Updates given on Mayfair Lumber, St Cornelius, planned 200-foot-tall building in Jeff Pk
by BRIAN NADIG
The condemnation of a former lumberyard and the opening of a pre-K center inside a former parochial school are among the many delayed development projects in Jefferson Park.
A trial on the city’s attempt to acquire the former Mayfair Lumber facility at 4825 W. Lawrence Ave. is scheduled to begin Monday, Feb. 24, more than 6 years after an eminent domain lawsuit was filed, according to the city Department of Law.
Court documents show that the city and land owners have been as much as $12 million apart in agreeing on the property’s fair market value, with the highest appraisal at about $17 million.
The city is looking to use the site for salt storage during the winter, parking for 60 garbage and other trucks and 24 pieces of other equipment as well as a construction staging area for when the nearby Mayfair Pumping Station, 4850 W. Wilson Ave., is converted from steam to electric power, according to court records. Several city departments would be using the site.
Meanwhile, it was announced in early 2017 that Chicago Public Schools was seeking to lease the former Saint Cornelius School, 5252 N. Long Ave., for the purpose of creating a regional pre-K center there, but a lease has not been finalized. The school closed in 2016, and this summer the parish is being merged with Saint Tarcissus and Saint Thecla parishes.
Saint Cornelius pastor Dan Fallon said that the school system has been inspecting the building and taking soil samples but has not signed a lease. The lease reportedly would be for 10 years.
Alderman Jim Gardiner (45th) said that the community can use the additional pre-kindergarten space and that he hopes the project comes to fruition.
Additional pre-K space also is planned for Beard School, 6445 W. Strong St. A proposed annex would accommodate an additional 200 students at the school.
Last month the Zoning Board of Appeals delayed a public hearing on the Beard proposal. The hearing has been tentatively rescheduled for 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21, in the Council Chamber at City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle St.
Also in Jefferson Park, a permit is pending for the construction of a 16-story building at 4849 N. Lipps Ave., next to the Jefferson Park CTA Terminal. The planned 200-foot-tall building would be about 70 feet taller than the neighboring 10-story Veterans Square office building at 4849 N. Milwaukee Ave.
The City Council approved the project, which includes 114 apartments and a 200-space parking garage, in 2017. A lawsuit challenging the project’s zoning is pending, but there is not a preliminary injunction that would prohibit the city from issuing the construction permit.
In addition, a construction permit has been pending since 2017 for a four-story, 24-unit apartment building at 5352 W. Argyle St. A similar building also is planned at 5342 W, Argyle St., but permit information for that address was not available.