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Old November 13th, 2005, 05:26 AM   #1
LA1
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Edgewater Development News

Edgewater Development

5430 N. Sheridan (at Balmoral) 8 Floors-under construction. 1 Block from Berywn el station.


Catalpa Gardens. Catalpa and Broadway. 11 Stories. U/C. 1 block from Bryn Mawr el Station.


Location of C.G. (from 3rd Coast)



Broadway Granville Condos U/C. Across from Bryn Mawr el station.


5230 N. Kenmore. Provenance Condominums. Kenmore and Foster. 1 Block from Berwyn el station.



5105 N. Clark (Foster). Andersonville.

Last edited by LA1; November 21st, 2005 at 03:51 AM.
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Old November 13th, 2005, 05:34 AM   #2
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39 condos planned on Sheridan Road

BY BILL CUNNIFF Real Estate Reporter
Advertisement


Construction has begun at Atelier, a condominium building in the Edgewater neighborhood.

The six-story building, at the southwest corner of Bryn Mawr and Sheridan, will have 39 units. Base prices range from $328,000 to $785,000. Units have 2 to 4 bedrooms and 2 or 3 baths. Indoor parking spaces may be purchased separately.

The brick-and-stone building will have two levels of indoor parking and a roof garden. Unit amenities include central air conditioning, gas fireplaces and laundry hook-ups. Foyers, living rooms, dining rooms and kitchens have hardwood flooring.

Kitchens are equipped with cherry or maple cabinets, granite countertops and stainless steel appliances.

The building's second, third, fourth and fifth floors each will have nine units. The top floor will have three penthouses.

The 1,793-square-foot Unit Four floor plan has 3 bedrooms and 2 baths. The living/dining room (22 by 16 feet) is brightened by a curved wall of windows.

The master bedroom, stretching out at 18 by 11 feet, is accompanied by a walk-in closet and a private bath. One of the secondary bedrooms has a walk-in closet, too. The balcony measures 71/2 by 6 feet.

The developer is the Pickus Companies with VOA Architects. Pickus is currently completing the Metro Condominiums at 1200 W. Monroe. A few years back, Pickus was honored with Loyola University's Family Business of the Year.

"The Atelier design reflects the venerable buildings of the Bryn Mawr Historic District. But it also brings a fresh, contemporary vision to its classic architecture," said Marion Kennedy Volini, owner of the Lakefront Group Realty Associates, the marketing agent. "This is a premier addition to a historic street."

Volini served as the 48th Ward alderman from 1978 to 1987.

The Bryn Mawr Historic District was named to the National Register in 1995.

Atelier, at the southwest corner of Sheridan Road and Bryn Mawr, Chicago. Lakefront Group Realty Associates, (773) 275-0808.

Picture of Atelier Under Construction, thanks to Kryzcho.

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Old November 13th, 2005, 05:34 AM   #3
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For being so close to the 'L station, why in the world would the make the bottom three floors of the Catalpa Gardens garage space. I'm happy that it's that close to the station in the first place..but come on!
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Old November 13th, 2005, 05:36 AM   #4
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Here's a story on a major infusion of money into the Andersonville neighborhood.

Calo Theatre to get $1 million rehab

By Chris Jones
Tribune arts critic
Published January 12, 2005


The historic Calo Theatre in Andersonville will be renovated and expanded into a three-theater arts center available for use by a wide variety of local theater groups.

According to Brian Posen, a local improv director and teacher and the founder of the Chicago Sketchfest, the theater at 5404 N. Clark St. will undergo a roughly $1 million rehab. It will reopen in spring 2006 and be run by Lukaba Productions, a non-profit controlled by Posen.

The theater complex will operate primarily as a rental house, modeled on the Theatre Building, a longtime venue in Lakeview.

"I see us having prime-time shows, late nights and children's theater," Posen said.

John Morris, a local theater architect, has been retained to work on the project.

The owners of the building say they have agreed to put up $200,000 toward the renovation costs. Posen's group is contributing $200,000. The remainder is expected to come from local and public sources
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Old November 13th, 2005, 05:36 AM   #5
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Catalpa Gardens' color scheme is something I'd see in a Third World Country, to be truthful.
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Old November 13th, 2005, 05:43 AM   #6
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THE CITY
City targets underused lots on North Side

By Jeanette Almada
Special to the Tribune
Published May 15, 2005

City officials are gaining authority to acquire eight underused parcels near the intersection of Broadway, Devon Avenue and Sheridan Road on the North Side.

The acquisition is aimed at spurring conversion of the parcels from what neighborhood leaders describe as "an eyesore at best" into a suitable gateway to the Rogers Park and Edgewater neighborhoods.

"The corner serves as a gateway to the Devon Commercial Corridor and acts as a link between the Edgewater and Rogers Park communities," the Planning Department staff told the Community Development Commission last week. The commission approved the department's petition to add the eight parcels to an acquisition list associated with the Devon/Sheridan TIF Redevelopment Project Area.

Though city officials are pressing for redevelopment of underused occupied properties and vacant ones, planners have no immediate development plans in place, Planning Department staff told commissioners.

