I sponsored a community meeting last month to review two development proposals–one by Loyola University and the Chicago Transit Authority and the other by Loyola University itself–for property located immediately north of the entrance to the Loyola “L” station on Sheridan Road.
The first proposal calls for the demolition of the vacant one story building immediately north of the Loyola “L” station that once housed a McDonald’s and a Harris Bank facility. In its place, Loyola and the CTA will construct a plaza, move the entrance to the “L” station slightly to the north and west so that it opens onto the new plaza, and renovate the facade of the station.
To view a rendering of the proposed plaza and station entrance, click on the attachment below:
The new design will allow for pedestrian flow to a safer four-way signalized intersection at Loyola and Sheridan, rather than have the entrance to the CTA underneath the viaduct and adjacent to a “blind” crosswalk.
Immediately north of the plaza, a curb-cut will be constructed that will allow for an eastbound driveway. This driveway will provide access to the parking lot located behind the properties on Sheridan Road.
The current zoning on the lot is B3-5. Loyola and the CTA seek a zoning variance to allow for a major utility (in this case, the CTA) to reside on the lot. Because the lot falls within the Lakefront Protection Zone, review under the Lakefront Protection Ordinance and approval by the Chicago Plan Commission is also required.
The proposal received unanimous support at the April 30th community meeting, which approximately 50 community residents attended, and in e-mails sent to my office. The 49th Ward Zoning and Land Use Advisory Committee recommended I support the proposal, as well. Accordingly, I have decided to SUPPORT the zoning variance and will recommend that the Chicago Plan Commission approve proposed development.
The proposed plaza would beautify the area surrounding the Loyola “L” station and provide changes to the Sheridan/Loyola Avenue intersection that will greatly enhance pedestrian safety.
The second proposal by Loyola University calls for the demolition of the vacant one-story building that once housed Beck’s Book store. In its place, the University proposes the construction of a four-story, mixed-use building with 41 one-bedroom apartments over approximately 15,000 square feet of retail space. Six parking spaces will be located behind the building and an additional 25 parking spaces will be reserved for the building on the surface parking lot immediately to the west.
To view a rendering of the proposed development, click on the attachment below:
Because the development falls within the Lakefront Protection Zone, review under the Lakefront Protection Ordinance and approval by the Chicago Plan Commission is required. The University must also apply to theZoning Board of Appeals for a special use permit to allow for the accessory off-site parking.
This proposal also received unanimous support at the community meeting. In response to community concerns regarding the off-street parking, Loyola redesigned the parking lot behind the building to allow for more parking spaces. I appreciate Loyola’s responsiveness to the community’s concerns. The 49th Ward Zoning and Land Use Advisory Committee also recommended I support the proposal. Accordingly, I have decided to SUPPORT the application for a special use permit and will recommend that the Chicago Plan Commission approve the proposed development.
If you have any questions or further comments about either proposal, please feel free to reply to this e-mail.