A church is looking to buy the Elston Avenue United Methodist Church, where a condo proposal earlier this year was met with community opposition
by BRIAN NADIG
The Elston Avenue United Methodist Church, 5850 N. Elston Ave., where an 18-unit condominium proposal received pushback from area residents, could become another church.
The property is under contract to be sold to a religious congregation, with a planned closing date in early 2022, according to listing agent Barbara O’Connor. The name of the church buying the property is not being released at this time.
The Elston Avenue Church has merged with another church in Skokie.
The new church would be allowed to operate under the site’s existing RS-3 zoning, O’Connor said.
Following an Aug. 12 community meeting, Alderman James Gardiner (45th) said that the condominium proposal would have to be scaled back due to residents’ parking and traffic concerns.
“After listening to the concerns from the neighbors and the neighborhood in general, I think it’s quite clear the developer is going to have to sharpen his pencil and draw up something … that’s more in line with what our community wants,” Gardiner said last summer.
After the meeting 30 residents filled out a survey for the Gladstone Park Neighborhood Association, and 27 respondents opposed the proposal, two were undecided, and one voiced support, according to association president Joe DiCiaula.
The church property is located next to the Kolping Center, 5826 N. Elston Ave., a fraternal Christian organization that supports food pantries, Boy Scouts, churches and other nonprofit groups.
For years Kolping has leased the adjacent parking lot at the former Elston Avenue United church, which under the proposal would have been replaced by a series of three six-flats, each with eight outdoor parking spaces.