The parcels to be added to the acquisition list are at 6350, 6340 and 6330-34 N. Broadway; 1230 and 1236 W. Devon Ave.; 6601 N. Sheridan Road; and 1233-43 W. Pratt Blvd.

"[These properties] have underserved the community for some time," Ald. Patrick O'Connor (40th) told commissioners. "On the corner of Broadway, Sheridan Road and Devon Avenue, it could be a gateway to Edgewater and Rogers Park, but it is an absolute blight . . . If you look at the properties, the way they sit in our community, the way that they sit at the intersection, it makes one feel that you are driving into an area that is not cared for, which is clearly not the case."

Six of the eight parcels are within the Devon commercial corridor in O'Connor's ward.

Owners of several of the properties contested the addition of their properties to the acquisition list, which empowers the city to use eminent domain to establish a fair market appraised value and to take the owners to court if necessary to acquire the properties.

"It is not a case of bad people. It is a matter of neglect that scares other businesses away," O'Connor told commissioners.

Two of the properties, an auto repair shop at 6601 N. Sheridan and the vacant Temple Beth Sholom at 1233-43 W. Pratt Blvd., fall into Ald. Joe Moore's 49th ward.

"The temple has been of great concern to the community," Moore said. "The building has been vacant for six years and has . . . deteriorated to a point where a fire was caused . . . about a year and a half ago by a homeless individual who had broken into the building and was trying to keep warm. . . .

"Several interested developers have looked at the site and all agree that the building is in very . . . serious condition," Moore said.

He added that the congregation has contacted several developers in recent weeks and noted that he would happily work with those developers. "It is at best an eyesore and at worst a hazard to the community and by adding it to the acquisition list we will encourage development," Moore said.

Moore said that though there are no immediate plans to redevelop the property occupied by an auto repair shop at 6601 N. Sheridan, the shop does not represent the highest and best use of the land, and that he wants eventually to see the property redeveloped.
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Old November 13th, 2005, 09:48 PM   #7
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Tidbits from the Aldermans site in Edgewater.

New Developments

5800 N. Glenwood, a 6-unit condominium building will be built on a wedge-shaped property at Ridge and Glenwood.


5206 N. Broadway, Garrett Realty Group is proposing to build a 110-unit mixed-use condominium building with parking on the site formerly occupied by the Piser Funeral Home. The façade of the building at the corner of Foster and Broadway will be incorporated into the new development.


1055 W. Bryn Mawr, leasing is in progress of this newly renovated building in the Bryn Mawr National Historic District.


5800 N. Broadway, a new mixed-use building with eight condos and ground floor commercial space, replaces a one-story welding shop.

5722 N. Winthrop, this new eight-unit condo building developed by Edgewater resident Jim Byrne won a 2004 Chicago Association of Realtors Good Neighbor Award.

5230–36 N. Kenmore, a 20-unit condominium building is under construction at this address.

5023–29 N. Broadway, a new three-story commercial office building is under construction on the site. Around the corner, at 1136–44 W. Argyle, the facade of the existing building has been improved.


5427–37 N. Broadway, work is under way to transform a former laundry into a mixed-use building with 12 condominiums, commercial space on the first floor, and stores or restaurants in the two adjacent buildings to the north.

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Old November 13th, 2005, 10:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spyguy999
Catalpa Gardens' color scheme is something I'd see in a Third World Country, to be truthful.
^Yeah, but a little splash of color in a city full of brick and concrete isn't so bad--in fact, I think it adds some much-needed flavor
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Old November 14th, 2005, 06:34 AM   #9
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Atelier construction photo from realtor.com

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Old November 14th, 2005, 04:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LA1
Here's a story on a major infusion of money into the Andersonville neighborhood.

Calo Theatre to get $1 million rehab

By Chris Jones
Tribune arts critic
Published January 12, 2005


The historic Calo Theatre in Andersonville will be renovated and expanded into a three-theater arts center available for use by a wide variety of local theater groups.

According to Brian Posen, a local improv director and teacher and the founder of the Chicago Sketchfest, the theater at 5404 N. Clark St. will undergo a roughly $1 million rehab. It will reopen in spring 2006 and be run by Lukaba Productions, a non-profit controlled by Posen.

The theater complex will operate primarily as a rental house, modeled on the Theatre Building, a longtime venue in Lakeview.

"I see us having prime-time shows, late nights and children's theater," Posen said.

John Morris, a local theater architect, has been retained to work on the project.

The owners of the building say they have agreed to put up $200,000 toward the renovation costs. Posen's group is contributing $200,000. The remainder is expected to come from local and public sources
I was very excited about this development, as it is around the corner from me. However, I saw a blurb in the newspaper within the last month or two reporting that the Calo redevelopment plan has fallen through due to a shortfall in raising capital. The blurb didn't say for sure what would happen to the space, but speculated that it would be retail.

There is construction work going on at the site, so I'm assuming it's being prepped for retail use. There doesn't appear to be any threat of a teardown for condos.
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Old November 14th, 2005, 05:32 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LA1
Atelier construction photo from realtor.com


^Ahhh, those rounded corner turrets. It's nice to see them make a comeback in Chicago
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Old November 14th, 2005, 07:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LA1
Here's a story on a major infusion of money into the Andersonville neighborhood.

