Proposed laundromat for former deli
on Lawrence in Jefferson Park would not be open 24 hours a day, as several residents at meeting voice support for $1.5 million project
by BRIAN NADIG
Several residents at a Sept. 1 virtual meeting hosted by Alderman James Gardiner (45th) spoke in favor of a proposed laundromat at 5960 W. Lawrence Ave. as long as the hours would be 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and an attendant would be on duty at all times.
“It sounds like we are getting positive feedback on it for the most part,” Gardiner said, adding that the area could use additional businesses. The Jefferson Park Neighborhood Association has issued a letter of support for the $1.5 million project, he said.
Project attorney Paul Kolpak said that based on earlier discussions with the community the owner has agreed to the requested hours of operation and for an on-site attendant, adding that the laundromat would employ about five people. Residents reportedly had sought assurances that it would not be a 24-hour operation.
“I visited one of their sites, and it was well run,” Gardiner said. “It’s clear when you walk in where the attendant is. They’re identified with proper clothing.”
Kolpak listed 6043 W. Addison St., 3103 N. Cicero Ave. and 2059 N. Pulaski Road as locations for some of the owner’s other laundromats.
The proposed laundromat would be located inside the former J and L European Deli at the northeast corner of Lawrence and Mason avenues, across from the recently opened Printer’s Row Brewing. There is a 16-space parking lot on the former deli site.
The proposal calls for the site to be rezoned from B1-2 to B3-1, which allows for coin-operated laundromats.
The proposed zoning also would further restrict the amount of density allowed on the site, as some residents had expressed concern about additional floors being added to the building, according to Kolpak. There are no plans to change the one-story height of the building, he said.
Gardiner said after the meeting that he plans to meet with the president of the Gunnison Point condominium association before making a final decision on the proposal. It was reported at the community meeting that there is an easement which allows vehicles to enter the former deli parking lot via the association’s property.
The association has voiced support for the project but is asking that laundromat help with the snow shoveling or other maintenance of the shared area. “We support a business no matter what it is because of the way Lawrence looks,” a condominium owner said in reference to the vacant storefronts in the area.
Kolpak said that the laundromat would have machines large enough to accommodate comforters but that it would not be designed for commercial clients such as a supplier of restaurant tablecloths and napkins. A resident expressed concern that trucks would be dropping off commercial laundry there.
Some residents did question the need for a laundromat at that location. “The apartment buildings (in the area) mostly have washers and dryers,” a resident said.