|SW elevation of proposed building (Axios Architects)|
|Current view of the SE corner of Dover & Wilson|
One of the very few streets in Uptown with no affordable housing will still have zero affordable housing if plans for developing the corner lot at Dover and Wilson come to fruition.
After the local block club, Dover Street Neighbors, rejected the last developer's proposal for a zoning change on the "Happy Wash" building and parking lot nearly two years ago (a proposal that had an affordable housing component), a new developer has stepped in.
This developer has presented plans for two adjacent residential rental buildings that will maintain the lots' current zoning status. Under the city's Affordable Rents Ordinance, the developer is therefore not required to include any affordable units, as it would be if a zoning change were involved.
If this is all familiar, remember we saw this same scenario play out a few blocks away on the 4600 block of Malden. A developer there requested a one-story upzone which would have triggered the city's affordable requirement (then 10% of the units, now 20%), but the local block club, Magnolia-Malden Neighbors, rejected the proposal outright. The developer went back to the drawing board and is now building what it is allowed to "by right" with no affordable housing required nor included.
We've said it on these pages many times before: When you have something to bargain with (in this case, zoning change approval), you have leverage with the developer on many issues, including building height, appearance, etc. When you walk away from the bargaining table, the developer loses its incentive to listen to community input, and is free to build within the parameters of the current zoning.
Ald. Cappleman's office has uploaded the plans for the two parcels (the current Happy Wash building at 1351 W Wilson, as well as a separate parcel at 4551 N Dover, currently a parking lot on the south side of the lot). The five-story main building (one level taller than the previous proposal) is pictured above, and the two buildings are shown side-by-side below.
The developer is proposing 30 residential rental units with 30 parking spaces for the Wilson Avenue building and an additional four units in the separate 4551 N Dover building with four parking spaces.
|Looking NE from Dover, showing both buildings (Axios)|
While this building is being built to right, there is a matter for the block club to decide:
The proposed development includes a developer request for a zoning variance to allow for one-to-one on-site parking. If the variance request is rejected by the local block club, the developer can build to right, and renters in the building will likely resort to street parking rather than being able to park in the building.
Since parking is at a premium throughout Sheridan Park, we urge the local block club to consider granting the variance to avoid further exacerbating parking issues for local residents.