Sunday, October 25, 2020

Halloween Laser Light Show On Sunnyside Mall

photos by Bill Biederman

Last night, neighbors were treated to a socially-distanced laser light show on Sunnyside Mall presented by Coherent Designs. 

The 20 minute laser show was set to scary Halloween tunes and repeated throughout the evening. Sunnyside Mall runs along Sunnyside from Beacon Street to Magnolia Avenue.

Our thanks to neighbor Bill Biederman for capturing the fun event and of course to Will Kent of Coherent Designs and the Sunnyside Mall Committee. Neighbors interested in following events on Sunnyside Mall or getting more involved can visit the Facebook page.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

46th Ward Z&D Committee Approves New Construction at 4511 N. Clark

MCZ's 4511 N. Clark (2RZ Architecture)

The current one story retail spaces at 4511 N. Clark

MCZ Development's proposal to replace a nondescript one-story retail building with a modern residential building (with ground-floor retail) was approved Wednesday evening by the 46th Ward Zoning & Development Committee. The zoom meeting ran for nearly 3 1/2 hours but in the end, committee members voted to approve the development with a vote of 15 in favor, 7 against with Uptown United abstaining.

The proposal had already received the approval of Clark Street Neighbors Block Club, who met with the developer and submitted feedback regarding increased outdoor space and a reorganized mix of studios, one- and two-bedroom units. The developer made the requested changes to the proposal.

The retail on this stretch of Clark has been in decline for years, and we expect that this development (and others) will bring some much-needed life to Clark. 

Also interesting to note that 4547 N. Clark is undergoing a rehab and we are excited to see what's to come for 4537 N. Clark, currently demolished and scheduled to be replaced with a new retail building. We expect this stretch of Clark will be unrecognizable in a few years, and businesses up and down Clark are certain to benefit from a new influx of residents.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Buena Park Neighbors Presents Safe Trick-or-Treating

Everyone, including people giving out candy, must wear a face covering. 

For those homes giving out candy, leave a light on or put a sign up in your window indicating that your home is participating in safe trick-or-treating.

Maintain social distancing and have hand sanitizer available. 

Keep it moving — don’t congregate in front of one stoop or on the sidewalk.

Only eat candy after thorough hand washing after returning home.

No haunted houses, due to their potential germ-spreading.

Keep trick-or-treating crews small, specifically six people or fewer. Sticking to members of your household or quarantine “bubble” is recommended.

No house parties. 

Buena Park Neighbors will be onsite on Saturday, October 31st from 5-8pm on Kenmore (between Irving Park and Montrose) to help maintain one-way traffic and encourage masks for all Trick-or-Treaters. If you are interested in volunteering, please complete this form and return by Friday, October 23rd. 

We will also still hold our annual Halloween Decorating Contest and will award a prize to the Best Decorated House on Kenmore!

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Preston Bradley Center at 941 W. Lawrence Up For Sale

The historic Preston Bradley Center at 941 W. Lawrence is going on the market. 

The Preston Bradley Center, 941 W. Lawrence
The Peoples Church of Chicago has retained MB Real Estate to market the space, which has no asking price but is subject to offers. The building is over 50,000 sq feet and also includes a 4,950 sq foot parking lot that could be developed. The building and parking lot are zoned B3-5.

The building is in need of some major upgrades and attention.

Download the real estate flyer here.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

New Residential Planned For 4710 N Sheridan

Possible design for 4710 N. Sheridan (2rz Architecture)

Looking NW at 4710 N Sheridan (2rz Architecture)

Quest Realty recently finished their 6 story building at 4720 N. Sheridan. Just south of that, Mavrek Development is well underway with their 4 story development that is replacing a daycare center.

Now a building that was most recently home to Siam Cafe at 4710 N. Sheridan has been sold and will make way for a new residential development.

According to building permits, a 5 story development with 24 units, ground floor retail and a parking garage on the first floor are planned. The lot is zoned B3-5 so this building is most likely being built "by right" and will require no input from neighbors.

We spotted a rendering on the Instagram page for 2rz Architecture. Of course, the design could be further tweaked by the city.

4710 N. Sheridan

Friday, October 9, 2020

Sarah's Circle To Build Third Supportive Housing Development On Sheridan

The third development from Sarah's Circle on Sheridan, coming soon to Lakeside and Sheridan

The Ecumenical Institute (EI), ICA’s sister organization that owns and operates ICA GreenRise, has signed a sales agreement to sell 40% of our parking at 4747 N Sheridan Rd to Sarah’s Circle, an Uptown-based nonprofit organization that provides a continuum of programs and supportive housing to help women permanently end their homelessness.

Sarah’s Circle has been a stakeholder and advocate for Uptown women since 1979, when founders Maxine Florell, Jeanette Hupp, and Janet Sullivan began operating a women’s center centered on accepting each woman as she was. To accommodate the growing need to address homelessness among women, Sarah’s Circle moved in early 1997 to the Ecumenical Institute building that would come to be known at ICA GreenRise. In 2013, the organization completed construction of a new building comprising 10 units of permanent supportive housing at 4838 Sheridan Rd, just half a block north of GreenRise. A second, 35,000 square foot development currently under construction at Sheridan Rd and Leland Ave will add 38 units of permanent supportive housing for women when completed this November.

