Friday, January 11, 2013

Somerset Place Moves Closer To Extreme Makeover

From Ald. Osterman's latest newsletter:

"Redevelopment of the Somerset at 5009 N. Sheridan Rd.  On Wednesday evening, I hosted a community meeting to review the redevelopment of the Somerset at 5009 N. Sheridan Road. A zoning change from RS-3 to B2-5 is required for its redevelopment into 160 market rate rental units and ground floor commercial. 10% of the units will be affordable based on the City of Chicago's Affordable Rental Ordinance.

Per the 48th Ward community approval process, the developer met with my office, local block clubs and community groups over the past 6 months. A mailing was sent to registered voters within 1,000 feet of the site to invite residents to review and vote on the zoning change needed to move forward on the redevelopment.

The project will go to the Committee on Zoning this Monday, January 14 and, based on community support, I will support the zoning change from RS-3 to B2-5. I believe that this development is critical to the future revitalization of the Argyle Street area. I will work closely with the developer and his team of architects and contractors to ensure that the project goes smoothly for neighbors and the community. My office will also work closely with their team as they develop the commercial spaces.

I want to thank the over 100 people who attended Wednesday night’s meeting. When I redesigned the community process for zoning approvals, this level of local involvement is exactly what I had in mind. I appreciate the thoughtful and thorough feedback of the local residents and community groups."

You can see the conceptual plans for the new Somerset in today's newsletter.

DNAInfo also has an article about the meeting.


  1. What is meant by "affordable"...I hope it doesn't mean "low-rent/subsidized".

  2. I'm glad to see this beautiful building rehabbed into market rate rentals.

    By "affordable" the ordinance means rents priced to be affordable by those who make a certain percentage of the median income. It does not mean Section 8, though it IS a subsidy of sorts. This type of "lower middle income" rental subsidy has actually been around for nearly 50 years, pre-dating Section 8.

    It happened because the development of housing projects and slum clearance in the 40s and 50s had the result of pushing up rents across the board, impairing the ability of lower middle income people to afford market rents.

    I'm not nuts about the low-rent/subsidized deal either, as it is my belief that this just drives up EVERYONE'S rents, just as subsidized home loans drive up house prices. But guess what? You will probably have neighbors on Section 8 vouchers wherever you go because landlords are not permitted to discriminate on the basis of source of income. All they can do to keep out bad tenants is screen, screen, screen on the basis of rental history, criminal records, credit scores and drug tests.