Calo Theatre to get $1 million rehab

By Chris Jones
Tribune arts critic
Published January 12, 2005


The historic Calo Theatre in Andersonville will be renovated and expanded into a three-theater arts center available for use by a wide variety of local theater groups.

According to Brian Posen, a local improv director and teacher and the founder of the Chicago Sketchfest, the theater at 5404 N. Clark St. will undergo a roughly $1 million rehab. It will reopen in spring 2006 and be run by Lukaba Productions, a non-profit controlled by Posen.

The theater complex will operate primarily as a rental house, modeled on the Theatre Building, a longtime venue in Lakeview.

"I see us having prime-time shows, late nights and children's theater," Posen said.

John Morris, a local theater architect, has been retained to work on the project.

The owners of the building say they have agreed to put up $200,000 toward the renovation costs. Posen's group is contributing $200,000. The remainder is expected to come from local and public sources

If this can be done in uptown why cant it be done with the adelphi theatre in rogers park? where it is more sorely needed, to salvage some character of this neigborhood. Rogers park is like an ugly step sister compared to the other lakeshore neigborhoods.
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Old November 14th, 2005, 07:44 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin J
I was very excited about this development, as it is around the corner from me. However, I saw a blurb in the newspaper within the last month or two reporting that the Calo redevelopment plan has fallen through due to a shortfall in raising capital. The blurb didn't say for sure what would happen to the space, but speculated that it would be retail.

There is construction work going on at the site, so I'm assuming it's being prepped for retail use. There doesn't appear to be any threat of a teardown for condos.

oops didnt see this, well too bad it fell through, I see they are rehabbing the uptown theatre though, THANK GOD!
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Old November 14th, 2005, 07:47 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Urban Politician
^Yeah, but a little splash of color in a city full of brick and concrete isn't so bad--in fact, I think it adds some much-needed flavor
I agree with you on this one urbie, I like all the projects except the granville one, its okay, but pretty bland and WTF is that bland solid brown thing just above the first floor? Pretty lame design, sure to be an eyesore and a future tenement in the years to come.

I would love to see broadway fixed up around devon, but I dont want a rush to develop just for the sake of development if these arent going to be quality projects.

I am glad that the city is taking these properties away from the landlords in some ways, In some ways I can understand the draw of holding onto a parking lot, you get income, you pay low taxes and while everyone else is improving the area around you, your value of the land goes up, but after awhile its like ******* a, build something nice there will ya? the emphasis is on NICE, not dull, and not TOO cookie cutter. Something that will make this a MORE HAPPENING neigborhood, with good space for retail on the bottom.
I just believe that retail spaces have been shortchanged a bit TOO much.
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Old November 14th, 2005, 08:31 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mohammed wong
oops didnt see this, well too bad it fell through, I see they are rehabbing the uptown theatre though, THANK GOD!
Actually, all that is being done to the Uptown is stabilization to keep it from deteriorating further. That is certainly better than nothing, but it's not quite the full rehab we've all been hoping for.
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Old November 14th, 2005, 09:39 PM   #16
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A rare combo
Edgewater's hot, but it's also diverse, affordable


By Ann Therese Palmer
Special to the Tribune


When Amena Yousuf, 32, was growing up in the Lakewood-Balmoral section of Chicago's Edgewater neighborhood, she never thought she'd settle there as an adult.

"At first, I didn't think it could improve," says Yousuf, raised in a two-flat on North Wayne Avenue. "Regularly, vandals broke our windows. The Kenmore-Winthrop corridor had frequent arsons. Then, when the neighborhood improved, I was afraid it would become too expensive for us."

But, her fears were unfounded.

In April, Yousuf, a young mother and human resources manager for a consulting firm and her husband, Rauf, a periodontist, bought a three-bedroom condo for $335,000 one block from her family home.

She's discovered what other Edgewater residents, such as Allen Wark, 45, a New Jersey transplant who paid $760,000 this spring for a three-bedroom townhouse on West Bryn Mawr Avenue, have learned. Or Holli Hitchins, 31, a performing artist, who pays $483 a month for a studio apartment on Wark's street, two blocks east.

Even though their housing budgets vary markedly, they're attracted to Edgewater -- a 1.5-square-mile North Side neighborhood bordered by Lake Michigan and Devon, Ravenswood and Foster Avenues -- for its affordability, they say.

"I looked at 30 places in Wrigleyville and Lake View starting at $350,000," says Wark, who commutes 45 minutes one-way to his job in North Chicago. "I worried about my housing investment if the economy tanks or stays flat. But, the Bryn Mawr Avenue Commerical District, listed on the [National Register of Historic Places]; restaurants; and Andersonville shops make this neighborhood a good investment."

Of Edgewater's 30,000 housing units, a "substantial portion," like Hitchins' rental apartment, "are affordable," estimates John G. Markowski, Chicago's housing commissioner, with more planned.

Affordability no accident

It's no accident that Edgewater has an abundance of affordable housing of varying types or that its population of 62,500 is stable and diverse, say local real estate agents, community activitists and residents.

