Meeting on 12-story Jeff PK plan set for 7:30 pm Wed, Sept 30


The start of a Wednesday, Sept. 30, community meeting on a proposed 12-story building at Lipps Avenue and Ainslie Street is being delayed to 7:30 p.m. to accommodate elections for the Jefferson Park Neighborhood Association.

Alderman John Arena (45th) had plan to start the meeting at 7 p.m., which also is the start time for the association’s meeting and board elections. Arena decided to delay his meeting to allow more association members to vote before heading over to the community meeting, which will be held at the Copernicus Center Annex, 5214 W. Lawrence Ave.

In addition, the association’s board has extended voting hours from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., although the start time for the association’s meeting remains 7 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Congregational Church of Jefferson Park, 5320 W. Giddings St.

Running for association president are Bob Bank, who supports the association’s platform against up-zoning, and Ryan Richter, who feels the platform is too restrictive. Members must be a paid member for at least three months and live within the association’s boundaries to be eligible to vote.

The proposed building, which include storefronts, 96 apartments and 265 parking spaces, would be constructed on the site of the former Cowhey Materials and Fuel Co, 4849 N. Lipps Ave., which currently is used as a gravel parking lot. The 25,000-square-foot parcel is located next the Jefferson Park CTA Terminal, 4917 N. Milwaukee Ave., and behind the 10-story Veterans Square office building, 4849 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Some residents have expressed concern that the project would increase traffic on Ainslie, which is a popular cut-through street because of its bridge over the Kennedy Expressway, and that it would lead to higher enrollment at the overcrowded Beaubien School, 5025 N. Laramie Ave.

Arena’s chief-of-staff Owen Brugh said that traffic restrictions, including diverting cars away from Ainslie after concerts at Copernicus, can be used to address traffic concerns.

Brugh also said that the apartments, which would measure between 735 and 1,450 square feet, will cater to young professionals who do not have school-age children and who want easy access to public transportation. "I’d expect that they would be looking to buy a bungalow in the neighborhood" when they decide to have a family, he said.