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Controversial mixed-income development in Jefferson Park poised for key city vote

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The project is one of several headed to the Chicago Plan Commission this month

5150 N. Northwest Highway.
Full Circle Communities

While not the largest project appearing on the Chicago Plan Commission’s September agenda, a controversial mixed-income apartment development looking to move forward in the Jefferson Park community is arguably the most high-profile.

The long-discussed proposal at 5150 N. Northwest Highway faced considerable public backlash from some Jefferson Park residents regarding its density and affordable housing component. It even survived a crowd-funded lawsuit aimed at halting the zoning process.

The latest plan from developer Full Circle Communities and architecture firm Cordogan Clark & Associates calls for a seven-story building containing 75 dwelling units—reduced from 100 in previous iterations. Serving veterans, persons with disabilities, and local working families, the building will offer 60 affordable units for households earning up to 60 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI).

“I feel this building is a step in the right direction toward helping our residents remain in their community while providing them with quality, accessible housing within close proximity to a myriad of resources,” said 45th Ward Alderman John Arena in a Friday email to residents.

A rendering of Triangle Square as presented in late 2017.
Lamar Johnson Collective

The Jefferson Park complex isn’t the only noteworthy project listed on the September agenda. Additionally, the Chicago Plan Commission will consider a zoning change for a mixed-use development at the corner of Webster and Elston avenues in Bucktown, dubbed Triangle Square. This plan includes for pair of 90-foot-tall residential buildings containing a combined 366 units plus a 40-foot-tall commercial building. Developers Belgravia Group and The Bond Companies revealed their plan to the public in December.

An image from the strategic master plan issued by Rush in 2015. The new buildings are pictured in the upper righthand corner.
Rush University Medical Cetner

Meanwhile, Rush University Medical Center will seek a zoning amendment to construct a new complex at its Near West Side campus at the corner of Harrison Street and Ashland Avenue. Plans here call for a 205-foot-tall ambulatory building for cancer and neurological care plus a six-story parking garage with approximately 1,200 spaces. The hospital demolished several vacant low-rise buildings at the site in anticipation of the project.

The warehouse at the former Crawford Generating Station calls for a maximum of 188 loading berths and a minimum of 225 parking space.
Hilco Redevelopment Partners

The commissioners are also expected to vote on the redevelopment of the former coal-fired Crawford Generating Station into a massive warehouse and distribution center in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood. The sprawling 1 million-square-foot proposal comes from Hilco Redevelopment Partners and includes up to 188 loading berths—a fact that has some locals concerned about increased semi-truck traffic, according to Block Cub Chicago.

An earlier, seven-story rendering of the apartment project slated for 1750 N. Western Avenue.
NORR Architects

Last but not least, a plan to build new apartments next to the 606 Trail at 1750 N. Western Avenue is once again on the agenda. Deferred at both the July and August meetings, the development calls for a six-story building with 109 rental units, 42 parking spaces, and 9,000 square feet of retail. The project from GW Property Group and architecture firm NORR was originally proposed at seven stories with 127 apartments.

The Chicago Plan Commission is scheduled to meet on September 13 at 10 a.m. in City Hall’s second-floor council chamber. If approved there, the aforementioned projects will require a final vote from the full Chicago City Council to move forward.