A developer has expressed interest in purchasing two buildings in Rogers Park and redeveloping them to add more space for new apartments. According to an email announcement from 49th Ward Alderman Joe Moore sent to constituents, Rogers Park property owner David Gasman has entered into an agreement to purchase the buildings at 1710 W. Lunt Avenue and 1730 W. Greenleaf Avenue, but is seeking zoning changes to add density to both properties. Both buildings have an “orange” rating designation from the Chicago Commission on Landmarks’ Historic Resources Survey.
According to Alderman Moore, the property on Lunt Avenue is currently zoned to allow eight residences, but Gasman is seeking an expansion which would provide a total of 20 units. The plan would be to preserve the building’s facade, but add a three-story addition. Two garages in the rear of the property would be demolished to make way for a parking pad with spaces for five vehicles. Moore says that the Historic Resources Survey highlights the building’s “Prairie and Sullivanesque” ornamentation. The building had most recently served as a sober living group home.
For Greenleaf, the developer is seeking a zoning change to allow for 30 total residences. Similar to the Lunt Avenue property, the Historic Resources Survey highlights the property’s “Prairie and Sullivanesque” details. Because of its location near a Metra station, the developer would utilize the transit-oriented development ordinance to reduce the on-site parking requirements.
In his message, Moore appears to downplay the architectural pedigree and significance of the properties by suggesting that orange-rated buildings are “not officially deemed historic landmarks,” and adding that “about 9,600 Chicago buildings are designated orange.” However, Moore does state that the developer plans to restore the front facades for both buildings should the zoning changes be granted.
Alderman Moore is hosting a meeting with the developer to formally introduce the proposal to the Rogers Park community. The meeting will be held at the Ethiopian Community Center of Chicago (1730 W. Greenleaf Avenue) on Wednesday, June 14th starting at 7:00 p.m.