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Plan Commission Greenlights Parkside, Dual Towers & More

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Considering the variety of projects under construction or in the works across the city, its not surprising the Chicago Plan Commission had a busy meeting last Thursday. Parkside at Old Town (442-470 West Division), a 7-story, 84-unit mixed-income building with a day care center and approximately 1700 square feet of commercial space, received permission to proceed. Brinshore Development, which brings plenty of experience with affordable housing, tapped Pappageorge/Haymes for design duties. Formerly part of the Cabrini-Green Homes, the site on Chicago Housing Authority land where the City Farm now operates, would feature two prominent street frontages along Division and Clybourn, with storefront glass placed at street level to emphasize the pedestrian-oriented layout. The complex would include a day care center with a play lot as well as a restaurant expected to have on-site job training facilities.

The residential portion of the project, which begins on the third floor, would include 26 units for public house (31% of the total, set at 30% of tenant income), 26 additional affordable units and market rate for the rest. That goes above and beyond the usual 30% public housing/20% affordable/50% market rate breakdown found on former CHA property. Parkside will also feature an outdoor deck and community garden atop a third floor setback, along with four active beehives. The building's latest design includes a precast concrete facade with alternating colors as well as balconies at the end of the building. Parking options include 55 interior spots on the second floor and a surface lot behind the building.

The Hampton Inn by Hilton near Loyola (6556-90 North Sheridan Road) also got the go-ahead. The six-story, 145-room campus adjacent hotel, clad in brick and metal panels, will include 9,900 square feet of retail space on Sheridan Road. Due to the proximity to the nearby Red Line stop, the project received a variance to reduce the the parking requirement from 30 to 20. The project is expected to employ 35-55 permanently once complete.

In Lakeview, an addition to a 4-story, 4-unit walkup at 449 West Aldine Avenue, which would expand the existing units and add a fifth bedroom to some, requires additional review to obtain a Lakefront Protection Ordinance Application, since it's in a private use zone close to the lake.

In Streeterville, a technical amendment was proposed for Planned Development 368, which covers much of the area in southern Streeterville between Michigan Avenue and Navy Pier. The PD, which has been modified over the years as new developments have been constructed, is broken up into multiple sub areas (Sub Area E contains the site of the failed Chicago Spire project at 400 North Lakeshore Drive) In order to retain previous density bonuses and developer commitments, such as the buildout of neighboring DuSable Park on a empty and contaminated piece of property, an extension of the previous approval was required. The re-approval extends all agreements through 2018. Related will still have to hold community meetings and consult with the Plan Commission to move forward once plans are unveiled.

In Wicker Park, Fletcher Jones proposed a 4-story enclosed Audi dealership at 1521 West North Avenue, currently an open lot used for the storage of Fletcher Jones sprinter vans, located across the street from the existing Mercedes Dealership flanking the Kennedy Expressway. Gensler, who also designed the Mercedes dealership, was chosen as project architect. Part of a Planned Development including a vacant lot on Bosworth that will be transformed into a 5-story building, the proposed 71-foot high dealership will have a 100% green roof and will be clad with heavily textured rain screen metal panels, promising a captivating presence along the expressway.

And finally, the controversial Dual Tower development in Logan Square will move forward. The Wheeler-Kearns Architects-designed project will take over the former home of the Max Gerber Kitchen and Bath Showroom facility. Just under an acre, the site will include 460 feet of Milwaukee Avenue frontage and 9,000 square feet of retail. Between the ground floors of both towers, a set back of more than 12 feet will separate the buildings from the one-story parking garage. A pocket park-like green space will provide outdoor seating, potentially for al fresco dining, and will include public art. The 15- and 12-story towers that were originally proposed have been lowered to 12 and 11 stories, respectively, as well as partial green roofs. The developer will include additional affordable housing beyond the 10% required by the Affordable Housing Ordinance, providing 22 units as well as 10 additional 2-3 bedroom units of workforce family housing.

-- Photos and text by Shawn Ursini

Previous Chicago Plan Commission coverage [Curbed Chicago]