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Residents oppose affordable apartments in mixed-use project for Belmont Cragin

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The proposal for 5850 W. Belmont Avenue calls for 146 apartments, retail, and parking for 240 vehicles

A long, five-story building with brick and concrete exterior. There’s ground-floor parking, apartments above, and trees planted along the sidewalk.
A rendering of the proposed mixed-use complex at 5850 W. Belmont Avenue.
30th Ward

Chicago’s demand for new rental units is reaching new neighborhoods including Belmont Cragin on the city’s Northwest Side. Here, developers are considering a plan to demolish the U.S. Bank building and parking lot at 5850 W. Belmont Avenue and build a five-story, mixed-use complex with new retail, parking, and 146 apartments.

California-based developers Paul Freeman and Samuel Goldstein of Radford Ventures presented the plan at a July meeting hosted by 30th Ward Alderman Ariel Reboyras. Designed by Wiley Architects, the proposal would provide 240 parking spaces for both residents and retail customers on the first level and in an underground garage.

The 1.3-acre Belmont Avenue site is currently zoned B3-1 which allows for 60 dwelling units. As proposed, the mixed-use complex would require a zoning change from the city to a Planned Development designation.

Reboyras is asking the developers to provide 20 percent of the units at an affordable rate—double the city’s 10 percent requirement. Those apartments would go to families earning up to 60 percent of the area median income (AMI).

The plan for 5850 W. Belmont, however, was not well-received at its public debut. Neighbors expressed concerns regarding alley usage and traffic congestion as well as objections over the affordable housing component, reported Nadig Newspaper. One resident suggested that “problematic people” would force the other tenants out and lead to an entirely low-income building, according to the publication.

“The community is strongly not in support of this project,” the alderman’s office told Curbed Chicago, in an email. “The developer is currently working on a new proposal to present to them.”

A single-story brick building on a four-lane street. The structure has vertical windows with rounded tops, exterior lamps, and covered drive-through lanes.
The existing bank building at 5850 W. Belmont Avenue.
Google Street View