For almost 30 years, these ideas have been the focus of Edgewater's strategic plan.

"At that time, our identity had been almost obliterated," says Ald. Mary Ann Smith (48th). "We'd become a commuter doormat. Reversible lanes during peak traffic periods on Ridge Avenue bisected our neighborhood. We had more half-way houses and sub-standard housing than anywhere else statewide. We decided to stay, fight and reclaim our community.

"From Day 1, we decided we wouldn't be a ghetto of the rich or poor. The key was affordable housing. The first major community-led project was Pines of Edgewater [an 18-building rehabilitation of 500 federally subsidized rental units]. Instead of tearing down troubled buildings, we worked to preserve them."

A coalition of community leaders including Smith; former aldermen Marion K. Volini and the late Kathy Osterman; Marge Britton, Smith's development coordinator; Ed Marciniak, director of Loyola University Chicago's Institute of Urban Life; and Markowski, then executive director of the Edgewater Community Council, developed a plan to save Edgewater.

They enlisted Community Investment Corp., the non-profit housing lender, to invest heavily in rehabilitating dilapidated housing in the Kenmore-Winthrop corridor, a densely populated strip of once elegant six-flats, three-flats and affordable housing sandwiched between Broadway and Sheridan that had seen a surge in crime and a drop in standard of living.

Another program established Operation Whistlestop, a prototype for Chicago's Alternative Policing Strategy. Community monitors were incorporated into developers' affordable-housing plans.

"Edgewater wanted safe, affordable housing plus populations that didn't normally apply for subsidized housing there, which broadened its ethnicity substantially," says Sherri Kranz, who moved there 25 years ago as Pines of Edgewater's outreach coordinator. Today she manages two local affordable rental sites.

To protect the neighborhood's character, Andersonville (the southwest section of Edgewater) down-zoned blocks, says Ellen Shepard, Andersonville Chamber of Commerce executive director and local apartment renter.

"By the time developers had an interest in doing teardowns here, they couldn't use the land to build the big developments they would have liked," she explains. "This preserved our housing stock."

Neighborhood's `just right'

In recognition of these efforts, the charitable foundation of Fannie Mae Corp., the federally chartered residential mortgage company, named Edgewater two years ago as one of five American urban communities "just right" in its housing stock affordability and diversity.

That affordability, livability, easy access to the lake and public transportation are attracting new buyers and renters to Edgewater, and that's boosting prices, says Clare Tobin, Edgewater Community Council executive director.

Like Yousuf, half of them are current Edgewater residents, she says. The rest are either out-of-towners, like Wark, or bargain-hunters priced out of neighborhoods to the south.

Spacious homes in Lakewood-Balmoral, west of Broadway, regularly sell for $600,000 plus, reports Volini, now president of Lakefront Realty Group, with one recently topping $1 million.

Many of Kenmore-Winthrop's elegant buildings have been rehabbed and converted to condos, but prices along those streets trun the gamut. Since June 2001, closed sales have ranged from $75,000 for a studio in a four-plus-one condo conversion to $365,000, according to Pamela Ball, an associate at Baird & Warner. Current active listings range from $114,900 for a one-bedroom to $429,000 for one 3,200-square-foot unit in a four-unit building, she said.

Yousuf's childhood home, which cost $43,000 in 1971, is now worth more than $500,000, says her mother, Khatija Hashmy, a Chicago Park District architect. North of Ridge, Edgewater Glen homes start at $400,000. West of Ashland, houses average $370,000, Volini says.

On average, two-bedroom condos, most of them situated on Sheridan Road, sell for $196,929. Median monthly rent for prime apartments is $1,033, Volini says. (Median means half cost more and half less.)

"Edgewater's become hot," agrees Philip W. Nyden, director of Loyola University Chicago's Center for Urban Research and Learning, citing census statistics. Since 1990, owner-occupied housing rose from 24 percent to 30 percent. Vacant housing fell to 5.6 percent from 10 percent.

Edgewater's population, up 2.46 percent in 10 years, has been "unusually steady and very diverse since 1970," says Nyden. Its racial makeup is 48 percent white, 17 percent black, 20 percent Latino and 11.5 percent Asian, with the remaining 3.5 percent representing a variety of groups, according to 2000 census figures.

About one-third of whites are Bosnian immigrants, attracted by affordable housing, estimates the community council's Bosnian relief coordinator, Tom Robb. Other recent immigrants include Africans from Sudan and Nigeria; and Tibetans.

More children

"The biggest change is children and families," says Sheli Lulkin, Edgewater Chamber of Commerce executive director and long-time condominium owner. New census figures show Edgewater's senior population down 18 percent.

"This change in generation is demanding a different type of shopping district," says Lulkin. Twenty-five new restaurants and 21 antiques dealers, more than any other city neighborhood, have opened in Edgewater in five years, she adds.

Andersonville's Clark Street commercial district is also distinctive. "If you walk down the street, it's likely the person behind the counter owns the business, is there daily and that location is the person's sole means of support," says Shepherd. "We don't have chains."

