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After Neighbors Reject Attempts To Turn Edgewater Auto Lot Into Apartments, Another Developer Steps Forward

Block Club Chicago

EDGEWATER – A second developer tries to move apartments to a car lot in Edgewater after Ald. Harry Osterman (48th) rejected an earlier proposal for a larger building on the site.

Developer and Edgewater local Peter Nicholas is seeking approval for a repurposing to convert the closed auto sales lot at 5828 N. Broadway into a four-story building with 12 apartments and retail space on the ground floor.

The building would have 1,350 square meters of retail space, plus 10 parking spaces for cars and 20 for bicycles. There would be three one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartments; three two-bedroom, one-bathrooms; and six two-bedroom, two-bathrooms.

Two of the units would be considered affordable. The development is required to have 20 percent affordable units, which comes out to 2.4 units. Nicholas said he will pay a fee to meet the remaining requirement.

This is the second development proposal since the end of last year and the third since 2019 to build on the car lot.

In November, developer Joe Lyons revealed plans to bring a five-story, 20-unit building to the 5828 N. Broadway location. The project would have had parking for 11 cars and space for a street-side art gallery in lieu of retail space.

Osterman turned down that proposal after it failed to gain the support of five local block clubs. Neighbors opposed the project because it exceeded the four-story height limit that residents implemented in a Broadway downzoning 15 years ago.

Neighbors also opposed construction of the project because of the lot lines and lack of retail space.

In 2019, Lyons sought to develop the property and adjacent building housing Ardmore Glass & Mirror. But the glass shop did not want to leave and the project was halted.

RELATED: Edgewater Car Lot won’t be a 5-storey block of flats after neighbors tell councilor to block and he agrees

Credit: Courteysy 48th Ward Office
An earlier proposal aimed to convert the used car park into an apartment building with 20 units.

Nicholas, who is both an architect and developer, said he has created a project that he believes can meet neighbours’ standards.

The project meets the west side of the Broadway height limit, but it will require repurposing to allow for the desired density. With the new proposed zoning, Nicholas could propose as many as 17 units, he said in a presentation to neighbors.

Nicholas is also seeking transit-oriented development status for his project so that he can offer 10 parking spaces instead of the required 12. Neighbors asked for more parking, but that would jeopardize the retail space neighbors also want, he said.

A building that was less dense or included more affordable units would not be economically viable, Nicholas said.

“I don’t think this is good for the community,” Nicholas said of the vacant lot. “I think we need to add something to the urban fabric.”

The proposal has won the support of the Broadway-Ardmore-Ridge-Glenwood-Early block club – known as BARGE – as well as some of the neighbors who spoke at the development’s community meeting last week.

BARGE officials appreciate the four-story height and the inclusion of retail space, Mike Anderson, president of BARGE, told Osterman.

“I think the two affordable units are better than the parking lot we have today,” a neighbor said at the meeting.

Saturday there was an open house at the site of the planned development. Osterman has not yet publicly announced whether he will support the repurposing of the project.

Credit: Courtesy of Nicholas Design Collaborative Ltd
A view of the rear of the proposed building to replace a car lot at 5828 N. Broadway.

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