Dear 49th Ward Resident,
You will have another chance to weigh in on the proposed re-development of the Top Hat Lounge site on Morse Ave. at a community meeting I’m sponsoring with the 49th Ward Zoning and Land Use Advisory Committee on Tues., Nov. 28th, 7:00 p.m., at the United Church of Rogers Park, 1545 W. Morse Ave., 3rd floor.
Rogers Park developer Alex Samardzija presented plans to redevelop 1412 – 1414 W. Morse Ave. at a meeting I sponsored last August. Even though the proposal requires no zoning changes or variances, I asked the developer to submit his plans for community input and review.
Those attending the meeting expressed opposition to the design of the building and Mr. Samrdzija agreed to my request to sit down with a committee of local residents and architects to develop a better plan.
The revised plan still calls for the demolition of the one-story commercial building, which houses the Top Hat Lounge, and replacing it with a five-story mixed-use building that will contain first-floor commercial space and 16 dwelling units. However, the developer with the advice of the committee changed the exterior design, making it more compatible with the surrounding streetscape, including incorporating some of the existing facade.
The revised plan will be presented to the community at next week’s meeting, which will be facilitated by Kevin O’Neil, chairman of the 49th Ward Zoning and Land Use Advisory Committee.
Now that Morse Avenue is experiencing revitalization, it is important the new developments are in keeping with the urban character of the street. I appreciate the developer’s willingness to work with the community to develop a better plan, and I also appreciate the thoughtful comments offered by many members of the community.
I look forward to seeing you next Tuesday night.
Very truly yours,