"We have substantial gay businesses, as well, but unlike Halsted and its Boys Town atmosphere, there isn't a separateness," adds Gary Gerdes, who owns @mosphere, a Clark Street gay bar. "People coexist here. There's a seamlessness."

That attracted Chandra Clark, 31, a beauty salon appointments coordinator, who moved from Lincoln Park four years ago. She pays $670 monthly for a one-bedroom apartment. "I feel safe and supported," she says. "I don't feel unusual enough here to be stared at if I'm with another woman."

Unlike other neighborhoods, community groups, particularly the community council, and Smith have a hands-on, creative approach to everything, especially housing, developers and brokers say.

Two years ago, in order to slow traffic, Smith placed landscaped traffic circles, now used in other areas of the city, in the middle of busy residential intersections to force motorists to reduce speed.

A $500,000 city-sponsored pilot project is helping owners of so-called four-plus-one buildings -- four floors of inexpensively built rental apartments over a below-grade garage -- renovate exteriors.

"Any building variances need approval from local block clubs, the [community council] housing committee, and Ald. Smith's 70-member Planning and Development Committee," says Rae Ann Cecrle, co-owner of a construction firm. "That keeps development from going wild here."

Adds local developer Peter Holsten, who has built in seven other city neighborhoods, "It's the most comprehensive, effective process I've seen."

Edgewater's future includes more mixed-use residential/commercial projects on Broadway and Catalpa Avenue and on Bryn Mawr (behind the Bryn Mawr Theatre); more casual, affordable restaurants; and expensive townhouses at Bryn Mawr and Sheridan, says Tina Travlos Nihlean, president of the non-profit, city-funded Edgewater Development Corp.

Another mixed-use building will replace the current Dominick's supermarket at Foster and Sheridan with a new grocery below several floors of parking and senior housing, according to Ald. Smith.

New-construction barrier

But, don't expect lots of new construction in Edgewater's future, warns James Byrne, president of the Edgewater-Uptown Builders Association. "Fixed-uppers are $300,000," he says. "To do a teardown costs another $350,000 for the replacement. You're at $650,000. The selling price isn't there yet."

The biggest impact on Edgewater will result from plans, announced by Mayor Richard M. Daley last month, to extend Lincoln Park with landfill 2.3 miles north from Hollywood Avenue to the Evanston border.

What the future doesn't hold yet, say Smith and community leaders, are a "desperately needed" new library and clothing retailers.

Some residents also worry about new development making Edgewater, already Chicago's most densely populated neighborhood, according to Ald. Smith, more crowded; or whether the influx of younger people and escalating housing prices will change Edgewater's character.

"I feel uncomfortable our neighborhood is getting so high-class," says Nan Sullivan, who has lived in Edgewater for 20 years and is president of the Lakewood/Balmoral Residents Council. "Some people who would be good for our neighborhood can't afford to move in."

That's not worrying Hitchins. "I have peace of mind," she says. "Even if my rent is raised, I don't feel pressured to leave Edgewater. There are lots of affordable rentals and condos."
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Old November 14th, 2005, 10:00 PM   #17
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Good article.
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Old April 8th, 2006, 03:09 AM   #18
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Broadway Village Lofts
5427 N. Broadway

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Old April 8th, 2006, 01:37 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wickedestcity
A rare combo
Edgewater's hot, but it's also diverse, affordable


By Ann Therese Palmer
Special to the Tribune


When Amena Yousuf, 32, was growing up in the Lakewood-Balmoral section of Chicago's Edgewater neighborhood, she never thought she'd settle there as an adult.

"At first, I didn't think it could improve," says Yousuf, raised in a two-flat on North Wayne Avenue. "Regularly, vandals broke our windows. The Kenmore-Winthrop corridor had frequent arsons. Then, when the neighborhood improved, I was afraid it would become too expensive for us."

But, her fears were unfounded.

In April, Yousuf, a young mother and human resources manager for a consulting firm and her husband, Rauf, a periodontist, bought a three-bedroom condo for $335,000 one block from her family home.

She's discovered what other Edgewater residents, such as Allen Wark, 45, a New Jersey transplant who paid $760,000 this spring for a three-bedroom townhouse on West Bryn Mawr Avenue, have learned. Or Holli Hitchins, 31, a performing artist, who pays $483 a month for a studio apartment on Wark's street, two blocks east.

Even though their housing budgets vary markedly, they're attracted to Edgewater -- a 1.5-square-mile North Side neighborhood bordered by Lake Michigan and Devon, Ravenswood and Foster Avenues -- for its affordability, they say.

"I looked at 30 places in Wrigleyville and Lake View starting at $350,000," says Wark, who commutes 45 minutes one-way to his job in North Chicago. "I worried about my housing investment if the economy tanks or stays flat. But, the Bryn Mawr Avenue Commerical District, listed on the [National Register of Historic Places]; restaurants; and Andersonville shops make this neighborhood a good investment."

Of Edgewater's 30,000 housing units, a "substantial portion," like Hitchins' rental apartment, "are affordable," estimates John G. Markowski, Chicago's housing commissioner, with more planned.

Affordability no accident

It's no accident that Edgewater has an abundance of affordable housing of varying types or that its population of 62,500 is stable and diverse, say local real estate agents, community activitists and residents.

