Hauser | August 8, 2017 6:05am
 Renderings of a 4-unit duplex building and 3 condos at 1907-1911 W. Schiller St.
Renderings of a 4-unit duplex building and 3 condos at 1907-1911 W. Schiller St.
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John Conrad Schiess/Courtesy of Our Urban Times

WICKER PARK — After months of design tweaks and public meetings, an influential neighborhood group has given the thumbs up for a plan to brings seven condos to the corner of Schiller and Evergreen streets at the site of the collapsed Mision Cristiana church.

Ed Tamminga, chairman of the  Wicker Park Committee's preservation and development subcommittee, said on Monday that the neighborhood group's main membership voted 12-1 Wednesday in support of the plan.

"It looks like it is going to proceed and hopefully everyone is reasonably content with it," Tamminga said.

The positive stamp of approval comes a few weeks after the group's smaller subcommittee OK'd architect John Schiess' designs for two neighboring condo buildings offering four duplexes and three condos, respectively, at 1909-1911 and 1907 W. Schiller St. in Wicker Park.

The design for the brick and limestone building at 1907 W. Schiller St. features curved glass windows overlooking the corner and only three instead of four condos as first planned. The height was reduced and Schiess made improvements to the condo garages on the Evergreen Street-facing side of the building.

Since an earlier meeting in July, Schiess reduced the number of garages from 8 to 7.

The corner where the homes would be is across from Wicker Park's dog park on the Schiller Street side and faces historic two- and three-flat buildings on the Evergreen Street side.

The unique shape of the triangular lot created a challenge for where to put cars because there is no alley access.

Peter Stevens, a principal with Forma Construction, is finalizing a plan to buy the site from its current owners, Northfield-based development firm Interforum Holdings, in a deal that's contingent upon getting approval for the new plans.

Interforum Holdings bought the church in 2015 and had planned to preserve it and redevelop it into two single-family homes and two townhomes before the building collapse.

Ald. Joe Moreno (1st) said Monday he will support the project now that it has gone through the community approval process.

"This is a good example of the community working with the developer, and vice versa, to obtain a positive outcome for the neighborhood," Moreno said.

The next step would be to get city approval on the plans, since the project is in the Wicker Park Landmark District.

At the Wicker Park Committee last week, Schiess said if everything goes as planned, construction on the new homes would begin in the spring.

The positive vote on the revised condo plans was first reported by Our Urban Times.

The Evergreen-facing side of the development. [John Conrad Schiess/Courtesy of Our Urban Times]