Large apartment complex planned for Bryn Mawr not moving forward after reported foreclosure





by BRIAN NADIG

A plan which the City Council approved in 2013 to build a seven-story structure with 397 apartments and a restaurant at 8601-23 W. Bryn Mawr Ave. is not moving forward.

“That property has gone into foreclosure, and the bank has taken possession,” said Alderman Anthony Napolitano’s chief of staff Chris Vittorio.

On Nov. 8, the council voted to rescind the 2013 amendment to the planned development ordinance which governs the site’s zoning. The change restored the ordinance to its original form, which allows for the existing six one-story office structures on the property.

Vittorio said that the change aligns with the community’s concerns about high-density developments. He said that the property is located in the Dirksen School attendance area and that Dirksen is extremely overcrowded, with no plans for an addition in the near future.

Earlier this year Napolitano announced that he would not support a plan to build a 297-unit apartment building at 8535 W. Higgins Ave., which also is in Dirksen’s attendance area. The Dirksen Local School Council submitted a letter opposing the Higgins project, Vittorio said.

“The topic of high-density development has been quite controversial on the Northwest side of Chicago. Planned developments, although beneficial to the City of Chicago, do not always have the best interest of our neighborhoods in mind,” Napolitano wrote in a recent 41st Ward newsletter.

Napolitano, who took office in 2015, said that he working with members of the City Council Zoning Committee to ensure that the Higgins project is not approved.

Neighbors for Affordable Housing in Jefferson Park, which formed earlier this year to promote a mixed-housing income proposal in the 45th Ward, supports the Higgins development. Napolitano was the only council member to vote against the proposal in the 45th Ward.

GlenStar Properties owner Larry Debb, who is the developer of the Higgins project, initially planned to pay the city $2.8 million in order to reduce the affordable (below-market rate) housing requirement from 30 to 7 units. He later offered to build all 30 units at the suggestion of a member of the Chicago Plan Commission, which approved the project over Napolitano’s objections.

GlenStar has started work on a new office building on a lot next to where the apartment complex would be built, Vittorio said.