At a packed public meeting hosted by the Prairie District Neighborhood Alliance, architect Jeff Goulette of Sullivan Goulette & Wilson gave the community a first look at the just-announced townhome development planned for the Prairie Avenue site of the failed X/O Condominiums. While a massive downgrade unit-wise from the 479-unit condo project once proposed for the land, the plan for 62 townhomes was presented to an audience of community members with very strong feelings about how the site, currently an abandoned warehouse and a parking lot, should be used.
The project is still in early stages of design, and initial massing diagrams were shown of the structural layouts. The homes are expected to range from 2,800-4,300 square feet on the high end, with either 3 or 4 stories per unit depending on final designs. The project is targeting the high-end of the market, at over $300 per square foot. PDNA president Tina Feldstein assured the grumbling audience that the project would be very high quality, using the best materials possible, in order to match the context of the historic corner of Prairie Avenue and 18th Street, in a community once filled with Chicago's first mansions built for the city's earliest tycoons, long before the high-end residential market fled northward.
Neighborhood members at the meeting voiced ample concerns, from street access to rodent control during demolition of the warehouse, but the most controversy arose from the news that with two parking spaces per home, guests would most likely park on the street (Prairie District residents are really, really touchy about their street parking).
Due to the site's location, the plan falls under the Lakefront Protection Ordinance, so it must receive approval from several official committees before construction can complete, but barring any hold-ups the developers expect to begin site demolition before the year's end, and to begin construction in spring of 2015.
·So Long X/O! 62 Townhomes Planned for Prairie Avenue Lot [Curbed Chicago]