NORTH CENTER — A plan to turn a North Center apartment building into a hotel will go before neighbors Thursday as the neighborhood’s alderman hosts an online community meeting.
The meeting starts at 6 p.m. Thursday. It will be hosted by Ald. Matt Martin’s (47th) office on Zoom. To RSVP, visit this link.
The proposal is for 2257 W. Irving Park, an address that has seen its share of activity in the past four years. It was once home to the Windy City Inn, but the bar’s owners said in 2016 they were blindsided to learn the building was being sold to a developer and they had to move out.
The building was sold and replaced with the current building, which has six 3-bedroom apartments and vacant first floor commercial space.
Cook County property records show the property is owned by Urban Ventures LLC and Mike Kane Investments, LLC. Since at least January 2019, apartments in the building have been offered for short term vacation rentals on websites like AirBnB and Vrbo and advertised online as “The Irving On Oakley.”
The building’s owner is asking the city’s zoning board of appeals for permission to use this property as an 18-unit hotel, according to Martin’s office. Bedrooms within each apartment would not be rented separately and the owners plan to keep their current three-night minimum rental requirement.
The building was built two years ago during the tenure of former Ald. Ameya Pawar. It’s been operating as a “de facto” hotel while the owner seeks approval from the zoning board to make it a “literal hotel,” said Josh Mark, Ald. Martin’s director of development and and infrastructure.
“The reason we wanted to host a community meeting on this is lots of people reached out to us asking about it,” Mark said.
Mark said the zoning board would have the final say on the owner’s request.
Owner Mike Kane, his attorney Tyler Manick and Tom Siurek, who is listed on AirBnB as the building’s “Superhost” and on Vrbo as the building’s manager, presented plans to convert the building into a hotel to the North Center Neighborhood Association on March 24.
During their presentation, they said the building now operates at about 68 percent occupancy. The vacation rentals are seasonal and cost between $125-$300 per night, according to the meeting minutes. They also said they planned to use the vacant first floor commercial space to build a café.
Manick sent a letter June 1 to people who live within 250 feet of the building letting them know he filed an application with the city’s zoning board asking to use the building as a hotel on Kane’s behalf.
“No changes are being proposed to the existing building, which will remain as presently designed,” Manick wrote, in the letter.
Messages left with Siurek and Manick were not returned.
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