:: PUBLIC MEETING RE-SCHEDULED FOR NEXT WEEK (09/02) ON 5201 W. LAWRENCE AVE. ::

:: PUBLIC MEETING RE-SCHEDULED FOR NEXT WEEK (09/02) ON 5201 W. LAWRENCE AVE. ::

The development proposed for the vacant lots at 5161 & 5201 W. Lawrence will again go before the Chicago Development Commission on Sept. 8.

I will host a community meeting on the project at 6:30 pm Wednesday, Sept. 2, at the 16th District Police Station, 5151 N. Milwaukee.

The proposed development would include 39 residential units, 41 parking spaces for the residential units, and 9000 sq. ft. of commercial space on the ground floor. Additionally, 21 parking spaces for the commercial space and a 3500 sq. ft. community plaza would be located on the triangular lot on Lawrence between Laramie and Avondale.

The proposal requires no zoning change. The density and height are allowed within the current zoning. This was one of the key demands of the community for this location, and I am committed to honoring that demand.

The builder is required to seek approval from the CDC because a portion of the vacant land is City-owned. The redevelopment agreement calls for a reduction in the cost of that land to ensure that the project is financially feasible. The project will include 4 affordable-rate units (2 one-bedroom and 2 two-bedroom units) that will be offered at 60 percent of the market rate for thirty years. This represents an estimated cost to the project of $2.6 million over that time.

I do not take subsidies of any kind lightly, but given the current market conditions and the fact that these long-vacant parcels have held back development in the Jefferson Park shopping district, this is a good investment for the City and our neighborhood. This reduced land cost makes sense because the project will ultimately be an economic engine in an area that is otherwise barren.

Today, the City-owned lots generate $0 in tax revenue, and the privately-owned portion generates a nominal $5,600 annually in tax revenue. It is estimated the development would generate $175,000 annually in tax revenue.

The reduction in price of the land is offset by the $16 million improvement to this long vacant site. Along with the affordable units, the builder is also required to meet the City’s M/WBE and sustainability standards.

Initial reaction to the project has been strong, and I will continue to work to bring positive development to what should be an attractive gateway to our community.

I hope you can come to the meeting and learn more about this exciting development.

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