Development plans to turn a Wicker Park gas station into a chain hotel, a medical device facility into a catering business, and a vacant Humboldt Park church into a residential housing complex are just some of the many items slated for the City Council’s Zoning Committee today.
George Nediyakalayil, President of Gas Depot, is behind a proposal to turn the Shell gas station he owns on the corner of Ashland and North Avenues (1551 West North Ave) into a seven-story hotel with 99 rooms and 50 parking spaces. Ald. Brian Hopkins (2) held a community meeting on the proposed hotel earlier this month, but according to DNAinfo, the freshman alderman will likely defer the plan until a traffic study is completed. (#02015-5308)
The proposal to turn a Drummond Industries plastic injection molding company on 2600-18 North Cicero Ave. into a catering company was filed by Swell Chicago, LLC. Jonadab Silva, the registered owner of the limited liability company, co-owns Cooked, a restaurant in Evanston that delivers fresh and healthy meals to customers in Chicago, the North Suburbs and the Northwest Suburbs. Drummond Industrieswill retain ownership of the subject property, and there isn’t any new development planned for the site. Silva has requested a zoning change from a Neighborhood Shopping District (B1-1) to a Neighborhood Commercial District (C1-1) so that he can transform the existing, two-story, 15,000 sq ft structure into a catering business that will serve liquor. (#02015-5310)
Michael Kaplun and Mikhail Skoulsky want to transform the vacant Sure Foundation Ministry Baptist Church on 1300 N. Artesian Ave. into a six-unit residential building. The church, located on the border of Humboldt and Wicker Park, was put up for sale in 2012. Kaplun and Skoulsky will keep the structure of the mid-sized church intact, according to the zoning application they filed with the city under the name 1300 N. Artesian LLC. (#02015-5309)
One item on the agenda that will likely get withdrawn today is a proposed charter school on the southwest side of Rosehill Cemetery in the 40th Ward. Intrinsic Charter Schools applied for a zoning change for 5501-5525 N. Western Ave., so it could build an approximately 120,000 sq ft, 7-12 grade school with an adjoining athletic field and parking lot. But according to a letter Ald. Pat O’Connor sent to his constituents in July, the charter school network is no longer interested in the site and will look for another location on the Northwest Side. (#02015-4643)
And speaking of schools, Ald. Anthony Beale (9) has an application to reclassify the former John G. Shedd Elementary School from a residential zoned district to a manufacturing district. It was one of the schools the Board of Education voted to close in 2013. Beale reportedly sent out this letter and held a recent community meeting on the zoning change. (# O2015-4721)
Several large scale development items listed on the deferred agenda, like a new Whole Foods in Lakeview and an angular glass office tower in the Downtown Loop, got the green light from the Plan Commission last week and are expected to get a vote today.
There are also nearly a dozen Mayoral appointments and reappointments to the City’s various land use boards listed on today’s agenda, including:
- Gabriel Ignacio Dziekiewicz as member of Commission on Chicago. He is the president and principal of design for DesignBridge, an architecture, interior design and graphic design firm. Prior to joining DesignBridge, Gabriel worked for two Chicago architectural firms, Solomon Cordwell Buenz and Destefano+Partners, Ltd., where he worked on the design for One South Dearborn, the downtown office tower where law firm Sidley Austin, LLP is headquartered.
- Juan G. Moreno as member of Commission on Chicago Landmarks. He is the president and founder of JGMA (Juan Gabriel Moreno Architects), a self-described progressive architecture and design firm founded in 2010 and based in Chicago. Moreno was born in Bogota, Columbia and studied architecture at California State Polytechnic University Pomona.
- Carmen A. Rossi as member of Commission on Chicago Landmarks. She is a commercial lawyer and restaurateur. She owns the Hubbard Inn in River North and Barn & Co. in Lincoln Park.
- Blake P. Sercye as member of Zoning Board of Appeals. He is a litigator for corporate law firm Jenner & Block and also has a pro-bono practice in Austin that focuses on fair housing, prisoner rights and criminal defense. Sercye was unsuccessful in his bid for the Cook County Board of Commissioners last year, despite high profile endorsements from Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. He served on the Illinois Medical District Commission and Chicago’s Community Development Commission.