Developer resurrects St. Boniface housing

Development stalled at St. Boniface Church after EVA worked to halt demolition in 1999.

East Village Association minutes for Jan. 4, 2016, by Michael VanDam

Business minute

Peter Gariepy, a local accountant, recently opened a branch of a small St. Louis-based accounting firm in the neighborhood. Specializing in bookkeeping, tax return prep and payroll for small businesses, Rajesh C. Vora, CPA is equipped to handle a wide variety of accounting tasks.

Gariepy works independently in Chicago, supported by a seven-person team in St. Louis. His goal is to make accounting “paperless and painless.” Gariepy can be reached at

Planning Preservation & Development

Ace Hardware condo development: No update.

Cleos late-night liquor application: Scott Floersheimer, owner of the bar at 1935 W, Chicago Ave., is scheduled to appear Jan. 19 with the Chicago Grand Neighbors Association and at the Feb. 1 EVA meeting.


Molly Murray moved out of the 12th district. Joe Galanti will be the new community-policing coordinator. He can be reached at EVA is looking for someone to serve as its new CAPS coordinator.

Leona’s update

Research continues on the history of the Leona’s building to back up the case for landmark status. Any information should be forwarded to Steve Niketopolous at Ald. Brian Hopkins' office.

New business

St. Boniface: Carefree Development Corp., which was going to develop senior housing at 1358 W. Chestnut St., is now looking to sell the church property to a developer with experience in historic preservation for market-rate housing. Ald. Walter Burnett Jr. supports the process.

Niketopolous announced plans to extend the Wood Street bicycle lane to the 606 trail.

Meeting called to order at 7:08pm at Happy Village, 1059 N. Wolcott Ave.

Neighborhood school head count slips

Wells High School is at one-third capacity in a school district analysis.

East Village Association board minutes for Jan. 11, 2016, by Michael VanDam

Cleos late-night license

Cleos' application for a 4am liquor license has been submitted. That implies signatures have been collected from 50% of registered voters living within 500 feet of the establishment at 1935 W. Chicago Ave.

Scott Floersheimer, owner of Cleos, will be meeting Jan. 19 with Chicago Grand Neighbors Association. Ald. Proco Joe Moreno is scheduled to attend as well. CGNA is unsure what its position will be with Cleos. Neal McKnight will submit a FOIA request for the application and relevant support material.

Ace Hardware condo development

Brian Foote has requested additional information about the project at 1023 N. Ashland Ave. Developers of the former Ace Hardware site should be prepared to present plans at the Feb. 1 EVA general meeting.


Stephen Rynkiewicz discussed the recent Chicago Public Schools utilization figures. Wells High School, 936 N. Ashland Ave., is at just 33% of capacity. LaSalle II magnet school, Otis and Talcott are under-enrolled, while Columbus and Pritzker meet targets. A number of “welcoming schools” that received students from schools closed in 2013 are on the enrollment “watch list."

West Town school enrollment falls short: CPS report

West Town schools don't have enough students, according to a Chicago Public Schools assessment, with 11 of 16 schools considered "underutilized."

Wells High School, 936 N. Ashland Ave., is at one-third capacity, the analysis says. The neighborhood high school for East Village is angling for designation as a citywide language academy to fill classrooms. In the past, CPS also has addressed space needs by removing temporary structures and "co-locating" separately run schools in the same building.

Another designated neighborhood high school, Clemente at 1147 N. Western Ave., was rated only 24% full. Chicago Arts, Prologue and Ogden high schools also on the underutilized list.

Two East Village elementary schools that feed Wells also are deemed "underutilized," with Talcott at 58% and Otis at 63%. Chopin, De Diego and Lozano also are on the low-enrollment list. At 120% of targeted enrollment, Columbus is rated "efficient." So is Mitchell, at 83% capacity.

EVA members review Ace on Ashland condo plan

The construction fence shows a building design for the former Ace Hardware site.

Developers of a condominium building will ask East Village Association members Monday to support a zoning change at the former Ace Hardware site, 1023 N. Ashland Ave.

Owner Ross Babel plans a new four-story building with first-floor commercial-retail tenants and 33 condo units. The floor plan requires B2-3 zoning; the lot's now B1-2. Attorney Sara K. Barnes calls the upzone "more compatible" with buildings to the east and west.

After reviewing early plans, members of EVA's development committee suggested adding 3-bedroom units for a more diverse mix. Here's how the units now stack up in size:

  • 6 – 1 bedroom, 1.5 bath (720 square feet).
  • 9 – 2 bedroom, 1 bath (850 square feet).
  • 6 – 2 bedroom, 2 bath (920 square feet).
  • 6 – 2 bedroom, 2 bath (950 square feet).
  • 6 – 3 bedroom, 2 bath (1,280 square feet).

The plan earmarks two 2-bedrooms units as affordable to median-income buyers. Rules in place when the project started would normally require four affordable units for this size building.

A vote is expected after the developer's presentation, at 7pm in Happy Village, 1058 N. Wolcott Ave.

Cleos makes case for late-night license

The Cleos street view extends from 1935 W. Chicago Ave. to the building next door.

A late-night license at Cleos pub, 1935 W. Chicago Ave., will be reviewed at the Feb. 1 East Village Association meeting.

Cleos managing partner Scott Floersheimer will make his case, which is likely to echo his Jan. 19 presentation to the Chicago Grand Neighbors Association at Output lounge, 1758 W. Grand.

Ald. Proco Joe Moreno's office requested the CGNA review; an EVA vote is not scheduled. Both Moreno and Chicago Police Cmdr. Edward J. Kulbida must approve the license.

Kulbida also seeks neighborhood feedback. Residents can contact Sgt. Rebecca Arguelles, who reviews liquor applications, by e-mail or at 312-746-8306. The 1st Ward office can be reached via email or at 773-278-0101. THe Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, which issues liquor licenses, is at 312-744.6249.

Building may incorporate Leona's storefront

Volunteers are researching construction of the closed Leona's glazed-brick front.

East Village Association minutes for Dec. 7, 2015, by Michael VanDam

Business Minute

Aussie Pet Mobile provides mobile pet grooming services to the larger West Town area. In addition to offering his services, owner Tim Shannon is looking for experienced groomers to join his team.

Planning, Preservation & Development

Leona’s update: While the Landmark Commission did not designate the Leona’s property at 1936-44 W. Augusta Blvd. as significant and contributing to the East Village district, Ald. Brian Hopkins continues to work to preserve the building, and EVA members are researching its history. While the developers’ final plans have not been released, they may try to integrate the fa├žade into the final project.