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Logan Square TOD, West Loop Office Project Moving Forward

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The agenda for the monthly Chicago Plan Commission was a little sleepy this time around, but here's an overview of the larger and noteworthy projects approved last week. In Logan Square, a transit oriented development (TOD) at 2328 North California Avenue planned by Savoy Development is moving forward. The 12,000 square foot triangular piece of property is currently home to a car wash but the new plan is to construct a five story building with two retail spaces and parking on the first floor and 52 dwelling units above. Because the project is very close to the California Blue Line Station (located just north of Milwaukee Avenue), the site is able to take advantage of the TOD overlay in the zoning code, reducing the required parking spaces.

The low number of parking spaces allows for the garage to be placed at the rear of the building. In doing so, the garage will be hidden from public view, providing for a better pedestrian environment without any blank walls or opaque windows. All parking access will be from the existing alley and will include spaces for a car sharing service such as Zipcar. Additionally, the garage will have a bike room for the storage of 60 bicycles. Because the site now is an auto-centric use with a depressed curb along its entire street frontage, six public parking spaces will be created on the street.

The units are designed to be smaller and "efficient" with a rent that is planned to be a bit more inexpensive than other similar new construction buildings. The unit breakdown includes 16 studios, 25 one bedrooms and 11 two bedrooms. 25 of the units have exterior balconies and 6 units are being provided as affordable, pursuant to the city's affordable housing ordinance. The units are arraigned in a U-shaped layout around a central light court above the first floor. The light court will serve as an amenity space for residents as will a terrace on the fifth floor, while 50% of of the roof will be covered in a green roof system. The exterior facade will be blue, providing a splash of color to the California Avenue streetscape once this modern design is complete.

Meanwhile in the West Loop, the recently reported on 801-11 West Fulton Market project is indeed moving forward. Shapack Partners is planning the office building for the southwest corner of Halsted and Fulton Market, right beside the recently installed Fulton Market Gateway sign. Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture (HPA) designed the six story building to appear as a multi-level Chicago School style warehouse, similar to existing structures throughout the neighborhood including the Soho House hotel, which was also another project from Shapack Partners. The design was heavily influenced by the Fulton Market Innovation District (FIMD) plan guidelines.

The planned building also includes a rooftop deck with a 7th floor setback to the west end of the structure and a one story section to the south, creating a street-wall at ground level while allowing for windows on three sides of the new structure. The building will be leased to a single office tenant and will include just under 8,300 square feet of retail space. The site is currently a vacant lot, as the block used to be mostly occupied by a large meat packing plant, which after demolition, was split up and sold off in piecemeal.

In West Ride on the north side, The former Z Frank Chevrolet dealership on Western Avenue is being demolished. In its place will rise the new home for Northside Toyota, which is currently located at Broadway and Hollywood in Edgewater. That site is being acquired by the CTA through eminent domain as a staging area for the rebuild of the northside main (Red/Purple) line embankment.

The design by Axios Architects and Consultants is a precast concrete box with 180,000 square feet of indoor area. The first floor will include a show room and indoor parking, second floor office space, while the third and fourth floors for sales and service. The service portion of the building will be quite impressive in scale, with 42 working bays. Indoor parking is expected for 164 vehicles with additional inventory on a existing surface lot located at Glenlake and Artesian Avenues across the street to the north. The building will include about 19,000 square feet of green roof and will stand about 65 feet tall along Western Avenue. The building stretches over an alley to the west and has a two story section rising to 23 feet along Artesian Avenue. These blocks of Artesian are mostly residential, as such the design includes adding decorative masonry to the exterior and landscaped setbacks. The setback of seven feet from the street will essentially be inline with the front yards of properties to the south and a ten foot set back will serve as a side yard between the dealership and its nearest neighbor.

The alley frontage behind the neighboring residential properties will also include masonry to enhance aesthetics. The stretch of alley being bridged over by the planned building is actually private property, the development will create an easement to continue to allow public access through the site.

Other items on this month's agenda included a amendment to an existing planned development for a liquor store to open in a strip mall at 69th and Ashland as well as very large expansion of the Unilever factory in Little Village.

The Unilever facility is on the western boundary of the city at 28th Street between Kilbourn Avenue and the Belt Railway. It produces 240,000 tons of Hellman's mayonnaise annually. It is actually the largest Unilever dressings facility in the world (mayo counts as a dressing in food production lingo apparently). The current factory was built in 1918 and has been involved with mayo production since 1920. The expansion includes both new production and warehousing space, and will be the first of other planned expansions to come. That's a lot of sauce.

Shawn Ursini

·Previous Savoy Development coverage [Curbed Chicago]
·Two Fulton Market Office Projects Looking to Move Forward [Curbed Chicago]
·Free 50-Foot "Z" Frank Neon Sign to Anyone Who Can Carry It [Curbed Chicago]