Developer David Brown said his plan for the parcel at 1819 West Montrose was to play the waiting game. After a thicket of meetings and rounds of community feedback, his patience appeared to have paid off Wednesday. After securing zoning approval from 47th Ward Alderman Ameya Pawar, Brown's long-discussed Montrose Green transit-oriented development just needs to clear the City Council's Committee on Zoning, Landmarks & Building Standards on April 23 to break ground.
Pawar announced his support via this letter, which points to the solid community backing for the project, and calls the future five-story building "a benefit to the commercial corridor along Montrose" that "will continue to provide different kinds of housing options for residents in the 47th Ward."
To recap, the transit-friendly proposal for Montrose and Honore, which has been marking time as a community garden, would include common green roof access, ground floor restaurant/retail and a 3,000-square-foot business incubator on the fifth floor.
Brown of Harrington Brown, LLC, which purchased the property in 2009, says the updated plans call for only 24 units, mostly 1- or 2-bedrooms, with three affordable housing options on site, per the alderman's request. Brown said if they do obtain all formal approvals, they can break ground this fall and potentially open in late 2016.
"We've been patient by design," he says. "We never wanted to be forced to build the wrong project at the wrong time."
When asked about the project and future plans for the ward, Ernie Constantino, the Planning & Development Director for the alderman, said Pawar supports transit-oriented developments as appropriate, on a case-by-case basis and subject to the community approval process. He also mentioned another such proposal, for an empty lot at 3420 North Lincoln Avenue, that's currently under consideration. If approved, that would make the neighboring Paulina Brown Line stop the first to be bookended by two TODs, since the oblong lot south of the station at the Lincoln/Roscoe/Paulina six-way also has a bike rack-friendly building on the way.
·Previous Montrose Green Coverage [Curbed Chicago]
·Mapping Chicago's Growing Transit-Oriented Developments [Curbed Chicago]
·Previous Ravenswood coverage [Curbed Chicago]