An empty lot near California and Milwaukee Avenues may soon make way for a large dual tower mixed use development, which would become the Logan Square neighborhood's largest by far. 1601 W. Division, LLC headed up by developer and former co-CEO of Intelligentsia Coffee Rob Buono, has proposed to build a 14 story tower and 10 story tower along a 427 foot stretch of Milwaukee Avenue where the Max Gerber showroom once stood. Buono, who also developed the new 1611 West Division in the Polish Triangle will be teaming up with Wheeler Kearns Architects again for this project. The towers will contain a total of 231 residences and a combined 7,100 square feet of ground level retail space. In between the towers will be a 12,000 square foot green roof, with trees and other vegetation. Because the plan is in its very early stages, there is no set decision on whether the residences will be condominiums, apartments or a mixture of both. The development would also include 72 surface level parking spaces, most of which would be covered. In order to minimize congestion along Milwaukee Avenue, the development's main entrances would be located on Belden and Washtenaw.
Architect Jon Heinert of Wheeler Kearns Architects is leading the design of the development and has stated that the intention of having two towers connected by a shorter green roof is to break up the development so that it is not as imposing as one giant structure stretching along the lot. Heinert also noted that the sidewalk along the stretch will also be widened from about 12.7 feet to 25 feet and will receive raised planters to separate the sidewalk from Milwaukee Avenue. The development has no plan for balconies, however, the green roof that connects the two towers together will be the primary outdoor common space for tenants. Located just a stone's throw from the California Blue Line station, the transit-oriented development (TOD) plans to include a bicycle parking spot for each unit.
Over the last few months, Logan Square has been the focus of a number of large residential developments which include a possible SRO-style studio development on California Avenue, a 78 unit apartment complex on Armitage, a large development for 2211 N. Milwaukee Ave. that was trimmed down from 135 units to 120. The neighborhood has also recently received some new row houses and there have even been rumors of a possible Mega Mall redevelopment. As Wicker Park and Bucktown have gentrified to a point where both neighborhoods are no longer affordable for many renters, developers have been focusing on building new projects in Logan Square. There's no doubt that Milwaukee Avenue between Western Avenue and California is under-developed, however, the blighted stretch is poised to change dramatically over the next year or two.
The developer plans on presenting the proposal at a community group meeting at some point, however a date is still yet to be determined.