I invite you to attend a COMMUNITY MEETING to review Loyola University’s plans for the property located at 6572-90 N. Sheridan Road (southwest corner of Sheridan and Albion). The meeting will be held onWednesday, September 23rd, 7:00 p.m., at Loyola University’s Crown Center Auditorium, 1001 W. Loyola (at the Lake).
Representatives from Loyola University will discuss their plans to demolish the buildings on the site and replace them with landscaping and a raised-bed urban educational garden for Loyola’s Center for Environmental Research and Policy.
Loyola planned initially to develop the site for a mixed-use commercial and residential building, but last year Loyola’s developer, Village Green, withdrew their contract with the university because of the rapidly declining real estate and credit market. Since that time, Loyola has solicited input from other developers and potential short-term retail tenants for the existing space, but no viable proposals have been submitted. Accordingly, there is no current plan to develop the site, although Loyola still hopes to develop the site once the economy improves.
The existing buildings were once home to a florist and the Loyola Literacy Center. According to Loyola, it would cost more that $500,000 to bring the buildings up to code and make them attractive for new retail. Given that Loyola hopes to develop the site in the next few years, the university determined that the cost of maintaining temporary retail in the space was not a fiscally viable option.
Demolition of the buildings is scheduled to begin shortly. A temporary fence was placed around the perimeter of the property, asbestos was removed from the buildings and rodents were abated. Upon completion of the demolition, a four-week process, the perimeter will be secured with wrought-iron fencing and robust landscaping similar to the density and material used surrounding the parking lot at 6601 North Sheridan (northeast corner of Sheridan and Albion). Loyola has asked the demolition company to retain pieces of salvageable terra cotta for future university use and donation to community gardens.
Loyola can demolish the buildings as a matter of right and needs no zoning approval for the garden. Nonetheless, Loyola officials have agreed to my request to attend a community meeting to share their plans for the property with the public.
I urge you to attend the meeting to express your views on the proposal. If you are unable to attend the meeting, please feel free to share your views with me by replying to this e-mail or calling my office at 773-338-5796.