Plans call for homes’ demolition


A preliminary proposal to demolish up to three houses to allow the extension of a parking lot for storefronts near Higgins and Neva avenues is one of the items on the agenda for the Oct. 1 meeting of the 41st Ward Zoning Advisory Board.

The owner of four recently renovated storefronts at 7138-48 W. Higgins Ave. has been unable to lease the space due to a lack of parking, and he will ask advisory board members for their opinions on a tentative plan to increase the size of a 23-space parking lot behind the storefronts, Alderman Mary O’Connor’s chief of staff Lisa Ryan said.

The existing lot, which has the same owner as the storefronts, is reserved for clients of Mather’s More Than A Cafe, 7134 W. Higgins Ave., Ryan said.

The new parking lot would have 46 parking spaces and several landscaped islands. Access to the lot would be from a rear alley and from Gregory Street.

The owner of the parking lot, who also owns two of the three houses on the west side of the 5500 block of North Neva Avenue, has approached the third owner about selling his property, Ryan said. A zoning change is required for the project because the site of the three homes is zoned for residential use.

The expanded lot would be located immediately east of a parking lot at the southeast corner of Gregory and Harlem Avenue. That lot serves other storefronts on Higgins.

Ryan said that the plan cannot move forward unless the third house, which is located between other two homes, is acquired. She said that it might be possible for the project to be revised to include only the house located immediately to the north of the existing lot.

The board also will consider a proposal to replace a 94-year-old house at 6428-30 N. Northwest Hwy. with a six-flat. The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. today at the Olympia Park fieldhouse, 6566 N. Avondale Ave.