For almost 30 years, these ideas have been the focus of Edgewater's strategic plan.

"At that time, our identity had been almost obliterated," says Ald. Mary Ann Smith (48th). "We'd become a commuter doormat. Reversible lanes during peak traffic periods on Ridge Avenue bisected our neighborhood. We had more half-way houses and sub-standard housing than anywhere else statewide. We decided to stay, fight and reclaim our community.

"From Day 1, we decided we wouldn't be a ghetto of the rich or poor. The key was affordable housing. The first major community-led project was Pines of Edgewater [an 18-building rehabilitation of 500 federally subsidized rental units]. Instead of tearing down troubled buildings, we worked to preserve them."

A coalition of community leaders including Smith; former aldermen Marion K. Volini and the late Kathy Osterman; Marge Britton, Smith's development coordinator; Ed Marciniak, director of Loyola University Chicago's Institute of Urban Life; and Markowski, then executive director of the Edgewater Community Council, developed a plan to save Edgewater.

They enlisted Community Investment Corp., the non-profit housing lender, to invest heavily in rehabilitating dilapidated housing in the Kenmore-Winthrop corridor, a densely populated strip of once elegant six-flats, three-flats and affordable housing sandwiched between Broadway and Sheridan that had seen a surge in crime and a drop in standard of living.

Another program established Operation Whistlestop, a prototype for Chicago's Alternative Policing Strategy. Community monitors were incorporated into developers' affordable-housing plans.

"Edgewater wanted safe, affordable housing plus populations that didn't normally apply for subsidized housing there, which broadened its ethnicity substantially," says Sherri Kranz, who moved there 25 years ago as Pines of Edgewater's outreach coordinator. Today she manages two local affordable rental sites.

To protect the neighborhood's character, Andersonville (the southwest section of Edgewater) down-zoned blocks, says Ellen Shepard, Andersonville Chamber of Commerce executive director and local apartment renter.

"By the time developers had an interest in doing teardowns here, they couldn't use the land to build the big developments they would have liked," she explains. "This preserved our housing stock."

Neighborhood's `just right'

In recognition of these efforts, the charitable foundation of Fannie Mae Corp., the federally chartered residential mortgage company, named Edgewater two years ago as one of five American urban communities "just right" in its housing stock affordability and diversity.

That affordability, livability, easy access to the lake and public transportation are attracting new buyers and renters to Edgewater, and that's boosting prices, says Clare Tobin, Edgewater Community Council executive director.

Like Yousuf, half of them are current Edgewater residents, she says. The rest are either out-of-towners, like Wark, or bargain-hunters priced out of neighborhoods to the south.

Spacious homes in Lakewood-Balmoral, west of Broadway, regularly sell for $600,000 plus, reports Volini, now president of Lakefront Realty Group, with one recently topping $1 million.

Many of Kenmore-Winthrop's elegant buildings have been rehabbed and converted to condos, but prices along those streets trun the gamut. Since June 2001, closed sales have ranged from $75,000 for a studio in a four-plus-one condo conversion to $365,000, according to Pamela Ball, an associate at Baird & Warner. Current active listings range from $114,900 for a one-bedroom to $429,000 for one 3,200-square-foot unit in a four-unit building, she said.

Yousuf's childhood home, which cost $43,000 in 1971, is now worth more than $500,000, says her mother, Khatija Hashmy, a Chicago Park District architect. North of Ridge, Edgewater Glen homes start at $400,000. West of Ashland, houses average $370,000, Volini says.

On average, two-bedroom condos, most of them situated on Sheridan Road, sell for $196,929. Median monthly rent for prime apartments is $1,033, Volini says. (Median means half cost more and half less.)

"Edgewater's become hot," agrees Philip W. Nyden, director of Loyola University Chicago's Center for Urban Research and Learning, citing census statistics. Since 1990, owner-occupied housing rose from 24 percent to 30 percent. Vacant housing fell to 5.6 percent from 10 percent.

Edgewater's population, up 2.46 percent in 10 years, has been "unusually steady and very diverse since 1970," says Nyden. Its racial makeup is 48 percent white, 17 percent black, 20 percent Latino and 11.5 percent Asian, with the remaining 3.5 percent representing a variety of groups, according to 2000 census figures.

About one-third of whites are Bosnian immigrants, attracted by affordable housing, estimates the community council's Bosnian relief coordinator, Tom Robb. Other recent immigrants include Africans from Sudan and Nigeria; and Tibetans.

More children

"The biggest change is children and families," says Sheli Lulkin, Edgewater Chamber of Commerce executive director and long-time condominium owner. New census figures show Edgewater's senior population down 18 percent.

"This change in generation is demanding a different type of shopping district," says Lulkin. Twenty-five new restaurants and 21 antiques dealers, more than any other city neighborhood, have opened in Edgewater in five years, she adds.

Andersonville's Clark Street commercial district is also distinctive. "If you walk down the street, it's likely the person behind the counter owns the business, is there daily and that location is the person's sole means of support," says Shepherd. "We don't have chains."

