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River West apartments, Wicker Park hotel approved by Chicago Plan Commission

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Today’s meeting also OK’d expansions at a pair of Chicago schools

Rendering of 716-742 N. Aberdeen
Image via Chicago Department of Planning and Development

This month’s meeting of the Chicago Plan Commission approved a number of new developments stretching from Lakeview to Mt. Greenwood. They include projects in the hospitality, residential, and—surprisingly—public educational sectors. While all zoning changes and Planned Development (PD) applications and amendments need to go before the full Chicago City Council for a vote to be finalized, here is a rundown of what got the official OK from the Commission today.

1551 West North Avenue

↑ When the owner of the gas station at the southeast corner of North and Ashland last presented a plan to redevelop the parcel into a hotel, public reaction to the design was “mixed” at best. The seven-story project has returned with a somewhat updated look that features additional glass, more attractive windows, and a metal panel facade in place of the earlier design’s precast concrete slabs. The 99-room hotel’s street level still features multiple curb-cuts and little active use but has been slightly enhanced thanks to a new corner cut-out that features a bit of landscaping.

716-42 North Aberdeen

↑ While an earlier plan to construct an 11-story, 175-unit rental tower at the corner of Aberdeen and Ogden in River West was approved by the city, developers John Kelly and RMK Management returned to seek permission to grow the project to 13 stories and 188 units. According to the Chicago Department of Planning and Development, the newly approved plan will contribute $888,000 to the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund for the increase in density. The design comes from Chicago’s FitzGerald Associates.

3921 North Sheridan

↑ A plan to replace the low-slung Ace Hardware store at 3921 N. Sheridan in Lakeview with a seven-story, mixed-use building was given the nod today. The transit-oriented development (TOD) will contain ground floor retail and 120 dwelling units but only 16 parking spaces. The project comes from property owner Joe Lomanto and Chicago-based Sullivan, Goulette, & Wilson Architects.

5201 West Lawrence

↑ A long-discussed plan to build a new four-story, 39-unit mixed-use development at a blighted lot at 5201 W. Lawrence was approved for Chicago’s Jefferson Park neighborhood. The project comes from developer Mega Realty with Archamerica Inc. handling design duties. It will feature retail space in addition to off-street parking for 62 cars.

School Improvements

Upgrades to a pair Chicago educational institutions were also approved today. The Commission OK’d a 34,000-square-foot annex building and new play lot for the Zapata School in Little Village as well as the construction of a new horsemanship facility at the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences’ Mt. Greenwood campus. A new John C. Dore Elementary School in Chicago’s West Clearing neighborhood was listed on this month’s agenda, but has not been heard so far.