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Licensed Chicago Contractors is now Chicago Cityscape

All the great features remain, and we're continually adding new ones!

Demolition of the week 

The water tower at 3053 W Grand Ave was issued a demolition permit on July 24, 2014. Gabriel Michael shot this photo a month later. See more in our visual Demolitions Tracker.

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Development news

Hermosa, Logan Square & West Town

Snipped from a City of Chicago press release regarding the sale of city-owned land:

The sale of four vacant, City-owned lots on scattered sites in Humboldt Park and West Town will lead to the construction of eight affordable apartments in four new buildings.

The homes will be built by Access Housing I LLC at 1746 N. Francisco Ave, 1917 N. Keystone Ave, 1941 N. Karlov Ave and 2415 N. Harding Ave. Collectively appraised at $353,000, the lots will be sold for $1 each.

Each two-story building will contain two apartments with two-bedrooms and 1.5 baths. The ground floor units will be accessible for people with disabilities. All of the units will be rented to households earning up to 60 percent of area median income.

The proposed $2.8 million project will be funded by the Illinois Housing Development Authority.

Logan Square

Developer Property Markets Group has proposed a transit-oriented mixed-use building at 2211 N Milwaukee in Logan Square that takes advantage of a year-old ordinance giving developers the right to reduce resdiential parking requirements by up to 50%. If given the choice, developer Noah Gottlieb said he might even build less parking than that.

North Center

Curbed Chicago featured our analysis of suspected teardowns in Chicago and picked out a few gems that have likely met the Dumpster. We put this news under North Center because it was one of the top community areas for having suspected teardowns. Others included Lincoln Park, Lakeview, and West Town. 

River North

This probably isn't news to anyone, but River North is a hotspot for tech company headquarters. The news, though, is that the Merchandise Mart landlord – New York-based Vornado Realty Trust – dropped "Merchandise" from the name "in a bid to attract more technology tenants", according to the Chicago Tribune.

United Center

The Chicago Bulls basketball team has opened their new training facility across from the United Center stadium on Madison Street. The building is closed to the public but 27th Ward Alderman Walter Burnett said he expects that the players, coaches, and other staff will start patronizing nearby businesses and send a signal that it's okay to move back to the Near West Side. 

Woodlawn

1. The Chicago city council approved last Wednesday a plan to develop the historic Strand Hotel at 6315 S Cottage Grove Avenue into a mixed-income apartment building. Eighty-two percent of the units (53 of 65) will be affordable.

A renovation building permit was issued on September 3 to convert the building with an estimated cost of $16 million. A city press release valued the project at $23 million, part of which is paid for by the Woodlawn TIF district

2. The redevelopment of the Grove Parc Plaza in West Woodlawn, just south of the Midway Plaisance, continues. The Boston-based Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH) took control over of the 504-unit subsidized housing complex and worked with the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to redevelop the site as the mixed-use, mixed-income "Woodlawn Park" development.

The story and process was featured in a recent HUD magazine article. A building permit was issued last week to renovate an existing 5-story apartment building and add three retail spaces. Two other, major building permits for Woodlawn Park were issued in the last four months, including for a new squash court and a 5-story senior housing building.

Send us your development news for the next newsletter in two weeks by replying to this message.

Site news

Here's what we've done to Chicago Cityscape recently:

  • We launched the beta version of Address Snapshot. It runs a bit slowly right now because it's gathering a lot of information about any Chicago address you input.
  • Due to member request, you can now filter building permits by year for any Place: try River West in 2012
  • View a ward Place and you'll see that alderman's contact information and a link to legislation they've introduced or co-sponsored
  • All memberships now have a free, 15-day trial
  • Members can draw their own search boundaries on our easy-to-use map; sign up now
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Events

Hack Night, downtown

Derek Eder and Demond Drummer on Tuesday, September 16, will tell the story of LargeLots.org, a site for residents in Greater Englewood and East Garfield Park to purchase vacant, city owned lots for $1.

They’ll cover the policy inception, the evolution of the website, lessons learned and what’s next for the site and the program. 

Open Gov Hack Night happens every Tuesday night at 6 PM in the IMSA room at 1871 on the 12th floor of the Merchandise Mart. RSVP because there's free food.

Logan Square

The Chicago Transit Authority will be renovating the entrances to the Logan Square Blue Line station as part of "Your New Blue" but also considering longer-term development at the station plaza and the north parking lot.

As part of this, CTA and the Chicago Departments of Transportaiton and Planning & Development will be holding three workshops with Metropolitan Planning Council in September.

Meetings will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays: September 16, and 30; at the Hairpin Arts Center, 2810 N. Milwaukee Ave, 2nd Floor.

Uptown

46th Ward Alderman James Cappleman is hosting a meeting about the CTA's Wilson Red Line station rebuilding on Tuesday, September 16 at 7 PM at Truman College, 1145 W. Wilson Ave.

Urban Land Institute, downtown

Steven Vance, the founder of Chicago Cityscape and author of these newsletters, will be speaking at an Urban Land Institute breakfast meeting on Thursday, September 18, about the role open data in tracking Chicago neighborhood developments. Register online.

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