The proposed Concord at Sheridan development will move forward to the City Council after gaining the approval of the Chicago City Council Committee on Zoning, Landmarks and Building Standards at a May 22 meeting.
The proposed mixed-use development would provide a Target store, affordable and market-rate housing and a new community space for the senior citizens at the adjacent Caroline Hedger Apartments on the 6400 block of North Sheridan Road.
The development went to the Zoning Committee after approval from the Chicago Plan Commission at a meeting on May 18.
Vocal Rogers Park residents and Caroline Hedger residents spoke out on the proposed development to the committee.
Baxter Swilley, a long-time Rogers Park resident and former candidate for lieutenant governor of Illinois, spoke in favor of the development. Swilley and his supporters presented 1,800 signatures from Rogers Park residents, 59 signatures from Caroline Hedger residents and nearly 2,600 signatures overall, including various surrounding neighborhoods
“We are very excited about the widespread support for this project,” Swilley said.
Several Caroline Hedger residents, who live adjacent to the proposed 79-foot building, were opposed to the development. Many cited grievances such as the elevated noise, dust levels and limited access to their community room during construction.
Stephanie Hayes, a 66-year-old Caroline Hedger resident, said she was frustrated over the proposal.
“They aren’t concerned about us. My health is in jeopardy because of all the dust and the dirt,” Hayes said. “It’s like they’re thinking, ‘Throw them aside because they’re old.’ It’s horrible.”
Following the testimonies of community members, Alderman Joe Moore (49th Ward) emphasized the importance of affordable housing provided by the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA). The proposed development would provide 111 units of housing, 65 of which would be affordable public housing.
“It is not something I felt pressured to do,” Moore said. “It was the right thing to do.”
Moore said the development is a unique public-private partnership in which 60 percent of the units will be for the CHA’s affordable housing, while Three Corners Development, a private developer, will rent out the other 40 percent for market-rate housing.
The CHA also owns 40 percent of the Target partnership and 40 percent of the development fee, according to Chicago’s 49th Ward website. The entire development is estimated to earn $650,000 per year.
With Three Corners Development’s partnership, the CHA has the ability to fund the Concord at Sheridan development and support other affordable housing projects in other parts of the city.
“I hope this development is emulated across the city, especially in the North Side,” said Moore. “We want to make Rogers Park an example of a successful mixed-income community. This project helps us in our goal of doing just that.”
Following the committee meeting, several Sheridan development supporters celebrated outside the Council Chambers.
“I think Alderman Moore did a fabulous job of outlining the myriad of benefits that this mixed-use development brings to not only Rogers Park, but the North Side as well,” said Kathleen Engman, an activist for affordable housing in the 8th Ward and 30-year Evanston resident.
Bob Fuller, Moore’s legislative aide, said the decision to move forward on the development will not be final until it is approved by the City Council. Fuller said he believes that the proposed development will most likely pass at the June 28 meeting.
Still needing the City Council’s approval and construction permits, Fuller said the earliest date of completion for the development would be Fall 2018.