Friday, March 28, 2008

Zoning Change At 4649 N Winthrop

We found a Zoning Change sign posted on a lamp pole located east of the McDonalds and north of the Grasmere Nursing Home at 4621 N. Sheridan. (sigh, …but no signs posted 2 blocks west on Winthrop). (sigh, …but no mention by our alderman at our community meeting 4 days ago.)

In this photo, 4649 N. Winthrop is the taller, yellow building to the left. Per a local Truman Square neighbor, the adjacent, shorter yellow building was purchased by the same buyer recently. While we’re at it, the red buildings are CHA scattered site townhomes. Across the street at 4628-34 North Winthrop Avenue , is the soon-to-be-developed UpCorp Park, the Taxpayer funded Open Space that really isn’t a park. (See November “Taxpayer Park” posts).

File No. A-7369 Zoning Amendment
4649 N. Winthrop
On 03-12-2008 an application was filed by the … Alderman…to
Change B3-3 Community Shopping District to RT-4 Residential Two-Flat, Townhome and Multi-Unit District.
Contact: … the alderman…


  1. Little confusing - Is this turning into another SRO/alderman building or just a developer building condos?



  2. I am wondering too. I was confused after reading this. Any more info?

  3. Not sure, but research is needed to see if the owner has made any recent contribution to Helen's campaign.

  4. Hey, we just know nothing... but we did attempt to facilitate others by giving an online "Heads Up", scribing what was on the sign, and photographing the building in question.

    Unfortunately omniscience does not come with a blogger account.

    The photographer did recognize and tip off a passing Truman Square Neighbor. Hopefully, that block club is looking into it and will post.

  5. I live on that block and haven't received anything in the mail about a zoning change. I'm not sure if that goes hand-in-hand with the zoning signs being posted. Anyone know the timeline?

    I'll post the zoning notice if/when I get one.

  6. the signs are only required to be posted on the property itself, and only one sign, so don't expect to see them around the hood

  7. File No. A-7369

    the A prefix is a naming convention for aldermanic initiatives

    the alderman is either initiating this change or fronting for an owner or developer

    when the alderman initiates, no disclosure of the beneficiary of the zoning chang is required

    when the alderman initiates a zoning change, the City Dept. of Zoning is responsible for the notification by mail

  8. 4649 N Winthrop PIN 14-17-210-003 was sold to a Mr. Babatunde Owolabi on 9/15/2006 for $200K


  9. on 11/13/2007 a Mr. Babatunde Owolabi of 1500 Evers Ave in Westchester, IL contributed $250.00 to Citizens for Shiller

    Illinois State Board of Elections

  10. I found some online listings for

    Babatunde Owolabi
    B. Owolabi & Associates
    real estate agents
    P.O. Box 7228
    Westchester IL 60154
    Phone: 773 - 544 - 4287

    but he is not a licensed real estate agent or broker

    State of Illinois, Division of Professional Regulation License Look Up

    the firm is not registered with the Secretary of State

    SOS Corp/LLC look-up

    he and his firm are not listed with the Illinois Association of Realtors

    IAR Realtor Search

  11. "I live on that block and haven't received anything in the mail ... "

    do you live w/i 250'?

    "Anyone know the timeline?"

    the sign has to go up w/i 5 days of filing the APPLICATION for the zoning change

    for an alderman's zoning change, the mail notice must be sent out at least 15 days before the HEARING

    Review and Approval Procedures

    includes radius & notification

  12. B3-3 to RT-4

    Bx-3 has a mean lot area of 400 square feet of land area required for each unit, and RT4 requires 1000, so this is a major density decrease

    the lot is 4,248 sqaure feet, so under the current zoning as many as 10 units might be possible!

    the RT4 is more appropriate, the building is architecturally a 3-flat

    does anyone know how many units are in there currently?

    RT4 would perhaps allow for a 4th unit "garden unit"

  13. The SRO FAQ

    SRO is a special use under the current zoning B3-3

    SRO is PERMITTED BY RIGHTS under the proposed zoning RT4!

    an SRO in an RT4 requires just 500 square feet of land per unit, so if SRO is the intention. it's a small density decrease in exchange for skipping the Zoning Board of Appeals, special use process Uptown neighbors have become familiar with lately

  14. Thanks, Hugh. Despite all of your bad press lately, people still appreciate your willingness to check things out and share your information.

    I'm going to try to reserve my emotional energy until I find out more details, but I am pretty pissed off by all so many people who live outside the CITY getting aldermanic zoning assistance (Howard this guy) Whatever they intend to do with this space, why is it that Shiller is willing to be of assistance but she won't even deign to speak with local residents or work to solve simple problems...potholes?!! I get her issues and her agenda. But why does that mean she has to simply cut people out? As an elected official, it is a gross neglect of duty. She wonders why people hate her but what is there to like?

  15. "Is this turning into another SRO/alderman building or just a developer building condos?"

    I spoke with Mr. Owolabi, the number above listed above is no longer his but 773-744-2617 works

    he was helpful & open & courteous

    he said he is planning to tear down:

    the 3-story brick bldg
    4649 N Winthrop
    PIN 14-17-210-003
    4248 Sq ft of land

    AND the 3-unit 2-flat
    4647 N Winthrop
    PIN 14-17-210-004
    2562 square feet

    combine it with the vacant lot next door to the south
    4645 N Winthrop
    PIN 14-17-210-005
    2419 square feet

    and build 8-10 condos

    (4248+2562+2419=9229 sq ft total

    9229/1000 RT4 MLA = 9 units max)

    he said he used to live in 4647 building before moving to Westchester

    he said he is not a real estate agent but used to be an appraiser

    he said he has not spoken to any neighborhood groups or block clubs about this zoning change

  16. Thanks for checking on that Hugh. You are a real asset to UU and we appreciate all the info you are able to dig up. If he is tearing down 2 buildings to build condos on a combined lot of that size...they must be pretty big.

  17. I still don't get it. Why is it an aldermanic initiative? What is she getting out of it? And, why do we need more condos in this economic environment?

  18. Yea I wonder too...seems a bit too good to be true.

  19. "I still don't get it. Why is it an aldermanic initiative?"

    good question, I don't get it either

    I talked to Owolabi and posted my notes, but pls don't assume it's gospel

    "why do we need more condos in this economic environment?"

    from the '06 purchase of 4649 and the '07 campaign contribution it seems like this whatever it is has been in the works for years, and might have some momentum left over from headier times, maybe Owolabi has investors, he sorta has to go forward

  20. "and the '07 campaign contribution "

    Always a comforting thought that if you ever need anything done in Uptown, you just need to fill up Helen's coffers a bit, and you're in like Flynn.

  21. Hugh- You are amazing! Thanks for the dedication & time to the imput of informing us all who read this blog. Cheers!

  22. "Why is it an aldermanic initiative?"

    speculating now (no substitute for a meeting):

    under the current zoning B3-3, with a combined 9229 sq ft of lot area, Owolabi might have been able to build BY RIGHTS 9229/400 (Bx-3 RT4 MLA) = 23 units!

    that much density might even have offended Shiller's sensibilities: right next door to the low-rise subsidized project on the same side of the street to the south might make one of Shiller's proudest brag projects look sorta silly

    also, the zoning change is a density decrease. Shiller has been pushing through a series of density decreases lately, I think to set up for set-asides

  23. Looks like this project is never going to happen, he lost 4647 N winthrop in foreclosure and will be losing 4649 as well.