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Wicker Park, Bucktown, West Town

Plan To Tear Down 1890s Workers Cottage, Replace It With Condo Building Moves Forward In Noble Square

The 128-year-old worker's cottage is among many in the West Town area being replaced with condos and apartments.

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NOBLE SQUARE — A plan to turn a 128-year-old worker’s cottage into a three-flat condo is moving forward after Noble Square neighbors did not oppose the project at a community meeting.

The owner of the worker’s cottage at 1534 W. Augusta Blvd. would need a zoning change to tear the cottage down and build a condo in its place.

Last week, zoning attorney Nick Ftikas answered questions from neighbors during a Zoom meeting on the development. The zoning change, which must be brought before the City Council by Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd), would allow owner Jerzey Wasala to build a 36-foot-high, three-unit condo building at the site.

Wasala purchased the land for around $530,000 and is budgeting more than $1 million for development, Ftikas said. The condos will sell for an estimated $499,000-$715,000 each, depending on size.

One neighbor at the meeting said she was concerned about the size of the building and noise and rat issues associated with construction.

“To me, that’s a big building,” she said.

Ftikas told her construction would take place between 8 a.m.-6 p.m. He also said neighbors will be able to communicate with builders during construction to report any issues.

The development team worked with the Eckhart Park Community Council to come up with plans for parking, garbage, materials and construction to “make sure we weren’t too imposing on our neighbors,” Ftikas said.

“We really do hope the neighbors are appreciative of that effort,” he said.

A second neighbor asked about a timeline for the project.

Ftikas said COVID-19 “significantly impacted” the timeline. If all goes to plan, Hopkins will introduce the project’s zoning change at a July Council meeting and it will be finalized in August.

From there, the developer will begin the building permit process, which could take up to 10 weeks, Ftikas said. COVID will affect that, too; the developer will need to partner with subcontractors before applying for permits.

From there, it should take between nine and 10 months to build out, Ftikas said.

The new construction would feature a rooftop deck and a flat slab parking pad on the rear of the property. Those who were unable to attend the zoning meeting can submit feedback to the 2nd Ward online here.

A proposal for a 3-flat to replace a workers cottage at 1534 W. Augusta Blvd. in West Town.

Several worker’s cottages have been torn down and replaced with condos or apartments in the West Town area recently.

In Noble Square, neighbors recently questioned a proposal to build a six-unit condo building on Fry Street. The project requires the demolition of two cottages.

Owner and neighbor Mike Skoulsky has said he never intended to demolish or sell the Fry Street cottages, but last winter “took such a toll” it left one of the buildings with 18 burst pipes. 

RELATED: Developer Wants To Demolish Workers Cottages To Build Condos, But Neighbors Worry It Will Disrupt Rooftop ‘Community’

In Ukrainian Village, neighbors are fighting to extend an existing Landmark District to cover a stretch of Augusta Boulevard where developers tried to demolish a cottage.

Ward Miller, of Preservation Chicago, has credited the original Ukrainian Village Landmark district — created roughly 20 years ago — for prompting the city’s present-day appreciation of the “value, quality and importance” of such buildings.

“I sort of credit this district with opening people’s eyes to the workers cottages,” he has said. “This was a real change.” 

RELATED: Ukrainian Village Neighbors Are Fighting To Save Augusta Boulevard’s Workers Cottages

A workers cottage at 1534 W. Augusta Blvd. in West Town.

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