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Controversial Uptown Rental Tower Proposal Returns Yet Again

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Yet another iteration for the proposed mixed-use tower project that will take over the site where the shuttered Maryville Academy now stands has surfaced, and this time it appears that JDL Development and Alderman James Cappleman are serious about pushing the $121 million project forward. The plan has been in the works for several years now, with the original proposal announced in November of 2012. The initial proposal called for an L-shaped tower complex with 776 residences, over 600 parking spaces and 87,000 square feet of retail space along Montrose Avenue. In addition, JDL was also looking to receive $34 million in TIF dollars for the project, which proved to be a controversial ask for such a project. The use of public money for a luxury development didn't sit right with Uptown residents, and became the most controversial component of the plan.

The proposal continued to evolve over the next couple of years and by 2014, JDL Development had reduced the plan considerably and lowered their ask to $14 million in TIFs. As of last year, the proposal had dropped the residential unit count from well over 700 to just 300. It seemed to be going back and forth from stalling out to moving forward as the developer navigated the community approval process. And despite the protests and outcry of the use of public money for the project, the planned appeared that it was all set to move forward by spring of this year.

Fast forward to today, and things have changed yet again. Alderman James Cappleman has announced that JDL Development has tweaked the project's number counts and its request for TIF funding. The Montrose and Clarendon project now proposes 381 total apartments, 289 parking spaces and 37,371 square feet of retail space. Interestingly enough, the proposal also requests $15.8 million in TIF dollars — a $1.8 million increase from where it was this time last year. Alderman Cappleman does also note that $4.6 million of the TIFs would have to go towards the redevelopment of Clarendon Park within eight months of starting construction on the tower project. In an email to constituents, Cappleman says that this project is crucial for the continued development of this part of Uptown. "The total project cost is estimated at over $121 million," Cappelman states, "When all is said and done, a development at this site will improve the blight created by the hospital vacancy and assist with the needed funds for the Park District to complete a rehab of the Clarendon Park Community Center."

·New Proposal for Development of Maryville Site [Uptown Update]
·46th Ward Zoning & Development Committee [46th Ward]
·Long Planned Lakefront Tower for Uptown May Finally Rise [Curbed Chicago]
·Updated: Controversial Uptown Project Currently On Hold [Curbed Chicago]