NOBLE SQUARE — Before a pair of workers cottages on Fry Street are demolished and converted into a single six-unit condo building, Ald. Daniel La Spata (1st) wants to know what neighbors think.
The Eckhart Park Community Council will review a proposed demolition and condo project at 1533-1535 W. Fry St.
In addition to community leaders’ review, neighbors can share feedback or questions with La Spata’s office by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last month, property owner Mike Skoulsky, developer David Schwartz, architect Victor Drapszo and attorney Ximena met with La Spata to describe their vision for the property.
The group would need a zoning change to build the condos. La Spata requires a community meeting before approving any zoning change.
The buildings at 1533 and 1535 W. Fry St. date back to the 1920s and have significant structural issues, property owner Skoulsky said.
Skoulsky moved to Fry Street eight years ago. When he bought the wood frame and partial brick cottages as rental properties, he never intended to demolish or sell them.
But last winter “took such a toll” it left one of the buildings with 18 burst pipes, he told La Spata during a meeting last month.
“My partner wants to sell,” he said. “We’re running on a major negative.”
Schwartz told La Spata the neighborhood already has plenty of condos that are similar to the ones he intends to build, so it would not be out of place in the neighborhood.
“We think it fits with the context of the neighborhood,” he said.
Early renderings of the six-unit project showed a dark brick facade and street-facing balconies.
The renderings are subject to change.
This section of Fry Street has seen seven zoning map changes since 2005, said 1st Ward staffer Nick Zettel.
Since taking office, La Spata has said he wants to give the public more of a chance to weigh in on zoning changes than they had in the past, particularly for projects that involve demolitions or the creation of six or more units.
“We have tried to be really consistent in that,” La Spata has said. “We want this to seem like a responsive, fair and democratic process for doing zoning changes.”
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