Another Transit Oriented Development (TOD) is in the works for the booming Milwaukee Avenue Corridor. Being called the East Village Lofts, the project is located at 1056-1100 North Ashland Avenue, just one full block to the south of the Division Blue Line station. And with its location next to a major transit hub, the development will feature 34 residential units and just 8 parking spaces. The Iglesia De Dios Alfa Y Omega church currently occupies the site, but according to the zoning application, the developer is looking to incorporating the building's facade into the new development.
The project is being developed by Mark Sutherland, who has another TOD project underway nearby at 1515-1517 West Haddon Avenue, is requesting an upzoning from B1-2 to B2-3 to accommodate this new five-story building on Ashland. The project was designed by Milbury Architects and is composed of a mix of one to two bedrooms for 30 of units and efficiencies for the remaining four units. The entire building area checks in at a modest 33,747-square-feet and will stand just shy of 60-feet tall to the parapet surrounding the structure's main roof. The eight parking spaces would be located outdoors, directly off the alley and partially below the building's structure.
The church, with its art deco facde, sits on a 90-foot wide piece of property, with the building flanked by a standard sized vacant lot to the south and a wide side yard to the north. The project will preserve the front facade of the church along Ashland while the remainder of the building would be demolished. The new construction would largely fill the width of the lot and would be set back a few feet from the street to allow the older facade, which was constructed at the front lot line, to retain visual prominence.
The proposal is only seeking a modest boost in allowable density through the request for upzoning and the project's location near a transit station which also provides for the significant reduction in parking below the usual 1:1 standard in the neighborhoods outside of downtown. The rezoning with TOD bonuses allows the project to advance through the approval process faster than the planned development process under which many of the other TODs along Milwaukee Avenue were granted zoning changes.
The project will be another small contribution to the rapidly changing cityscape along the Blue Line and could also provide a significant boost in tax revenue on a property that presently owned by a tax-exempt religious organization. It would also add to the node of new density occurring in the vicinity of Polish Triangle which has seen the recent construction of the 11-story, 99-unit tower at 1611 West Division as well as the proposed Wicker Park Connection and the now underway six-story building at 1517 West Haddon.
— Shawn Ursini