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Logan Square, Humboldt Park, Avondale

Logan Square Weed Dispensary Planned For Milwaukee Avenue Bank Goes Before Key City Panel

The Zoning Board of Appeals will also consider a new CTA substation in Avondale to speed up Blue Line service and a consignment shop/cafe on Diversey.

PharmaCann wants to take over the Logan Square Trust & Savings Bank building at 2551 N. Milwaukee Ave.
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LOGAN SQUARE — A plan to open a cannabis dispensary in the the old Logan Square State and Savings Bank building could move forward, with a key city panel set to weigh in on the proposal this week.

It’s one of a few Logan Square and Avondale projects being reviewed at the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals meeting Friday. Proposals to open a coffee bar/vintage store on Diversey Avenue and build a CTA substation in Avondale are also on the agenda, said Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th), whose ward includes the two sites.

Chicago-based cannabis company PharmaCann is looking to take over the bank building at 2551 N. Milwaukee Ave. for its first dispensary in the city and its fifth in Illinois. It runs dispensaries in suburban Arlington Heights, Ottawa, Aurora and Romeoville.

PharmaCann would be the neighborhood’s second dispensary along Milwaukee Avenue. Modern Cannabis, or MOCA, is down the street.

PharmaCann’s proposal has largely drawn a warm reception from Logan Square neighbors, with some saying it’s preferable to a bar or a music venue. The building was being considered as the Double Door’s new home, but that plan fell through after neighbors rejected it.

Should PharmaCann receive necessary approval from the zoning board this week, the company will need to obtain a state license and finish the buildout before it can open the dispensary. The Logan Square pot shop would be the 15th in Chicago.

Jeremy Unruh, director of public and regulatory affairs at PharmaCann, didn’t respond to requests for comment Monday.

Asked if Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd) supports the project, chief of staff Paul Sajovec said in an email the alderman “approved the zoning change they needed in order to apply.”

PharmaCann is on its way to opening a Logan Square dispensary about six months after the zoning board rejected its proposal to open a pot shop in the Gold Coast.

The proposal faced fierce opposition from a group of neighbors, nearby business owners and three area aldermen. It was the first time the zoning board has denied a special use permit to a recreational pot shop since they were legalized in January.

Two Other Projects Up For Approval

The city’s zoning board also will decide whether to approve a coffee bar and vintage store on the Logan Square-Avondale border, Ramirez-Rosa said.

Vintage collector Mark Pallman needs a special use permit so he can sell beer at his coffee bar Consignment Lounge, which would be on the ground floor of the Charles Bradley mural building at 3520 W. Diversey Ave.

In addition to selling coffee and beer on tap, Consignment Lounge will function as a vintage shop. Pallman plans to fill the lounge with vintage finds and “weird oddities” and put them up for sale.

The project has the support of neighborhood groups and Ramirez-Rosa.

Another local project that has won support from neighbors could take a step forward this week.

The Chicago Transit Authority is trying to build an electrical power station in Avondale to speed up operations along the Blue Line, which was seeing an explosion in ridership that caused severe overcrowding before the coronavirus pandemic.

Ramirez-Rosa said the CTA wants two zoning variances to build the substation on a vacant lot it owns at 3401 W. Barry Ave. Substations house electrical generators that power trains.

A majority of residents who attended community meetings on the matter voiced support for the project, which is meant to address “future ridership demands,” Ramirez-Rosa said.

For information on how to attend Friday’s virtual Zoning Board of Appeals meeting, go here.

Credit: Cragin Spring

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