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McKinley Park looks to jump on the Transit Oriented Development craze

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A recent proposal shows that TOD isn’t just for Chicago's booming north side

While Transit-Oriented Developments have been popping up and leasing like mad along the Blue Line on Chicago’s north side in places such as Wicker Park and Logan Square, the city's southwest side is also hoping to take advantage of the recent TOD craze. One hopeful early adopter is Mark Properties who proposes a four-story, 39-unit rental project for a vacant lot at 3595 S. Archer Avenue in McKinley Park.

Consisting primarily of 350-square-foot efficiency units costing between $700 and $800 per month, the building would cater primarily to university students and other carless commuters. Due to its extreme proximity to the 35th Street CTA Orange Line stop, the plan includes only three parking spaces.

Though the project would require a zoning change (C1-2 to B2-5) to move forward,12th Ward Alderman George Cardenas is still evaluating neighborhood feedback before taking an official stance on the proposal, according McKinleyPark.org. While some neighbors expressed concerns over potential parking issues and a high density of renters at last week’s public presentation, Cardenas noted that such a development would also attract more disposable income and new retailers to the community.

Regardless of whether or not this project is ultimately approved, it’s certainly refreshing to see this type of investment proposed for Chicago’s southwest side. A follow-up community meeting is tentatively scheduled for September 8th. It’s also worth noting that while no plans have yet been publicly presented, the nearby lot at 3514-3623 S. Archer is also reportedly under consideration for new mixed-use development.