“We're currently building the project on Leland and Sheridan, and were able to secure financing for a third property. So the board and staff at Sarah's Circle were actively looking for a potential site when this came up, and we thought—wow this is fabulous!” said Sarah’s Circle Executive Director Kathy Ragnar of the parking lot. “You can't beat it. It's right smack in the middle of 4838 Sheridan and [the new building at] Leland. So it's just a wonderful location because it will be easy for program staff and case management staff to get there and support the women who are in the housing, and the women can utilize the services of all the programs.”

Our journey to sell the parking lot began with a vision for how the space could be redeveloped to meet the needs of the community. EI and ICA board and staff members worked together to create “mission-match” criteria that included affordable housing, environmental sustainability, and anchoring social services. We then worked with MBRE to search for potential buyers and explore proposals from several groups before ultimately choosing to move forward with Sarah’s Circle.

“I’m proud and excited that the space is going to Sarah’s Circle, who have thrived within ICA GreenRise for the past 20 years,” said Lesley Showers, COO of EI. “This area is the kind of prime lakefront property that is so often developed for luxury housing, so it’s been incredible watching them expand and demonstrate how supportive housing can be integrated into the community. In just these few blocks there are so many great, affordable options for women, seniors, and families.”

Sarah’s Circle plans to develop a third property that will add an additional 28 units of permanent, affordable housing with supporting services, meaning that each woman in the building will have an on-site case manager.

“Every building is an asset for Sarah's Circle. Years from now we will still have these great buildings designed by Perkins+Will that provide housing for the most vulnerable women in the city. It’s not only an asset for Sarah's Circle, but for the city as well. This is an asset we're building for all of us, and it just continues to increase the viability of Sarah Circle’s mission of ending homelessness for women in the city,” Kathy said.

We have long treated the space as more than just a parking lot. It has served as a space for many community events over the years, including Lakeside Area Neighbors Association (LANA) block club events, back-to-school gatherings hosted by Christian Fellowship for All Nations (CFAN), and GreenRise tenant appreciation days. The parking lot has also been an extension of our sustainability mission of GreenRise, and has been improved with features such as permeable pavers that help drain storm water and greenery that reduces the heat island effect common in cities.

The sale of 40% of the parking lot to Sarah’s Circle represents a commitment to anchor community services and demonstrate that sustainable and equitable development is possible.

Residential Development Coming To 4410 N. Clark

4410 N Clark
4410 N. Clark

The Clark Street building boom continues.

A wrecking permit has been issued for a building at 4410 N. Clark, just south of My Buddy's. Scaffolding has been erected outside the building meaning demolition is imminent.

According to building permits, a 4 story residential building with 25 units will rise from the spot very soon. Ground floor retail as well as parking for 13 cars and 19 bike parking spaces is proposed. The building is currently zoned B1-3 so this is likely being built "by right" and will require no input from Clark Street Neighbors Association. 

Update: Our first possible look at what is planned for 4410 N. Clark comes from the architect's Instagram account.

4410 N. Clark (2rz Architecture)

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

City Offers Free Flu Shots This Fall

As usual, the city is offering flu shots to residents at no cost.

While the clinics generally take place at aldermanic offices, the pandemic is forcing some changes. Community colleges and parks will be the clinic settings in 2020. 

Bring your insurance information if you have it, but no one will be turned away based on ability to pay. 

Walk-ins are welcome, but you can have a quicker experience by making an appointment (the online form is here).

Here's when you can get your flu shots in Uptown:

  • Wednesday, October 14, noon-6pm, Truman College, 1145 West Wilson
  • Thursday, October 15, noon-6pm, Truman College, 1145 West Wilson
  • Saturday, October 17, 9am-3pm, Truman College, 1145 West Wilson
  • Wednesday, November 11, noon-6pm, Truman College, 1145 West Wilson
  • Thursday, November 12, noon-6pm, Truman College, 1145 West Wilson
  • Saturday, November 14, 9am-3pm, Truman College, 1145 West Wilson
A complete schedule of all the flu shot clinics dates and locations is here.

Chase Park Renovation Complete, Opening Soon

Once the initial stay at home order lifted, many of our spring and summer "fresh air" walks included time spent gazing longingly over the fences at Chase Park.  Both the park and fieldhouse were closed in early spring for COVID-19 restrictions and then for $3,000,000 in planned repairs and renovation courtesy of the Clark Street TIF.  

Construction on the field and fieldhouse roof has been slow but sure, and we are finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel.

The fences are down and the construction crews are doing final work on the field and track in advance of an official opening, which we hear could be as soon as this Friday.  

We are thrilled to try out the new field, which features artificial turf striped for soccer and baseball, two full size soccer goals, and two brand new backstops with "dugouts" and baseball "infield dirt" markings.  While Chase was popular before, expect even more leagues and youth sports at the field in coming years.

