Ald. Cullerton to host meeting on Lawrence-Austin development
by BRIAN NADIG
Alderman Timothy Cullerton (38th) will hold a community meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 29, on a proposal to build a retail-residential building and three six-flats on a vacant parcel at the southwest corner of Austin and Lawrence avenues.
“The plan mirrors that of one previously approved, but which never went forward due to the economic downtown several years ago,” Cullerton wrote in his ward newsletter. The meeting will be held at the Austin-Irving Library, 6100 W. Irving Park Road.
In 2007 plans were announced to build an 18-unit residential building with storefronts at 4732 N. Austin Ave., a 24-unit building with retail space at 4752 N. Austin Ave. and three six-flats at 6015-21 W. Lawrence Ave. A five-storefront building was demolished to accommodate the project.
In 2010 the project’s original developer, the Fairview Development Group, sold the southern half of the property to a developer who built the 18-unit building, and Fairview turned control of the rest of the property over to the financial institution which financed the purchase of the land. The northern section, where a Ponderosa Steakhouse was demolished about 20 years ago, remained undeveloped.
It is anticipated that the residential units would be apartments and not the condominiums proposed in 2007, and other changes to the plan are minor, Cullerton said. “We added a little more parking in the back, and asked that there be more room to pile snow,” he said.
The 24-unit building would have interior parking for the residential units and outdoor parking for the stores, while 36 outdoor spaces are planned for the six-flats, Cullerton said. In 2007, about 100 parking spaces were planned for the entire development.
Cullerton said that a zoning change would be required for the proposal because in 2011 he had the northern portion of the site downzoned to RS-2, which is intended primarily for single-family homes, to help protect the community for any unwanted development. The Bank of Countryside owns the site and is seeking the zoning change, he said.
Over the years an Aldi’s grocery store and a senior housing complex have been proposed for the site.