Peoria building to become condos after community opposition
August 7, 2015
Developer LG Construction + Development is altering plans for its 111 S. Peoria Building at the request of the community.

Developer LG Construction + Development is altering plans for its 111 S. Peoria Building at the request of the community.

LG Construction + Development, which had wanted to build an apartment building at 111 S. Peoria St., now plans to build condominiums there, according to Neighbors of West Loop (NoWL).

“Condos are better than micro apartments,” said Bob Aiken of NoWL.

Community opposition to the original apartment building plans caused Alderman Walter Burnett (27th Ward) to withdraw his support for the project. Burnett said he would not support a zoning change needed for the apartment building and that the developers would have to come up with another idea. The site is zoned for office space and currently contains a parking lot. LG is seeking a zoning change from DS-3 (downtown service district) to DX-5 (downtown mixed use district).

The new condominium plans cut the proposed units by more than half; the apartment building’s high residential density was among features that had provoked community objections.

Burnett will hold another community meeting on Monday, Aug. 10, at Merit School of Music, 38 S. Peoria St., to discuss the project. The new plans include 95 condominiums (down from 206 apartments presented at the last community meeting) and 99 parking spaces, with an additional 42 spots available with tandem spaces and auto lifts. Also, the proposed building will stand nine stories high and feature a penthouse.

“It’s a whole new design,” said Michael Ezgur, attorney for LG. “It went from micro apartments, to a large apartment building, to condos.” The new building configuration was based on feedback from a community meeting in June. Ezgur said that the new condominiums are being built with families in mind. There will be a variety of sizes, “including a lot of three-bedroom and four bedrooms available,” he said.

Aiken said the plan originally called for 469 micro apartments. “I’m not sure that 469 was an actual number,” Aiken noted. “I think the developer was just looking to see what they could get away with. “

LG Development previously unveiled plans for a 13-story apartment building containing mostly studio and one-bedroom units, with some three- and four-bedroom units, and a rooftop pool.

The building now is expected to have fewer stories. The pool has been eliminated from plans as well, Aiken said, noting “there will be some decks” instead.

According to Ezgur, neighbors feared that a rooftop pool would invite partying. “LG listened,” he said. “They are willing to work with the community.”

In addition to the number and size of the apartments, people who lived nearby also objected to the building’s height and the fact that “it was going to be plot line to plot line,” said Aiken. The site is across the street from Mary Bartelme Park, which is bordered by townhouses and condominiums.

“I’m glad that the developer listened to the community,” said Patti Mocco, also of NoWL. “They’re going to do a 25-foot setback from Monroe Manor” nearby. Mocco also said LG must get approval from community organizations such as NoWL, the West Loop Community Organization, and the West Central Association. Mocco said that the community is not necessarily happy yet. “We have been trying to keep some sort of cap on heights in the West Loop,” she said.

Ezgur noted that, “LG completely reworked the concept and has come up with a building that is significantly shorter than first proposed and actually well below the unofficial, but generally accepted, height standard in the heart of the West Loop. Some might argue that this concept underutilizes a site that can easily handle more density for our city.”

For more information about the community meeting, contact Ezgur at (312) 327-3350 or mezgur@ascostaezgur.com or the West Loop Community Organization, which requests attendees to RSVP at (312) 666-1991 or Carla@westloop.org.

— Hayley Carlton