In addition to the new turf, the photos appear to show a newly painted or replaced running track around the outside of the field.  We are excited to get back to running on the track, which looks beautiful and built for years to come.   

All in all, a great job by the Chicago Park District and a welcome upgrade for Uptown.

Howard Brown Clinic Building Approved By 46th Ward Zoning & Development Committee

The new clinic building for Howard Brown was approved by the 46th Ward Zoning & Development Committee last week, according to an email blast from Ald. Cappleman on Monday. The final vote was 21 in favor, one opposed.

We realize that this is outside of our coverage area, which is (surprise) Uptown, but many votes came from representatives of Uptown block clubs and buildings, so we're covering it.

Ald. Cappleman says, "Howard Brown is in negotiations to acquire the property at 3501 N. Halsted, presently operated as Little Jim's Tavern. Howard Brown is proposing to redevelop this site with a 70 ft., 5 floor glass and brick building for a new clinic and office space (no residential) that would include 27 parking spaces and bicycle parking. This parcel is currently zoned C1-2 and would require a zoning designation change to C1-5 to build this proposed structure. The new property would double the capacity of Howard Brown's existing Halsted clinic for primary care appointments, provide additional space for walk-in sexual and reproductive healthcare, establish a dental clinic for the underinsured, and house wraparound and behavioral health services."

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Leland Shared Street To Extend Through 46th Ward, Clark To Kenmore

From Ald. Cappleman's latest newsletter:

"I am pleased to announce that the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) will be completing installation of the Shared Street on Leland, from Clark to Kenmore. Work is scheduled to begin on Friday. 

My office has received many requests from neighbors on Leland who were interested in the Shared Streets program when it was announced. We are looking forward to seeing how Shared Streets can improve mobility in our neighborhoods. 

Previously planned utility work that initially caused CDOT to delay implementing our Shared Street on Leland has been postponed. This means that CDOT is now able to establish a Shared Street on Leland through the end of the season. 

Image courtesy of

The Shared Streets program was launched by CDOT so that local roads could be converted into corridors for improved, safe travel, and physical activity during COVID. Vehicular access is restricted to local traffic only in order to allow for more space for walking, biking, rolling, and social distancing. As a shared street, cars will still be able to enter. 

Through traffic is prohibited, and those driving on the shared street must drive slowly and yield to people on the street. The Shared Street does not remove parking. Please note that you will still be able to park on your street. Emergency services, garbage trucks, street sweepers and delivery vehicles will still be able to use the street. 

Image courtesy of

The Shared Streets program is designed to be flexible and responsive to community feedback. CDOT wants your input! If you observe a problem with equipment on a Shared Street (i.e. a barrel or barrier broken, missing, or misplaced), please call 311 and provide the intersection or address. Always call 911 for emergencies. 

The Shared Street in our ward will be known as "Leland Uptown." If you would like to provide feedback about Shared Streets, you can email and please fill out the Shared Streets Program Feedback & Suggestions Survey. Please also reach out to our office at 773-878-4646 and at to let us know what you think!"

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

See The Latest Plans For "Redesign The Drive," Including The Lakefront Trail

"Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood!"

North Lake Shore Drive and the Lakefront Trail are set to be totally redesigned between Grand Avenue and Hollywood Avenue, a massive undertaking. The Redefine The Drive project has been stellar in soliciting the opinions of users and planners, with public meetings dating back to 2013.

Now they're looking for more of your input to formulate the next phase of the plan. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to contribute your visions for change. Don't be left standing around with your ideas when the construction begins!

"The North Lake Shore Drive project team has reached a critical milestone in the study process as we prepare to recommend a narrowed range of alternatives to be carried forward to the next stage of analysis. 

In preparation for this next step, we are summarizing basic information that will explain the project in more detail as well as highlighting some key improvements that will be common to all alternatives. This information is being shared in several Study Spotlights, each focusing on a specific topic.

The Study Spotlights provided today review two key aspects of the project; the Study’s Purpose & Need and the proposed Lakefront Trail and Park Access designs.

Purpose and Need & Public Outreach Efforts Study Spotlight. The Purpose and Need was developed and agreed upon through extensive collaboration with stakeholders when the study first began. This statement defines the study’s goals and forms the basis upon which all alternatives have so far been measured. The Purpose and Need is continuously called upon throughout the project process when developing and evaluating proposed design improvements.

Click here to check out the Purpose and Need Study Spotlight

Lakefront Trail and Park Access Study Spotlight. Since the last public meeting, the project team has continued to develop design concepts for the Lakefront Trail and park access to enhance the experience for all users. Review these design concepts, goals and visual renderings in the Study Spotlight.

Click here to check out the Lakefront Trail and Park Access Study Spotlight

The project team will continue to share these Study Spotlights with you during the coming weeks. 

If you have comments on the information in this handout, or on any other project materials, please use the online comment form to provide input:

We welcome feedback at any time during the project process. We look forward to continuing to work with you to Redefine the Drive!"