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Uptown, Edgewater, Rogers Park

Heartland Cafe Site Being Turned Into Apartments As Developer Breaks Ground After COVID-19 Delays

Work is finally starting on a developer's plan to turn the former Heartland Cafe site into a 30-unit apartment building.

The Heartland Cafe site at 7000 N. Glenwood Ave. is under development.
Joe Ward/Block Club Chicago
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ROGERS PARK — Work has begun to turn the former Heartland Cafe site in Rogers Park into an apartment building, marking the start of a controversial project that saw coronavirus-caused delays.

Crews broke ground at 7000 N. Glenwood Ave., the former home of Heartland Cafe that was torn down to make way for a new mixed-use complex. Crews are setting the stage for the new five story, 30-unit building, Ald. Maria Hadden (49th) said in an email to constituents.

ComEd is relocating an underground pole at the site right now, and work on the building is scheduled to start after that, said Leslie Perkins, Hadden’s chief of staff. Work could be done by January 2023.

The utility work marks the start of a new chapter for the corner Lunt and Glenwood avenues after serving as the longtime home of the beloved Heartland Cafe.

Credit: Jonathan Ballew/Block Club Chicago
The demolition of The Heartland Cafe was nearly complete by Thursday afternoon.

The Heartland Cafe closed in 2018 after a 42-year-run as a haven for activists, artists and neighbors.

In spring of 2019, developer Sam Goldman bought the cafe property and filed plans for a 60-unit apartment building at the site. The cafe building was demolished in April 2019.

Goldman’s plans for a six-story, 60-unit building were nixed by Hadden in June 2019, when she said the project was out of scope with the area. The developer then scaled the project down to five stories and 30 units, which is allowed under the property’s current zoning.

The new building will have 15 parking spaces and 2,500 square feet of retail space on the ground floor, Hadden said. There will be a fifth-floor party room and deck overlooking Glenwood Avenue.

A rendering of the revised plans for the former Heartland Cafe site at 7000 N. Glenwood Ave.

The new plans do not include units set aside as affordable, as the city can only require such affordable requirements if a project needs a zoning change or meets other oversight requirements.

Building permits for the project were issued in mid-2019, records show. The project, however, experienced “significant” delays due to the pandemic, supply chain shortages and a utility issue with ComEd, Hadden’s email said.

Goldman could not be reached for comment Monday.

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