Thursday, December 5, 2013

Long-Empty Storefront Gets Downzoning Request

The vacant storefront located at 5026-5030 North Sheridan has been the subject of a lot of discussion lately.  There were rumors that it would become a self-storage building in October, and just a few days ago a rezoning request went up.

When we asked the 48th Ward Service Office if they knew what was going to happen to it, they gave us this statement from Ald. Osterman:
"My office has been watching this building since I took office in 2011. It is a key parcel in the area and holds great potential. I am hoping it will be redeveloped in a positive way to complement the success of its neighbor, Tweet and Big Chicks, and to match the momentum of Argyle Street, the Somerset, newly announced Mariano's and other great things happening in Uptown. 

Last week at City Council, I introduced an ordinance to down zone the property to B3-2, making its zoning uniform and compatible with the surrounding area."
For those who might be wondering where this place is, it's just north of Big Chicks/Tweet and was a former laundromat/gyros place. We're not sure how long it's been empty, but one of the very first items UU ran, back in June 2007, was a notice that a developer was planning to build an 11-story building there.  (That obviously never happened.)  We also have a vague recollection of there being a 2003 campaign poster in the window of the building for either Blago or Daley. 

In sum, it's been empty a good long time, and we think changing the zoning to complement the character of surrounding businesses is a good idea.


  1. Can someone explain to me what "down-zoning" means in this context? What is the difference between a B3-5 and a B3-2 code?

  2. According to this chart, it has to do with Floor Area Ratio, which seems to have something to do with the size of the dwelling units over the commercial storefront, if any. Makes my eyes spin like pinwheels, but maybe someone who understands zoning and FAR can explain it better.

  3. The building is being demolished today.

  4. It's also kind of BS, it's sort of saying, the next developer who comes in will have to kiss the alderman's ring to get the zoning changed. Almost guaranteed so, since it is probably downzoned beyond whatever a developer would want.