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After Neighbors Reject Effort To Turn Edgewater Auto Lot Into Apartments, Another Developer Steps Forward

An Edgewater developer is trying to turn a closed auto lot on Broadway into 12 apartments after a previous 20-unit proposal was opposed by neighbors and the alderman.

A second developer is seeking to turn an Edgewater auto lot into 12 apartments.
Courtesy Nicholas Design Collaborative Ltd
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EDGEWATER — A second developer is trying to bring apartments to an Edgewater auto lot after Ald. Harry Osterman (48th) rejected a previous proposal for a larger building at the site.

Developer and Edgewater local Peter Nicholas is seeking rezoning approval to turn the closed auto sales lot at 5828 N. Broadway into a four-story building with 12 apartments and ground-floor retail space.

The building would have 1,350 square feet of retail space, plus 10 parking spaces for cars and 20 for bikes. There would be three one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartments; three two-bedroom, one-bathrooms; and six two-bedroom, two-bathrooms.

Two of the units would be considered affordable. The development is required to have 20 percent affordable units, which comes out to 2.4 units. Nicholas said he will pay an in-lieu fee to fulfill the remaining requirement.

This is the second development proposal since late last year and the third since 2019 that seeks to build on the auto lot.

In November, developer Joe Lyons unveiled plans to bring a five-story, 20-unit building to the site at 5828 N. Broadway. The project would have had parking for 11 cars and space for a street-front art gallery instead of retail space.

Osterman rebuffed that proposal after it failed to garner the support of five local block clubs. Neighbors opposed the project because it exceeded a four-story maximum height residents implemented in a downzoning of Broadway 15 years ago.

Neighbors also opposed the project being built to the lot lines and its lack of retail space.

In 2019, Lyons sought to develop the property and the neighboring building that houses Ardmore Glass & Mirror. But the glass shop wasn’t interested in leaving, and the project was abandoned.

RELATED: Edgewater Car Lot Won’t Become A 5-Story Apartment Building After Neighbors Tell Alderman To Block It And He Agrees

Credit: Courteysy 48th Ward Office
A previous proposal sought to turn the used car lot into a 20-unit apartment building.

Nicholas, who is an architect as well as a developer, said he crafted a project he thinks could meet the standards of neighbors.

The project meets the west side of Broadway’s height limit, but it does need a rezoning to allow for the desired density. With the new proposed zoning, Nicholas could propose as many as 17 units, he said in a presentation to neighbors.

Nicholas is also seeking transit-oriented development status for his project so he can offer 10 parking spaces instead of the required 12. Neighbors asked that more parking be offered, but that would compromise the retail space neighbors also desire, he said.

A building that was any less dense or included more affordable units would not be economically feasible, Nicholas said.

“I don’t think this is a good use to the community,” Nicholas said of the vacant auto lot. “I think we should add to the urban fabric.”

The proposal has earned the support of the Broadway-Ardmore-Ridge-Glenwood-Early block club — known as BARGE — as well as some of the neighbors who spoke at the development’s community meeting last week.

BARGE officials appreciate the four-story height and the inclusion of retail space, Mike Anderson, president of BARGE, said they told Osterman.

“I think the two affordable units is better than the parking lot we have today,” one neighbor said at the meeting.

An open house at the site of the proposed development was held Saturday. Osterman has yet to publicly announce if he will support the rezoning for the project.

Credit: Courtesy Nicholas Design Collaborative Ltd
A rendering of the rear of the proposed building to replace an auto lot at 5828 N. Broadway.

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