ALBANY PARK — With the Brown Line becoming a magnet for development, the CTA, in concert with Ald. Deb Mell (33rd), is exploring the potential for transit-oriented projects near the Kimball and Kedzie stations.
Members of the community are invited to take part in the process at a series of public meetings at which neighbors will have an opportunity to weigh in on what they would like to see rise up at and around the stations and the Kimball rail yard.
The first of these meetings has been scheduled for 6-8 p.m. Aug. 24 at Roosevelt High School, 3436 W. Wilson Ave.
"The feedback that we could receive could include changes and improvements to the existing station as well as in the community’s desires for what could be developed around the station, such as in the current park-and-ride lot on Lawrence," said Tammy Chase, CTA spokeswoman.
The intent is to build on and add to the area's existing walkability and vibrancy.
"Eventually, we will create proposed transit-oriented development concepts from the feedback ... which could be helpful to developers seeking opportunities in the area. The feedback could also guide future improvements to the Kimball station," Chase said.
The process for coming up with ideas for the projects is being funded through federal grant dollars, she said.
The development plan, dubbed the Lawrence Avenue Transit-Oriented Development Study, is being produced as part of a broader Brown Line Core Capacity project, according to a document prepared by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning.
The capacity project will assess potential infrastructure upgrades and improvements, particularly at the Kimball rail yard, where the Brown Line ends. The development study will help determine whether the transit facilities' capacity is compatible with transit-oriented development opportunities.
In a transit-oriented development, builders of projects close to public transportation are allowed to provide far fewer parking spaces than normally required of buildings of their size.
Though much of the focus is on the area surrounding the Kimball station, yard and maintenance facility, the study also includes the Kedzie station, Chase said.
In addition to the August meeting, future forums are tentatively scheduled for the week of Sept. 21 and the week of Nov. 13, with the exact dates and times still to be determined.