LOGAN SQUARE — A four-story residential and retail building could soon rise on an abandoned bank property at Western and Armitage avenues — a site where people experiencing homelessness were living until the city kicked them out.
A developer operating under the limited liability corporation Advent Properties LLC- 2000 is looking to build a four-story building with 21 residential units and ground-floor retail on the site at 2000 N. Western Ave. / 2406 W. Armitage Ave., according to Ald. Daniel La Spata’s 1st Ward office and zoning attorney Mark Kupiec.
The developer doesn’t need a zoning change to build the project. Instead, it’s headed directly to the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals for approval. The developer is, however, seeking two zoning variances because the lot is smaller than standard city lots, according to Kupiec.
The developer is not required to meet with the alderman or the community but Nicholas Zettel, policy director for La Spata, said his office encouraged them to do so anyway.
A community meeting, led by the Greater Goethe Neighborhood Association, is set for 6:30 p.m. Feb. 10 at Haas Park, 2402 N. Washtenaw Ave.
“The case is not going through our office for final decision. That said, our office supports a community-based zoning process, and in this case we encouraged the applicant to work with our residents to ensure that the proposal is suitable for the community,” Zettel said in an email.
“We want to gather feedback to assess whether our community members oppose the project, in order to determine whether we send a representative from our office to oppose the case at the Zoning Board of Appeals hearing.”
It’s unclear if the residential units would be condos or apartments. Kupiec and Zettel couldn’t say and attempts to reach the agent of the LLC, Boris Dukach of Northfield, Illinois, were unsuccessful Tuesday.
Kupiec said a dense residential development makes sense for the site because of its close proximity to the Western Blue Line station.
“City planning would suggest you have more density on a spot like this,” the attorney said, adding, “This is more pedestrian-friendly than one of those bank drive-throughs.”
The former MB Financial Bank property has sat vacant for years. Sometime over the last year, a group of people experiencing homelessness had started living there.
In September, the group lost everything in a city cleanup, which sparked outrage among homeless advocates and raised questions about such city sweeps.
La Spata previously called the move “deeply frustrating.”
Said Diane O’ Connell, a community lawyer for the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless: “There was ample opportunity for the city to do better in this situation. Certainly if they needed people to move things they could’ve communicated beforehand, they could’ve provided a place to move things to.”
Neighbors are encouraged to send feedback on the development proposal to La Spata’s office via firstname.lastname@example.org.
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