Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Second Cedar Street Building On Wilson Approved for Zoning Change

It looks like a go for the second of two new proposed rental buildings on Wilson, with the 46th Ward's full Zoning & Development Committee approving Cedar Street's application for a zoning change at Sheridan & Wilson at its meeting on Monday evening.  From Ald. Cappleman's website:
"975 W. Wilson (SE Corner of Wilson and Sheridan).  Mark Heffron from Cedar Street presented a proposal that includes a zoning change from B3-2 to B3-5 for a 79 ft., 7 story building with 138 units. The developer is looking to have a reduction in parking requirements by proposing 52 parking spaces. This project was presented to the Clarendon Park Neighborhood Association on August 6 and had unanimous support from the neighbors that attended.
At this meeting, members expressed concerns about the architecture, private alley and access for building on the east side of the parcel, less parking and more retail. Money going toward the Uptown Open Space Impact fees were discussed. Result: Zoning change accepted by committee based on the project presented to the community."
We're happy to see representatives from the property's closest neighbors all voted in favor of the zoning change:  Friendly Tower (920 W. Wilson), Clarendon Park Neighborhood Association, and Truman Square Neighbors.

This prime Uptown intersection has been empty for far too long, thanks to El Pollo Loco signing a long-term guaranteed lease in the property, then closing its doors in January 2010.  Can't blame the land owner, who was getting above-market rent for letting it sit empty for the duration of the lease. It will be good to see some vitality return to that corner.

We hope to see a better rendering of the proposed project soon.

Sidenote:  An interesting article is here on why Chicago needs more rental units to maintain and grow its population, The Collapse of Rental Housing on Chicago's North Side.


  1. I like the pro density article.

    I'm somewhat surprised that our friends at JPUSA support this building. Then I realized their coffee shop is next door. More people mean more ching!

    God bless their mercenary hearts!

  2. @IrishPirate--Wouldn't it be nice if JPUSA paid real estate taxes and income taxes too?

    In any case, I am thrilled to see positive development coming to Wilson ave. The more the merrier. Thank you Alderman Cappleman for doing what no other alderperson in recent years has done-work for all citizens!

    1. I may have to rethink/rethunk my howling comments.

      Greg Hinz on the hit we're about to take.

      Have to find my tax bill and do some quick calculations. Lon Cheney Jr got nothing on me and howling.

    2. The building design looks like 1970s bad architecture reminiscent of the horrible 4+1s. It will not fit into the classic architecture of the surrounding neighborhood.

  3. Is this design (vague as it is) something found in a 1960s-early 1970s architectural dust bin? Can't we do better than this?

  4. Mike,

    I'm just happy that our JPUSA betters, or at least their leadership, is supporting this building. The city desperately needs more dense development. I don't know what they pay in real estate or income taxes, but my guesstimate is not friggin enough! Uptown needs more dense development. I'm pro dense. I'm dense enhanced.

    It's actually good to see the support this has gotten from various groups including the Jesus Brigade. Try to put something like that on an underused lot in Lincoln Park or Lakeview and the NIMBYS would be screaming:

    1. Too dense

    2. Too tall

    3. Needs more parking

    4. Too too

    5. I just want to complain because I'm a miserable human being.

    Basically there are some people who will complain about anything that causes them even the most minor inconvenience regardless of the general social good it may provide.

    Case in point the arguments against the heliport at the new Children's Hospital.

    They were willing to put their own sense of entitlement and unjustified fear over the needs of sick or injured kids. There is a special place in hell for them where helicopters swoop down 24 hours a day playing "Oh Macarena" and "You Light Up my LIfe" from Debbie Boone.

    We need to think of Uptown as a big puzzle. The borders always stay the same, unless we add landfill to the lake, but each lot/building, business and person is a tiny piece of the overall puzzle. Pieces are constantly changing, but hopefully the neighborhood is getting stronger and better over time.

    These proposed buildings are small step towards stronger and better. The Capplemaniac has been a big step in jump-starting the small steps. The overall national economy is a big factor too. Can't build if you can't get loans.

    As for real estate taxes those of us who pay them directly or indirectly will be paying more. I'm not thrilled with that, but if we get big ass casinos downtown and at the airports to fleece some money from travelers and the city makes market rate developments easier and opening a business less time consuming/costly I'll deal with it with only minor wailing and howling. (Waiting for moon to come out so I can climb on garage roof and howl)

    Perhaps I can get the heliport concession at the casinos!

    I had a meeting the other day at the Merchandise Mart and was amazed how many cranes and newish residential buildings are just west from there. Hadn't been on those blocks in a few years.

    We have room for similar if generally smaller developments in Uptown.

    Casinos, new developments and businesses can't completely eliminate the property tax bath we're about to take, but it can substantially reduce it. Reducing it is good because my neighbors will complain less if I howl less frequently.

    1. I've been following this blog for years - you have some weird comments on here - this is a good one.

  5. IrishPirate:

    It's my vote that the helicopters which swoop down 24/7/365 play Ride of the Valkyries (straight out of Apocalypse Now) full blast. Ah, I love the smell of napalm in the morning!

  6. @IrishPirate, I too agree that we need more density in neighborhoods that support it. Lets forget the city lost half a million people..where'd they live before they moved? Right. And I think Uptown has the ability to grow in an ability like never before. Clean it up and move forward!

    And I agree that downtown development is beautiful--lets spread it north!