Controversy surrounds plans for a 17-story building that will bring rental units to the 46th Ward.
JDL Development. in collaboration with Harlem Irving plans to construct a mixed-use building on Halsted Street, between Bradley and Grace. The first floor will consist of 46,000 sq. ft. of retail space. The plan includes three floors of parking with 369 spaces to accommodate 13 floors of residential apartments with approximately 350 units. Additionally, the development will have 35,000 sq. ft. of green space.
However, at about 200 ft., the building will block the views of nearby residents.
“They’re not happy about it,” said Brian Ross, property manager of Gill Park Co-Op. The Co-op has been part of the neighborhood for 25 years providing section 8 housing for many members of the community.
“[The development will] adversely affect us,” said Ross, “it will hurt our view.” Residents agree with Ross.
“I think it’s too big…it doesn’t fit into the neighborhood” said Marty Wallace, a member of the Ward’s Zoning and Development Committee. “We don’t need 350 plus rental apartments, there are tons of apartments on the market now.”
The $100 million project will generate about $1 million in taxes for the city, said Tressa Feher, the 46th Ward’s Alderman’s Chief of Staff. Additionally, the building will make use of a vacant lot.
The current space is used as a parking lot for the Open Arms Church. Many citizens are afraid there will be an increase in congestion with a lack of access to parking, said Wallace.
Currently a one-way street, the developers plan to change the flow of traffic on Bradley. Neighbors also voiced concerns about the loss of 20 parking spots on Bradley at the 46th Ward’s first Zoning and Development Committee meeting on Nov. 10.
Ald. James Cappleman (46th) set up the committee made up of about 30 people from all over the ward. “He wants to hear from the community,” said Feher on behalf of the alderman.
Both the 44th and 45th wards have similar committees that Cappleman used as models.
It is important to encourage public participation in early stages of proposals, said Angela Fortino, a volunteer from Ald. Cappleman’s office trained in urban planning, even though it is “difficult and lengthy when first starting out.”
“Development is needed in the Ward,” said Fortino. “Harnessing a vacant lot is a good option.”
JDL Development Corporation will fund the project with loan financing. They will receive investments from commercial retailers who plan to operate on the premises, said Feher.
No specific retailers have been named as of yet. However, they are described as non-grocery. The developer was contacted but was not available for comment.
The next meeting scheduled to further discuss the development will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 8 at Weiss Hospital.