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Nine-story transit-oriented apartment project pitched for vacant Old Town lot

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The mid-rise proposal would contain 105 residences and 25 parking spaces.

Photos by Jay Koziarz

On Monday night, developers presented their plan for a nine-story apartment project at the southeast corner of Sedgwick and Schiller in Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood. Hosted by the Old Town Merchants Residents Association and 27th Ward Alderman Walter Burnett Jr., the meeting provided the public with a first glimpse at the proposed development.

Architect David Brininstool of Chicago-base firm Brininstool + Lynch described the design as a nod to the classical “tripartite” philosophy with a clear base, middle, and top. The lower portion consists of a typical storefront system while the mid floors are clad in a reinforced concrete “Oko Skin” panelling designed to imitate masonry. The top two levels feature a glass and zinc-like metal facade.

The proposal calls for 105 rental units ranging in size from 500 square foot studios to 1100 square foot two-bedroom units. Rents are expected to start at $1600 and max out around $2400 per month. The building would also contain a ground floor retail space, a top floor amenity area, and green roof.

The site falls within the boundaries of the new Affordable Requirements Ordinance (ARO) Near North pilot area requiring the developers to provide 20 percent affordable rate housing. In the case of 1355 N. Sedgwick, the project will build 15 percent of the units on-site and finance the remainder nearby.

Located across the street from the upcoming Equis condominium project, the long-vacant parcel at 1355 N. Sedgwick was most recently used as a makeshift dog park. It is 1100 feet from the nearest CTA stop and provides just 25 indoor parking spaces under Chicago’s Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Ordinance.

Many comments at the meeting focused on the development’s potential negative impact on the area’s already scarce on-street parking—especially with regards to other Old Town developments. Alderman Burnett said he could look into a measure to restrict tenants within the proposed building from purchasing residential parking passes.

To realize the project as presented, Beverly Hills-based developer Lakshmi Capital Management LLC will require a zoning change from B3-3 to B3-5 and go through Chicago’s Planned Development process.