Plan Commission could hear 5150 N. Northwest Hwy proposal this summer
by BRIAN NADIG
The Chicago Plan Commission could hold a public hearing on the proposed mixed-income housing development at 5150 N. Northwest Hwy. as early as mid-July.
The proposal is not on the commission’s June 21 agenda, but efforts are being made for the commission to hear the matter at its Thursday, July 19 meeting. The meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle St.
“We’re still working with (the Department of Planning and Development) to get on an upcoming agenda,” said project developer Joshua Wilmoth of Full Circle Communities.
Plans call for the construction of a seven-story building with 75 apartments and ground-floor offices for nonprofit agencies on the southern half of the 1.54-acre parcel. A five-story storage facility is under construction on the northern half of the site.
Full Circle is seeking to amend the existing planned development ordinance which governs the site’s zoning. If the City Council approves Full Circle’s application, it would limit any new construction on the southern half of the site to the planned seven-story structure.
The development has been in the works since 2016 when Alderman John Arena (45th) had the property downzoned to stop initials plans to have only a self-storage facility there.
In April of 2016 the city Department of Buildings issued a permit to retrofit the existing industrial building on the parcel into the storage warehouse, but the permit was quickly revoked.
The property owner, LSC Development, then sued the city, leading to a settlement agreement which called for a storage facility on one half of the property and an unspecified housing project on the other.
City officials signed the agreement before notifying area property owners or seeking community input on the site’s redevelopment.
Last month the Illinois Housing Development Authority refused to issue low-income housing tax credits for the project. A spokesman for the authority said that the zoning application for the project had been filed too late for it to be eligible for the tax credits, while a local pastor testified at the authority’s May 18 meeting that the decision will enable the “forces of white supremacy” to maintain segregation on the Northwest Side.
Last year Arena joined several other aldermen in signing a pledge to bring at least 50 new Chicago Housing Authority units to their ward in an effort to help desegregate their ward. Full Circle’s proposal calls for a mix for affordable, market-rate and low-income units.