UPTOWN — A senior living high-rise is coming to Uptown after plans to redevelop a historical college campus in the neighborhood were approved by the city.
The City Council on Wednesday voted to approve a developer’s plan to turn the American Islamic College at Irving Park Road and Marine Drive into apartments, including a 22-story senior-living building.
Developer K Giles’ project calls for a total 437 apartments, with 192 units in the senior building and the remaining units in the existing school building. The high-rise will be built on the school’s parking lot located of Bittersweet Place.
The development won the approval of Ald. James Cappleman’s (46th) advisory zoning committee this summer after the project was scaled back from a previously proposed 495 total units and a 27-story building.
A reduction in units and building height were made following negotiations with neighbors, some of whom said the project would add too much density to an already built-up neighborhood.
Other concessions were included in the revised plan, including more two-bedrooms units, parking spots for neighbors and a new entrance off Marine Drive to help keep traffic off of residential Bittersweet Place.
The senior building will include both independent living and memory care options, the development team said.
Cappleman spoke in favor of the project at the City Council’s Zoning Committee meeting Tuesday, saying the development will help add critically needed housing on the North Side.
“There was a lot of give and take on both sides, scoring wins and providing concessions,” he said. “It’s also a proposal that will provide some sorely needed housing that will address the high demand we’re seeing on the North Side, especially the senior housing, which will allow a lot of seniors — I’m one of them — to age in place.”
The American Islamic College has resided since 1983 in the Uptown campus originally built as Immaculata High School.
Opened in 1921, Immaculata High School was an all-girls Catholic institution. It was designed by Barry Byrne, who worked under Frank Lloyd Wright. In 1983, the school complex received Chicago Landmark status.
The high school shuttered in 1981, with the American Islamic College moving into the campus two years later.
American Islamic College has said it wants to sell its campus to fund the institution and a move to a new location. A new campus for the college has not been publicly announced.
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