A Rogers Park developer will present plans to revitalize a blighted section of Morse Avenue at a community meeting sponsored by 49th Ward Ald. Joe Moore on Tues., Aug. 29th, 7:00 p.m. at the United Church of Rogers Park, 1545 W. Morse Ave.
Alex Samardzija, Castle Development, and his architect, Laszlo Simovic, will present plans to demolish the one-story commercial building at 1412-14 W. Morse, which houses the Top Hat Lounge, and replace it with a five-story mixed-use brick building that will contain first-floor commercial space and 16 dwelling units. The property is 8,500 square feet in size and is zoned B3-3, which allows one dwelling unit per 400 square feet of lot area. The proposed development would be allowed under the current zoning.
The proposed development will result in the permanent closing of the Top Hat Lounge. At Moore’s request, Samardzija agreed that he will not lease or sell his commercial space to another bar or liquor store.
Although Samardzija does not need a zoning change and can build his development as a matter of right, Moore asked him to present his plans to the community. I want to make sure that the residents who live in and around Morse Ave. are fully informed of the plans to redevelop this property, said Moore. I have encouraged the developer to listen carefully and consider the comments and suggestions of the neighbors, Moore added.