LaSalle II Magnet School
Before a meeting with Chicago Public Schools administrators, Neal McKnight issued a board statement seeking commitments for 50% of at-large admissions to neighborhood students at LaSalle II, 1148 N. Honore, and for retention of the foreign-language curriculum. The neighborhood quota, negotiated by former Ald. Manny Flores at the school's opening, has yet to be implemented.
Architect Jon Heinert shows designs for 1601 W. Division.
PNC Bank/Pizza Hut site
Four more floors of apartments have been added to plans for the former Pizza Hut property at 1601-15 W. Division St. The 11-story building would rise to 120 feet, compared to 80 feet for the CVS Pharmacy building at 1200 N. Ashland Ave.; rooftop mechanicals for two elevator shafts bring the height to 140 feet.
Wicker Park's Coyote building, the Northwest Tower at 1608 N. Milwaukee Ave., is 12 stories tall; across the Polish Triangle, Noble Square Cooperative at 1165 N. Milwaukee Ave. spans 28 stories. "We feel this site in a way is addressing the Triangle in a more direct way," said developer Rob Buono, noting the contrast with CVS, a former bank building. "We want something iconic."
EVA directors suggested that more window glass and warmer colors would relieve the stark look of staggered gray panels shown in the concept drawings, and would make the apartment tower appear less institutional. Designs will change further as contractors review material choices, Buono noted.
The development would have 110 to 119 studio to 2-bedroom apartments. Parking provisions have not changed, with Wendy's on board to share its lot. The elevator tower's west face might frame a tall billboard: an art project promoting a tenant.
Finished plans likely will be presented to EVA members March 5 before Chicago Plan Commission review. Ald. Proco Joe Moreno will pursue a median prohibiting turns from westbound traffic.
Scott Rappe said the Chicago Department of Transportation is considering a potential kiosk vendor at the Triangle. Buono is interested in contributing to a "significant" Polish Triangle improvement.
EVA will address the Chicago Liquor Control Commission to oppose licenses along Ashland and Damen avenues, where package-goods license moratoriums were lifted without residents' input.
The Chicago Grand Neighbor's Association is concerned about curbside service at Red Apple Convenience Store, 2000 W. Chicago Ave., where no package-goods restrictions were in place. Greg Nagel moved and Tom Tomek seconded a motion to oppose curb service; Nagel withdrew the motion after discussion.
West Town Special Service Area 29
Program manager Katharine Wakem said plans to expand the tax district had been scaled back after review. EVA directors suggested scrapping expansion along predominantly residential Damen Avenue. Greg Nagel asked that the SSA present the revised proposal to EVA members.
The Ruxbin group has withdrawn plans for a package license following suggestions from Rappe that would accommodate a restaurant bar at 851 N. Ashland Ave.
Chicago Avenue pedestrian street
Ald. Moreno plans a public hearing on extending Pedestrian Street rules along Chicago Avenue between Damen Avenue and Wood Street. Neal McKnight will set up a meeting with the owner of 1834-50 W. Chicago Ave., which has been razed; Rappe will circulate a letter on the issue.
13th District police station
Station house closing is postponed while asbestos mitigation delays completion of the replacement facility, Tom Tomek said.
Roots Handmade Pizza/Bleeding Heart Bakery Cafe
EVA members at the Dec. 5 holiday party surveyed the Bleeding Heart rooftop deck at 1924 W. Chicago Ave. Managing partner Scott Weiner has committed to limits on truck traffic.
East Village branding
Wakem and board members compared notes on sign installation vendors and on ways to facilitate communication among neighborhood and business groups.
Jan. 9 meeting
OhSoWe.com founder Chuck Templeton is guest speaker; 7pm at Happy Village, 1059 N. Wolcott.
Attending at Leona's Restaurant, 1936 W. Augusta: Officers Greg Nagel, Neal McKnight, Kok Keng Goh; directors Aaron Bilton, Scott Rappe, Stephen Rynkiewicz, Tom Tomek; guests Rolando Acosta, Rob Buono, Jon Heinert, Peter Locke, Katharine Wakem. Called to order 6:35 pm, adjourned 8:43 pm.