"We have substantial gay businesses, as well, but unlike Halsted and its Boys Town atmosphere, there isn't a separateness," adds Gary Gerdes, who owns @mosphere, a Clark Street gay bar. "People coexist here. There's a seamlessness."

That attracted Chandra Clark, 31, a beauty salon appointments coordinator, who moved from Lincoln Park four years ago. She pays $670 monthly for a one-bedroom apartment. "I feel safe and supported," she says. "I don't feel unusual enough here to be stared at if I'm with another woman."

Unlike other neighborhoods, community groups, particularly the community council, and Smith have a hands-on, creative approach to everything, especially housing, developers and brokers say.

Two years ago, in order to slow traffic, Smith placed landscaped traffic circles, now used in other areas of the city, in the middle of busy residential intersections to force motorists to reduce speed.

A $500,000 city-sponsored pilot project is helping owners of so-called four-plus-one buildings -- four floors of inexpensively built rental apartments over a below-grade garage -- renovate exteriors.

"Any building variances need approval from local block clubs, the [community council] housing committee, and Ald. Smith's 70-member Planning and Development Committee," says Rae Ann Cecrle, co-owner of a construction firm. "That keeps development from going wild here."

Adds local developer Peter Holsten, who has built in seven other city neighborhoods, "It's the most comprehensive, effective process I've seen."

Edgewater's future includes more mixed-use residential/commercial projects on Broadway and Catalpa Avenue and on Bryn Mawr (behind the Bryn Mawr Theatre); more casual, affordable restaurants; and expensive townhouses at Bryn Mawr and Sheridan, says Tina Travlos Nihlean, president of the non-profit, city-funded Edgewater Development Corp.

Another mixed-use building will replace the current Dominick's supermarket at Foster and Sheridan with a new grocery below several floors of parking and senior housing, according to Ald. Smith.

New-construction barrier

But, don't expect lots of new construction in Edgewater's future, warns James Byrne, president of the Edgewater-Uptown Builders Association. "Fixed-uppers are $300,000," he says. "To do a teardown costs another $350,000 for the replacement. You're at $650,000. The selling price isn't there yet."

The biggest impact on Edgewater will result from plans, announced by Mayor Richard M. Daley last month, to extend Lincoln Park with landfill 2.3 miles north from Hollywood Avenue to the Evanston border.

What the future doesn't hold yet, say Smith and community leaders, are a "desperately needed" new library and clothing retailers.

Some residents also worry about new development making Edgewater, already Chicago's most densely populated neighborhood, according to Ald. Smith, more crowded; or whether the influx of younger people and escalating housing prices will change Edgewater's character.

"I feel uncomfortable our neighborhood is getting so high-class," says Nan Sullivan, who has lived in Edgewater for 20 years and is president of the Lakewood/Balmoral Residents Council. "Some people who would be good for our neighborhood can't afford to move in."

That's not worrying Hitchins. "I have peace of mind," she says. "Even if my rent is raised, I don't feel pressured to leave Edgewater. There are lots of affordable rentals and condos."

um J Byrne is my cousin,,,and I can say that w/ out a doubt......unless you are a HR CONSULTANT......whatever the hell that means.....and a periodontist........that if you want to BUY in EW it simply IS NOT affordabale.....

I am from RP...many of my friends were from EW....their P's were Cops, fireman, electricians, carpentars.....guys making 40-50Kmaybe 60-70 w/ ot.........

you can't even breathe in EW for that right now........its is disgusting!
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Old April 8th, 2006, 09:20 PM   #20
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From 48th Ward Alderman Mary Ann Smith's website:

http://www.masmith48.org/broadwaycom...eproposal.html

Quote:
Presentation of Broadway Zoning Compromise
to the 48th Ward Zoning and Planning Committee
First, I want to thank everyone who has participated during the last two years in the thorough and comprehensive analysis and discussion of appropriate rezoning for Broadway, between Foster and Devon in the 48th Ward. I cannot remember an issue where the community has invested as much thought, research and debate in formulating their positions. Since our decision will help guide neighborhood development over the coming years, this lengthy dialogue has been very important.

The community has been concerned about the future of Broadway for decades. The block clubs, Chamber of Commerce, Edgewater Development Corporation, Edgewater Community Council, ONE and special working groups have produced many recommendations and reports which have guided us through the years. As our neighborhood has "become hot" this vision, and the tools to enforce it, have become increasingly important.

A decade ago, we changed the use designations from the intensive "C" classifications to the more neighborhood retail oriented "B" designations and have seen the gradual improvements resulting from those decisions. We have promulgated community-directed design guidelines which have informed developers proposing new projects.

Now, with the passage of the new Citywide Zoning Code, we are looking at the height, density and use classifications as a total package.

Through dozens of community meetings, charettes, studies, referenda and proposed plans we have analyzed the complex issues involved here: height, density, size and prices of residential and retail units, land prices, development costs, traffic and parking, bulk and design. Again, I thank you for your diligence and patience in delving into this issue in depth and in detail.

