Height concerns raised on Albany Park senior housing
by BRIAN NADIG
A proposed five-story affordable senior housing project at 4625-55 N. Pulaski Road should be shorter in height and have more parking, according to residents at the Oct. 10 meeting of the Mayfair Civic Association.
Association vice president Tom Keating expressed concern that development in the area keeps getting taller. "My only concern is the five stories. We fought to keep (development) under four stories," he said. "Sometimes I look up and say, ‘Where’s all the sun?’"
Residents also expressed concern that the planned 30 on-site parking spaces would not be enough to accommodate both the tenants of the 88-unit building and their visitors along with the customers for the ground-floor retail space. The zoning code usually requires one parking space per residential unit for new construction, but parking reductions are allowed for senior housing.
Several residents noted that there is no parking allowed on Pulaski Road and said that parking on the nearby side streets is sometimes difficult. "Parking in that area is already congested," resident Lisa Stringer said.
Concerns also were raised that many of the building’s tenants, who would be age 55 and older, would be too young for retirement and would need a car for their job. "I think it’s unrealistic to think … less than half will have cars," Stringer said.
Project officials responded that they also operate a similar senior living complex, the Darul Amaan Apartments at 4820 N. Kedzie Ave., and that parking has not been a problem there. They said that the association’s recommendations would be considered but that any changes would depend on how they would impact the cost of the estimated $25.6 million project.
The building would be constructed on the site of the underutilized parking lot for the 17th (Albany Park) Police District Station, 4650 N. Pulaski Road. The city plans to sell the 43,760-square-foot parcel for $1 to the development team, which is being managed by East Lake Management and Development.
Rents for the apartments, all of which would be independent living, would rage from $749 to $1, 057, and tenants would be restricted to an annual income of no more than about $40,000. A zoning change is required.
Also at the meeting, residents discussed proposed landscape designs for the new Kedvale Triangle Park, 4546 N. Kedvale Ave. The Chicago Park District recently acquired the 11,553-square-foot parcel, where a home once stood.
Concerns were raised that a proposed pavilion, which would include a roof but no sidewalls, could attract loud partygoers to the park. Several residents said that round picnic tables with a canopy would be a better alternative.
Residents also voiced a preference for a large, open-style lawn area where children could play. There also are plans for a drinking fountain and a nature play area which would include items such as tree stumps and logs.
Association president Ron Duplack said that construction hopefully would be completed by the end of next year. The association and Mayfair Park Advisory Council led the effort for the park district to acquire the property.
It also was reported that Alderman Samantha Nugent (39th) may be relocating her ward office, currently at 4404 W. Lawrence Ave., this fall to accommodate the planned expansion of the Mayfair Library, 4400 W. Lawrence Ave.
The city is looking to acquire the building, which includes the library and ward office. The new ward office would move to 4200 W. Lawrence Ave. after the acquisition is completed.