WRIGLEYVILLE — Apartments could be coming to where a single-family home now stands just north of Wrigley Field, but some neighbors are concerned it will bring more congestion to the area.
Developer Aaron Friedman, who owns another rental building in the neighborhood, wants to buy the 133-year-old, single-family home at 3710 N. Kenmore Ave. and redevelop it into a four-story apartment building.
The lot is nearly in striking distance for a very long home run over Wrigley’s left field bleachers. Slugger Dave Kingman famously hit a homer that a hit a porch across the street in 1979.
Unlike many of the buildings that close to the ballpark, it is not owned by the Ricketts family. Its owners were asking a reported $9.8 million for the property in 2015. It’s unclear what the current asking price is.
Friedman and his team presented their latest plans for the building during a community meeting Wednesday with the East Lake View Neighbors group. He said the proposal had been revised after receiving a letter of opposition to the project from neighbors last month.
Changes included reducing the building’s total number of bedrooms from 12 to eight, which would be divided among two-bedroom apartments, Friedman said. Each unit would have one primary bedroom with a larger closet and bathroom.
“These changes really aim to attract a different renter,” Friedman said. “So we’re not attracting young people who will be up in the wee hours throwing parties.”
Bollards in front of the alley would be removed, and a 2-foot apron will be added on the garage to appease neighbors’ concerns about the development impeding alley access, Friedman said.
Some neighbors said they approved of the project’s latest iteration after reviewing the changes, but a handful still strongly opposed the development.
The proposed building “takes out a lot of light space and air space in that area, and I think that will hinder a lot of the enjoyability of the area right around that corner,” said a resident who lives next to the property. “The way the current building is, it’s got a pitched roof, which provides significantly more light and air.”
Others lamented the “changing neighborhood” landscape from many single-family homes and two-flats to multi-story condo buildings.
“We’ve seen these kinds of changes in the neighborhood already,” one neighbor said.
Friedman said he valued the neighborhood’s atmosphere and wouldn’t want to take away from that quality in his development.
“I love Kenmore, especially this part of Kenmore, just as much as anyone on this call,” Friedman said. “It’s an area with extreme character, beautiful architecture and great neighbors, so I would not want to pursue a development that would diminish the neighborhood.”
Andrew Scott, a member of Friedman’s team, said they were running out of time with the building’s seller, so the meeting was held to determine if the project will be viable.
“We’re up against it in terms of timing with our seller, so we’ve got to figure out if there’s a path forward or not,” Scott said.
The project would need a zoning change to proceed. If it is approved by City Council, construction could begin in early to mid-2023, developers said.
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