Key Goals and Shared Values
As a result of these many discussions, I believe that the following general goals and values are shared throughout the community:

Encouraging retail businesses on Broadway that are pedestrian oriented and serve the neighboring community
Encouraging local businesses and businesses that fill gaps in current retail offerings
Encouraging a diverse mixture of businesses that reflects the diverse nature of the community
Continuing to make Broadway a safer street for pedestrians and reducing the intensity and behavior of commuter car traffic
Encouraging high-quality design and materials in all new projects proposed
Preserving and encouraging adaptive reuse of our historic and architecturally important structures
Creating a mix of size and styles of housing units that preserves the diverse nature of the community.
Creating housing choices that are affordable across the economic spectrum of buyers and renters
Locating larger developments on larger sites and away from the residential areas to minimize deleterious impacts
Making Broadway a vital, active and thriving street that serves the surrounding neighborhood, creates jobs for local residents and supports successful business.

What I am asking you to do
I have attempted to draw the best elements from the many proposals that have been put forward, honor the specific wishes of each block club that is most directly affected and reflect the wishes of community organizations to locate height and density where most appropriate.

Please study this compromise proposal carefully. If you have questions, please call me or Greg Harris of my staff. At the April 26, 2006 meeting of the Zoning and Planning Committee, I will call for a decisive vote on this compromise.

If you agree, it is critical that you come to the April Zoning and Planning Committee meeting prepared to VOTE YES on this compromise.

Compromise Proposal
There have been a number of plans and proposals put forward to address these goals. After listening to the debates on the pros and cons of the different proposals that have been discussed, I would like to put forward the following compromise proposal drawing from the BEST of all the many zoning proposals that have been discussed:

Use Designation B1
Reduce the use classification on Broadway from Foster to Devon (in the 48th Ward ) from the more intense "B3" Community Shopping District classification to "B1" Neighborhood Shopping District

B1-2 on the West Side
Reduce the bulk and density classification on the West Side of Broadway (to the next west alley) from Foster to Devon (in the 48th Ward) to the dash-2 (B1-2) classification. The only exception would be the triangle property between Ridge and Bryn-Mawr which would remain B1-3

B1-3 on the East Side
Maintain the traditional bulk and density classification on the East Side of Broadway (to the EL tracks) from Foster to Devon (in the 48th Ward) as dash-3 (B1-3). The only exception would be those properties from Hollywood to Thorndale, which would be classified B1-2.

Future Discussions
While this proposed compromise addresses the key zoning decisions we initially agreed to discuss, other issues have been brought forward. These issues should be topic of future discussions and decision by the community, as it sees fit.

What about projects that require greater zoning than this proposal would allow?
If a project is proposed that requires a change in either the use or the height/density designation, it would go through review and approval by our normal community process of blocks clubs, community organizations and the zoning and planning committee.

Thus, projects in excess of the zoning proposed here could be built but only after community review and approval.

What about design guidelines?
Some community proposals suggested design guidelines for new development on Broadway. Currently, the Zoning Code does not provide mechanisms for enforcing community design guidelines.

The community can draft design and signage guidelines which my office will encourage developers to follow. Clearly, the community can require stronger adherence to design guidelines for projects which need zoning changes or other approvals.

What about designating Broadway as a Pedestrian "P" Street?
Some community proposals suggested designating Broadway as a "P" or Pedestrian Street, which would eliminate parking lots in front of new developments as well as enforcing certain design guidelines above and beyond the regular Zoning Code. Under the current law Broadway cannot be designated as a "P" street, as it does not meet the criteria set down in the Municipal Code, so we cannot consider a "P" street designation, at this time.

However, the Zoning Administrator and Alderman Banks, Chairman of the Committee on Zoning, have indicated that they are willing to work with the community to either expand the definitions of "P" streets to include Broadway or create a new classification under which Broadway would fit, if we so choose.

What about overlay/step districts requiring dash-2 heights, but allowing floor area ratios (FAR) of dash-3 buildings?
Some community proposals suggested this alternative to maintain the maximum height of 4 stories while allowing residential units more in keeping with sizes being sold in the current marketplace. Again, there is no provision in the Zoning Code for this at this time, but the Zoning Administrator and the Chairman of the Committee on Zoning have indicated a willingness to work with the community on this issue in the future, if we so choose.

What about creation and preservation of affordable housing?
One of the more important facts that came from the URS-TPAP Zoning and Market Study done in conjunction with our research was that 66% of current Edgewater residents could not afford to purchase homes here today. This has implications for the ongoing economic diversity of our community, for young people with new families wishing to stay in the neighborhood and for seniors wishing to remain in the community.

While zoning is one element that can affect affordability, there are many other elements including property taxes, condo assessments, federal, state and local assistance to developers, etc. that also play critical roles. There are also the other elements of the "affordable living equation": cost of transportation, education, etc. I have convened a working group of experienced developers, affordable housing advocates and other experts to study this issue and make recommendations to the community.

In Conclusion
Thank you again for the many, many hours of work you have put into this process. Your participation, along with hundreds of your neighbors, shows the commitment we all have to community directed development, consensus building, and why the 48th Ward continues to be the best place in the City to live and work.
While there is some definite good stuff in there regarding walkability and street retail, why do they always have to downzone???

I wish CUAG was further along so that we could try and influence this.
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