Jefferson Park Forward hears update on firehouse project; apartments could be ready for occupancy by summer of 2023
by BRIAN NADIG
The planned apartments inside the former Jefferson Park firehouse at 4837-41 N. Lipps Ave. could be ready for occupancy by the summer of 2023, according to project developer Tim Pomaville of Ambrosia Homes.
“It’s important to us to maintain the historic look and integrity of the (116-year-old building),” Pomaville said, adding that recent design changes will help better meet that goal. He gave a update on the project at the Feb. 17 virtual meeting of the Jefferson Park Forward.
Plans for hanging balconies to be installed on the north side of the building along West Ainslie Street have been eliminated, although plans for balconies in the rear of the building are remaining. “It will look like a firehouse “ he said.
The project calls for a third floor to be added to the existing two-story structure but be set back far enough so that the additional floor is not readily visible to passers-by. The setback will allow for front patios on the third-floor, and “lightwell patios below” on the second-floor, Pomaville said.
In addition, nine apartments were planned, but one was eliminated to allow space for a new set of stairs in the middle the building, Pomaville said. There will be four units, each with two bedrooms and two baths on each floor.
Another change has the entrance for the residential tenants being relocated from Lipps to Ainslie, allowing for more space along Lipps for the Lake Effect brewery that is planned for the ground floor, Pomaville said.
“We are getting ready to submit for permits … in 30 days,” with construction on the residential portion of the project scheduled start by this summer, Pomaville said. Permits for the ground-floor brewery will be handled directly by Lake Effect, currently at 4727 W. Montrose Ave., he said.
Lake Effect owner Clint Bautz said after the meeting that he hopes to be operating inside the firehouse by the end of this year. “Plans are looking good. Things are moving … but you know how projects are,” he said.
The brewery will include outdoor seating and overhang garage doors that can be kept open during nice weather.
The development also includes a refurbished basement and six outdoor parking spaces that are accessible from North Avondale Avenue. There also will be some decorative elements added to the façade, resembling items that have been removed over the years.
Ambrosia acquired the firehouse from the city in exchange for putting $208,000 in escrow to cover remediation costs, with the city keeping any leftover funds if the cleanup, which included lead paint and asbestos removal, came in under budget.
The city also received bids from the Copernicus Foundation, which offered $300,000 in addition to paying for the remediation, and Carpenters Local 58, which offered $1.