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37 Apartments By '606' Western Ramp, CTA Blue Line Pitched in Bucktown

By Alisa Hauser | August 15, 2017 5:44pm | Updated on August 16, 2017 12:44pm
 Building and side lot with big tree at 1741 N. Western Ave.
Building and side lot with big tree at 1741 N. Western Ave.
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DNAinfo/Alisa Hauser

BUCKTOWN  — A developer wants to bring a 37-unit apartment building to the Bucktown and Wicker Park border, just south of where the 606's elevated Bloomingdale Trail crosses Western Avenue and less than two blocks from the CTA Blue Line Western station.

Michael Lerner, founder of MCZ Development, has requested a new zoning designation to allow for the five-story building at 1737-1741 N. Western Ave., city records show.

Introduced in July, the zoning request was referred to the city's committee on Zoning, Landmarks and Building Standards but no action has been taken.

"It's still under review and we are working out some of the details on exactly how many units and how big they should be. It's still a work in progress," Paul Sajovec, chief of staff to 32nd Ward Ald. Scott Waguespack, said on Tuesday.

Lerner is proposing to replace the vintage building at 1741 N. Western Ave. with a new five-story, 37-unit residential building designed by Pro-Plan Architects.

The apartments, a mix of studio, one- and two-bedrooms, would range 420 to 660 square feet, according to the site plan.

In compliance with the Affordable Requirements Ordinance, four apartments would be designated for affordable housing. The group's zoning application states that another four units would be accessible and  accommodating to wheelchair-using tenants.

Onsite garage parking for seven cars and 30 bicycle spaces will be provided. 

The existing site includes an empty lot with a very large tree in it — towering over Western Avenue — and the vintage office building, which Lerner owns and manages.

The yellow-brick building, which is old but not an official landmark, would be demolished and the tree next to it would get removed.

The proposed development qualifies as a transit-oriented development because it is located within 1,020 feet of the CTA Western Blue Line Station.

Transit-oriented developments, constructed near CTA and Metra rail stations, are given major zoning relief in terms of the number of parking spaces that need to be provided on site — up to a 100 percent reduction in certain cases.

Members of the Bucktown Community Organization, a volunteer-run neighborhood group, have voiced their support of the project to Waguespack.

"The BCO general membership supports the project as presented to us in April. The developer did a nice job of addressing the issues raised by the zoning committee and the project will be a welcome addition to that stretch of Western Avenue," said Philip Edison, chairman of the group's zoning committee.

View the plans, below: