EDGEWATER — After years of attempts, a parking lot on a prime stretch of North Sheridan Road is one step closer to finally being redeveloped.
Developer Cedar Street received approval from the Plan Commission on Thursday for its plans to build a five-story courtyard-style building at 5440 N. Sheridan Rd.
The project includes 78 units, 27 parking spaces and a rooftop deck for tenants. The courtyard building would also have two-story townhomes fronting Sheridan Road, Cedar Street leaders said.
With the Plan Commission endorsement, this is the furthest any development proposal for the site has come in some time — despite plenty of interest in the property for more than a decade.
In 2017, Greystar Realty won the support of neighbors to turn the property into luxury high-rise apartments for seniors. But the project fell through because of a lack of financing, Greystar Managing Director Gary Wallace previously said.
Ten years before that, development firm Bluewater Group worked to turn the lot into a 187-unit condo building with 329 parking spaces. That project was scrapped when the real estate market crashed.
Prolific North Side development firm Cedar Street announced plans for the Edgewater Beach site last year.
Originally, the developer sought to build a seven-story complex with 99 apartments. After receiving community input, the project was scaled down to five stories with 78 apartments.
The courtyard design will help the project fit in with other mid-density apartment buildings in the neighborhood, while the townhomes along Sheridan will give the building a more human scale, the development team said.
The front of the building will rise four stories, and will include six duplex units with individual walk-up entrances, Cedar Street said.
The fifth floor will be recessed, allowing the roof of the fourth floor to operate as a tenant rooftop deck and a green roof feature, the developer said.
Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) said the townhomes were an interesting choice, given they are along busy Sheridan Road. Cedar Street partner Mark Heffron said the townhomes allow the company, known for its micro units, to bring some larger units to Edgewater.
“We feel like this is a good opportunity to provide family housing,” Heffron said.
Because the lot was already zoned for residential development before Cedar Street stepped in, the developer’s plans did not trigger the city’s affordable housing requirement, the team said.
Cedar Street said it is working with Ald. Harry Osterman (48th) “to get creative” on providing some affordable units in the space, Heffron said.
The building could be move-in ready by 2022, Heffron said.
Cedar Street also is working to convert a parking lot near the Aragon Ballroom in Uptown into an 84-unit building. The firm is also moving forward with its plans for the second phase of its massive Edgewater redevelopment project known as the Draper.
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