Hookah bar, Habitat store sought for 39th Ward sites


A proposed hookah bar in Mayfair and the opening of a Habitat for Humanity home improvement store in the Peterson-Pulaski Industrial Corridor are among the recent development issues in the 39th Ward.

The city Department of Buildings issued a stop work order on the construction of a hookah bar inside a former carpet store at 4614 W. Lawrence Ave. on Aug. 5 after work on the interior reportedly was being done without a permit.

The two-storefront building is located on a 4,138-square-foot parcel at the northeast corner of Lawrence and Kentucky avenues. The C1-1 zoning of the site requires that a special use be obtained from the Zoning Board of Appeals in order to open the establishment, where patrons smoke tobacco with a water pipe.

Mayfair Civic Association Zoning and Development Committee chairman Chris Lambesis said that residents have expressed concern that there would be parking and noise problems if a hookah bar opens. Najy Ghaneema, who is planning to open the business, is scheduled to discuss the project at the association’s meeting at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 11, at the Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox Ave.

Also, ReStore, which sells donated construction materials and household goods, is planning to open inside the former Erickson Decorating products store at 6040 N. Pulaski Road this fall, Peterson Pulaski Business and Industrial Council executive director Janita Tucker said.

The nonprofit Habitat for Humanity organization uses proceeds from its ReStore facilities to fund building projects that benefit the needy.

Also in the Peterson-Pulaski corridor, a special use is being sought for the establishment of an elementary school inside the former Beu’s Flowers and Gifts, 5830 N. Pulaski Road. Wonder Montessori, which has a facility on an adjacent property, is planning to open a classroom for kindergarten through third grade in the former flower shop, a portion of which Wonder already uses for toddlers, Tucker said.

In Mayfair, Dispatch Taxi is seeking to have its property at 4514-20 N. Elston Ave. rezoned from C1-1 Neighborhood Commercial District to C2-1 Motor Vehicle Related Commercial District. Minor interior renovations are planned to the facility.

Lambesis said that the association will decide whether to hold a meeting on the proposal after it meets with representatives of the taxi company.