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Plan Commission Set To Hear Next Phase Of Roosevelt Square Development, Controversial Uptown Luxury Residential Proposal

Also on the agenda for the meeting is the long-awaited renovation of the Ramova Theatre in Bridgeport.

Plan Commissioners are set to consider the next phase of the Roosevelt Square mixed-income development on Thursday.
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CHICAGO — The Chicago Plan Commission is set for a marathon meeting Thursday as commissioners prepare to consider approving the next phase of the Roosevelt Square mixed-income development, a controversial luxury housing development in Uptown and nearly a dozen additional development proposals combining for more than 1,000 new homes across the city.

Also on the agenda for the meeting set to begin at 10 a.m. is the long-awaited renovation of the Ramova Theatre in Bridgeport.  

The proposal (O2021-1102) from Related Midwest to build 222 new apartments and rehab 184 apartments on the properties around the intersection of Roosevelt Road and Taylor Street on the Near West Side in the 25th and 28th wards represents the next phase in the Roosevelt Square development. Redevelopment of the site as Roosevelt Square began in 2004, according to a presentation from the city’s Department of Planning and Development.  

Plans for the next phase of the Roosevelt Square mixed-income development are being built on the site of Chicago Housing Authority’s former Addams, Brooks, Loomis, Abbott (ABLA) Homes and were unveiled earlier this year.  

The developer is proposing to build a new six-story, 67-unit residential building with ground-floor commercial space and 33 parking spaces at 1002 S. Racine Ave.; two new six-story, 70-unit residential buildings with 40 parking spaces each at 1257 W. Roosevelt Rd. and 1357 W. Roosevelt Rd.; and the rehabilitation of the building at 1322 W. Taylor St. to include 15 residential units as well as the National Public Housing Museum and a 37-space parking lot.  

According to the presentation, a community market was secured for the proposed new residential building at 1002 S. Racine Ave. as the result of community input.   

Additionally, 40 percent of homes will be Chicago Housing Authority units, 25 percent of the units will be affordable to households making 60-80 percent of Area Median Income and 35 percent of the units will be built at market rate.  

Block Club reported in March that Roosevelt Square’s second phase, which includes the proposal to be considered Thursday, was met with mixed reactions from residents on the Near West Side, citing concerns the mix of affordable housing in this phase is not enough.  

4600 Marine Drive  

A controversial proposal (O2021-1931) by Lincoln Property Company would bring a 12-story, 314-unit residential building at 4600 N. Marine Dr. in the 46th Ward in the surface parking lot at Weiss Hospital. Some neighbors of the proposed development have stood in strong opposition to the plan, saying Uptown does not need more luxury housing as poorer renters are pushed out, according to reporting from Block Club.  

According to a presentation from the city’s Department of Planning and Development, the developer has reduced the building height from 14 stories to 12 stories, reduced the number of apartments from 350 to 314, “activated” the Wilson Avenue street space with a bike room and glass enclosure, incorporated bird safety and low reflective glass, incorporated rideshare management and committed to adding electric vehicle charging stations in the garage, among other changes.  

The courtyard building would include landscaped terraces on some floors and building amenities including a “dog room with direct access to outside” and yoga and fitness facilities, according to the presentation. Parking is located “internal to the building,” according to the presentation.  

To meet the city’s Affordable Requirements Ordinance, the developer is planning to offer eight on-site apartments affordable to households earning 60 percent of the Area Median Income and would contribute nearly $3.1 million in lieu of including the remaining required 23 units.  

Ramova Theatre  

Members of the Plan Commission are also set to consider a proposal (​​O2021-2057) from Tyler Nevius to renovate the existing Ramova Theatre at 3506-20 S. Halsted St. in the 11th Ward.   

Nevius is planning a 1,800-person capacity live entertainment venue, an approximately 4,000-square-foot restaurant and an approximately 5,000-square-foot brewery.   

The COVID-19 pandemic put Nevius’ plans on hold during the past year, but the Sun-Times reported in March that he wants to proceed with his plans.   

The $28 million restoration of the Ramova Theatre would be a “catalyst for the rejuvenation of the Bridgeport neighborhood with a truly transformative mixed-use development,” according to a presentation from the city’s planning department.  

Fulton St. Co. proposals  

Developer Fulton St. Co. has two proposals up for consideration on its eponymous street on Thursday, including one plan (O2021-1027) to build a 34-story building with 433 residential units and ground-floor commercial space at 1215 W. Fulton Market in the 27th Ward. The $160 million proposal includes ​80 accessory parking spaces, electric vehicle charging stations and 112 bicycle parking spaces.   

The developer plans to build on-site all 87 affordable units required under the Near North Pilot of the Affordable Requirements Ordinance, 43 of which will be available for households earning 60 percent of the Area Median Income and 44 units available at 100 percent Area Median Income, according to a presentation from the city’s planning department. 

