NOBLE SQUARE — After angry neighbors objected in May to 160 apartments being built on a swath of land behind the Polish Roman Catholic Union of America building, that plan has been scrapped for a pitch by a different developer to build 47 luxury condos.
Bart Przyjemski, founder of Noah Properties, met with four members of the Eckhart Park Community Council's zoning committee on Tuesday, along with architect Bill Kokalias and zoning attorney Sara Barnes, at the Northwestern Settlement House, 1012 N. Noble St.
Hubert Cioromski, a real estate agent who was not at the gathering but represented the sellers, the neighboring Polish Roman Catholic Union of America, told DNAinfo that the land was recently sold for $5 million. The sale has not yet been officially recorded.
Przyjemski, who is developing the land, needs the community's blessing on a zoning change to build the homes at 1322-72 W. Walton St., near the Kennedy Expy.
Tim Edwards, co-chairman of the Eckhart Park Community Council, said that his group has not decided whether to support the zoning change.
Edwards said that after Ald. Walter Burnett, whose 27th Ward includes the site, receives the committee's feedback, there will likely be a public meeting.
"I’m quite certain that he will choose to hold [a public meeting] with a project this impactful," Edwards said.
Jeanne Klimek, a member of the Eckhart Park Committee Council, said the new plans "look promising based on what we saw and heard, but all the members of EPCC haven't reviewed the materials yet."
Klimek added, "The ultimate decision of whether to approve the zoning does rest with the alderman. We only make a recommendation. We expect with a project of this size the alderman will have a community meeting to get feedback from the neighbors. "
Burnett could not immediately be reached for comment on Wednesday. At a long and heated community meeting in May, Burnett told the crowd that he would not support Marquette Cos.' requested zoning change for the 160 apartment units if the community was opposed to the plan.
The new proposal calls for the construction of seven six-unit condo buildings and one five-unit building, for a total of 47 new dwelling units.
The five-unit building will be designated as "affordable" to comply with the city's Affordable Requirements Ordinance, which defines eligible households as those earning 60 percent of the Area Median Income. That income currently is $33,180 for a one-person household and $37,920 for a two-person household.
Off-street parking for 49 vehicles would be behind the properties, accessible though a public alley.
"We are excited to introduce this new proposal, which is approximately 75 percent of the size and density of the previously proposed development and which captures the true character of this vibrant neighborhood, to the residents and community," Barnes said in a written statement.
The plan replaces Marquette Cos.' plan to build 143 apartments and 17 town homes.
Barnes said Marquette Cos.'s interest in the land was recently bought out, in its entirety, by Noah Properties, who is presently wholly in control of the site and who is not related to Marquette.
With the previous plan, residents' concerns included more congestion to an already clogged Kennedy Expy. ramp; potentially raising taxes of surrounding properties; and altering the character of the family-friendly enclave. The arguments against the apartments went on for nearly an hour.
See the renderings by architect Bill Kokalias, below: