Banquet hall to close if plan approved
by BRIAN NADIG
The construction of four six-flats is being proposed for the site of the Saranecki family’s Garden Terrace Banquets, 6322-34 W. Irving Park Road, which in recent years has experienced new forms of competition.
"The (traditional) business model is dead," Scott Saranecki said during a Feb. 21 community meeting hosted by Alderman Nicholas Sposato (38th).
A "destination wedding" is a popular trend where friends or families fly to places like Mexico for a weekend of festivities, or a vacant warehouse is leased and decorated for the wedding, according to Walter Saranecki.
The plan to build the three-story, six-unit buildings was well received at the meeting, and Sposato later said that he supports rezoning the parcel from B3-1 and RT-4 to B2-2 to accommodate the project. While none of the 15 audience members objected to the proposal, they did express general parking and traffic concerns about the area.
Projected monthly rents for the apartments are expected to range from $1,500 to $1,700, and each unit would include front and rear balconies, three bedrooms and two bathrooms. One outdoor parking space is planned for each unit in the rear of the property, but there may be room for additional spaces, according to developer Stan Sobieski.
Project attorney Paul Kolpak said that the project would include up to two affordable housing units for those earning up to 60 percent of the area median income, as mandated by the Affordable Requirements Ordinance. He added that one of units could be bought out by paying into the city’s housing fund but that a decision has not been made.
Sposato estimated that the rent for the affordable units would be about $1,100, which he said "isn’t really affordable" for those earning $35,000 to $40,000 a year. For zoning projects of 10 or more units, 10 percent of the units are subject to affordable guidelines.
The Saranecki family plans to continue operating a catering and banquet hall business at 4720 W. Armitage Ave., Scott Saranecki said. Garden Terrace is expected to close.
Garden Terrace opened 60 years ago, while the family’s catering business has been in operation for about 75 years.
Saranecki said that the Garden Terrace building was once home to a department store and that he once lived on the second floor. "We have a history here. We grew up here," he said.
Several residents at the meeting recalled weddings and other events that they had attended at Garden Terrace.