Another Fulton St. Co. proposal (O2021-304) would build an 11-story building with ground floor commercial space and offices on the above floors and to renovate an existing historic six-story building to house commercial or office space on the ground floor with office space above at 917 W. Fulton Market in the 27th Ward. Combined, the two buildings are set to include 17,860 square feet of retail space, 372,662 square feet of office space,111 parking spaces and 73 bike parking spaces, according to the development application and a presentation from the city’s planning department.   

An atrium is proposed to connect the existing historic building and the proposed new building, the presentation shows.  

Plan Commissioners are also set to consider the following items:  

  • A proposal (O2020-1898) from City Club Apartments to build a 19-story and a 6-story residential building that would be connected at the base to include 333 residential units, a 5,000-square-foot restaurant with outdoor patio on the ground level and 145 parking spaces at 3630-36 N. Lake Shore Drive in the 46th Ward. The developer plans to include 11 affordable units on-site, according to a presentation from the city’s planning department. The residential component of the $100 million development would include fitness space, a pool, saunas, open space, dog runs and other recreational amenities, according to the presentation.  
  • A proposal (O2021-1968) from FRC Realty to build a 39-story, 303-unit residential building at 1017-1039 N. LaSalle St. in the 2nd Ward. Based on feedback, the developer has decreased the building height by about 40 feet and reduced its density from 406 units to 303 units, according to a presentation from the city’s planning department. Of the 30 affordable units required by the city’s Affordable Requirement Ordinance, the developer is planning to include the minimum eight units on-site and pay $4.1 million in in-lieu fees for the additional 22 affordable units. According to the presentation, the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral at 1017 N. LaSalle St. and the six-unit apartment building and coach house at 1015 N. LaSalle St. will both remain.  
  • A proposal (O2021-2086) by Regal Mile Studios to build a film studio and “supporting offices” including a communication service establishment, an office, parking space and other uses at 1431-1525 E. 77th St. in the 5th Ward near the Chicago Skyway. According to a presentation from the city’s planning department, Regal Mile Studios added a public plaza to the development at the community’s request. The proposal includes multiple studios and a one-story green room. In addition to 250 construction jobs, the film studio is expected to bring about 300 production jobs and 34 permanent full-time studio jobs, according to the presentation.  
  • A proposal from Elam Industries (SO2020-3873) to build a five-story, 10-unit residential building with eight interior parking spaces and two outdoor parking spaces at 3006-3012 E. 78th St. in the 7th Ward. The property has long sat vacant, according to a presentation form the city’s planning department.   
  • A proposed amendment (O2021-2102) to a planned development by Art in Motion Charter School to “allow for a temporary school use” at 7522 S. Greenwood Ave. in the 8th Ward, according to the Plan Commission agenda. The school is seeking to accommodate its 9th and 10th grade students in an existing two-story building on the property while its permanent school at 7501 S. East End is undergoing expansion, according to a presentation from the city’s planning department.  
  • A proposal (02021-2145) from Illuminarium Experiences to allow for commercial uses within the Crystal Garden space at Navy Pier at 600 E. Grand Ave. in the 42nd Ward. Illuminarium Experiences is proposing to bring “motion picture production and virtual reality” to the Navy Pier space allowing “visitors to experience real world, filmed content” including a safari and the planet Mars “in an immersive environment, all without the use of glasses or wearable hardware,” according to a presentation from the city’s planning department. The company uses a canvas 350 feet long and 22 feet tall, “state-of-the-art laser projection,” spatial audio, 3D-touch technology in the floors, combined with scent and other technologies to “engage one’s entire visual and sensual framework,” according to the presentation. Crain’s reported on the proposed immersive experience in June as a way for Navy Pier to attract more visitors. The company plans to invest about $30 million in the Chicago location and $15 million to $20 million annually to bring new “spectacle content” to all its locations.  
  • A proposal (O2021-1957) from RIU Hotels to build a new 28-story, 388-key hotel at 150 E. Ontario St. in the 42nd Ward. Based on feedback, the developer has pared back the number of guest rooms from 410 to 388, reduced the building height from 390 feet to 345 feet, removed the ballroom and meeting rooms and coordinated with the Chicago Department of Transportation on a guest loading zone, according to a presentation from the city’s planning department. The development is projected to cost $145 million and would bring approximately 150 permanent hotel jobs to the city’s downtown, the presentation shows. 
  • A zoning application (O2021-2467) by Benedictine Sisters of Chicago to allow the “future redevelopment of a senior living facility” at 7430 N. Ridge Blvd. in the 49th Ward. No immediate changes are proposed at the existing Benedictine Sisters convent. 

A proposal (O2021-1953) from Glenstar for a 297-unit residential development at 8535 W. Higgins Rd. was on Thursday’s Plan Commission agenda, but the proposal will be deferred until next month, officials announced. Aldermen on the City Council Committee on Zoning, Landmarks and Building Standards voted last month to defer a zoning change until next year in an attempt to sabotage the plan at the request of Ald. Anthony Napolitano (41), who is opposed to the plan.

Related: Committee’s move to block O’Hare-area apartments could risk fresh lawsuit from developer, officials warn