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Retail, Apartment Complex Proposed Near Belmont CTA Stop

The new development aimed at tenants without cars is getting some neighbors worried about congestion issues.

A new apartment and retail development proposed a half-block from the Belmont Avenue CTA station has some residents worried about congestion issues but others happy to see the much needed upgrade.

Joined by Victor Drapszo of Red Architects, Sonco Real Estate’s Jack Koral presented his development proposal to add three new retail spaces and 21 new three- and four-bedroom retail spaces at 3223 N. Sheffield Ave.

“This is very close to the Belmont stop on the CTA,” Koral’s attorney Warren Silver said. “We want to build a pedestrian oriented development. We want people living as close as possible to transit so we don’t have to build as much parking spaces. … It’s creating eyes on the street and a more vibrant neighborhood.”

Residents at the Hawthorne Neighbors Association meeting, however, had mixed reactions about the project. Some argued 11 parking spaces aren’t enough for all the tenants, and residents would still bring cars and additional congestion to the already busy intersection. Others had issues with the developer’s plan to almost double the amount of units from 12 to 21.

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But others found the development to be a nice addition to a street.

“That street could use some quality upgrading in terms of the looks,” said the group’s president, Kevin McIntyre. “…There’s only so much you can do with properties on the tracks. If you’re going to have density, let’s put it on the property next to the CTA tracks because it’ll limit some noise.”

Other Lake View residents agreed with McIntyre, saying that part of Sheffield Avenue could use the beautification points.

“I work right next door, and I think, for what it’s worth, that this is a very attractive addition,” said neighbor Jackie Earley, who is the president of the School Street Playlot Advisory Council. “… I think it’s a lovely addition to the street.”

Drapszo noted the construction will follow Chicago’s Green Home Program to receive its highest rating by using green materials and monitoring energy efficacy.

Neighbors voted in favor of altering the zoning for the site to allow for more residential units to make the project financially viable for Koral. Two residents were opposed to the project and two abstained from voting.  

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garry albrecht December 03, 2012 at 06:24 PM
This location housed the Counseling Center of LakeView (see jpeg article). When the neighborhood was in need of additional services in the 1970s this agency was there to serve the needs of the local population. Now that the Diplomat (located northwest of it) will be rehabbed to serve the needs of that same type of population.I feel a better use of this space is warranted.
Andy Ambrosius (Editor) December 03, 2012 at 06:33 PM
I can't believe you found that clip! Nice historical background. :)
Lollys Figlo December 04, 2012 at 02:06 PM
I hope the people buying there make themselves aware of other changes nearby. Politically incorrect to not want a new mental health facility near you, but it does affect the quality of life dealing with crazies on a day to day basis.
Lee Crandell December 08, 2012 at 09:12 PM
I live on this block. It's really too bad we're losing a valuable social service institution in Lakeview, but otherwise I really like this plan. Thank you to my neighbors who voted to support this! If anything though, 11 parking spaces is too much. Adding more parking in Lakeview will only enable more cars to come into the neighborhood, creating more congestion. Not to mention that simply adding more parking supply at homes only addresses a small part of the parking need if more residents have cars. People's cars aren't parked a home all the time -- because people drive to other places, one car requires multiple parking spaces, at home, work, grocery store, etc. They end up competing with other people for spaces all over the neighborhood even if they have a dedicate space at home. Better to not add any new parking and discourage more car owners from moving into Lakeview, since we have other options, and the market will support housing for car-free residents. My building has 54 condo units and zero parking. Most of my neighbors don't have cars (including me and my partner). The CTA is less than a block away, the neighborhood is incredibly walkable and biking is a good option too. If anything we could use better bike parking in my building -- our bike room is nearly overflowing. This developer should make sure to provide good bike parking! I'm also looking forward to more storefronts on the street. With the Diplomat rehab too, I'm excited about the future of this block!

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