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Park-Side Church Seeks Interested Converter/Site Developer

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The active congregation of Hermon Baptist Church at 1754 N Clark has had its property listed for sale for nearly a year. The opportunity for intensive lakefront development at first seems blatantly clear, and yet the structure and its 5,500-square-foot lot sit undisturbed. The lot is zoned RM-5 which allows for up to four stories of multi-unit housing. Clearly such a prospect is an inadequate draw for most residential developers, especially when the land sets you back $6.5M (and that's down from $8M in May 2012). That leaves the option of a zoning appeal and its contingent struggles with well-healed neighbors, or the repurposing of an old three-story church — in need of considerable TLC — into an "intimate condo or apartment building or, perhaps, a boutique hotel," at the suggestion of the listing agent. There's also an outside shot at a buyer interested in establishing a "magnificent lakefront estate" of 12,000-square-feet, give or take. But really, it'd have to be the kind of berserk mansion with a resale potential of at least $15M to make a single-family endeavor pay off. And thus, the property is well-positioned for further languishing and deep price chops.
·Listing: 1754 N Clark St. [Siegel Realty]