The proposed Concord at Sheridan development will move forward after gaining the Chicago Plan Commission’s approval at a May 18 meeting.
The Concord at Sheridan is a proposed mixed-use development that would be built on the 6400 block of North Sheridan Road and include a Target store, affordable and market-rate housing units and a new community space with a rooftop terrace for senior citizen residents of the adjacent Caroline Hedger Apartments.
The Chicago Plan Commission is responsible for reviewing proposed developments, sales and acquisitions of public land and certain long-term community plans, according to the City of Chicago’s website.
Three Corners Development Inc., which is leasing the space for the Concord at Sheridan, proposed that the Plan Commission rezone the space from a community shopping zone to a residential multi-unit zone so that housing can be built on the land.
The Chicago Housing Authority (CHA), which owns the property where the proposed development will be built, entered into a contingent agreement to develop the land with Three Corners Development Inc. in fall 2016.
The motion to approve the proposed development passed unanimously. Alderman Joe Moore from the 49th Ward, in which the development would be built, recused himself from the vote.
Some residents of Rogers Park, and several Caroline Hedger residents, have expressed concerns that the proposed development would push out local businesses and inconvenience senior citizens who use the current community space to socialize, The PHOENIX reported in February and April.
At the Plan Commission meeting, community members’ opinions were split. Those in favor of the proposed development said benefits include increased affordable housing and more jobs for both residents and students. Supporters also said Target’s presence could increase pedestrian foot traffic for nearby local businesses.
Penny Ottens, a 67-year-old Rogers Park resident, expressed support for the proposed development because she said she likes the affordable housing being put in. She said the Plan Commission’s approval was a “big win.”
“I hope we will have more of these kind of buildings because we really need them,” Ottens said. “We’ve lost a lot of housing in the last 10 to 20 years in Rogers Park.”
Those opposed, like 65-year-old Stephanie Hayes — one of several Caroline Hedger residents at the meeting — said Moore didn’t take the senior citizen residents’ opinions into consideration.
“[Moore] completely ignored any questions, any ideas,” Hayes said. “I’m angry. I’m disgusted.”
Moore announced his decision to support the proposed development in a statement on May 16, citing “overwhelming support of the community.”
“I support the proposed project for three reasons — it will provide much-needed affordable housing, create jobs and offer retail amenities not currently found in our community,” Moore’s statement read.
Despite the conflicting opinions at the meeting, Moore said he’s sure he has the Rogers Park community’s support.
“This is good for the goal of creating more affordable housing on Chicago’s North Side. It’s good for the goal that I have of building Rogers Park as a stable mixed-income community,” Moore said. “It’s ultimately going to be good for the Caroline Hedger residents, because they’re going to have a brand new community center replacing a community center that’s 50 years old.”
Moore’s statement said about 2,600 residents in Rogers Park signed a petition supporting the development, including about 60 Caroline Hedger residents.
While the exact number of residents in the Caroline Hedger Apartments is unknown, the building has more than 430 studio and one-bedroom apartments, according to the CHA.
Some businesses supporting the development include Anytime Fitness, Clarke’s and Third Coast Comics, according to the statement.
Loyola University Chicago also expressed support for the development.
Associate Vice President of Campus and Community Planning Jennifer Clark attended the meeting and voiced Loyola’s continued support of the proposed development, which she said has existed since an idea to develop the land was proposed last June.
“I think the main thing is [the development] will increase pedestrian foot traffic on Sheridan Road,” Clark said. “Filling that space in will help connect the business district both on the east and west side of the street and north and south of Devon [Avenue].”
Moore also addressed residents’ concerns in his statement, saying the Target will not have a major impact on traffic on Sheridan Road; a left turn lane is planned to help control the flow of vehicles. The Target store will be “flexible-format” — it will carry items not offered by local businesses — according to the statement.
The CHA promised to work with Caroline Hedger residents to determine the design of the new community room, according to the statement.
Now, the proposed development moves on to the Chicago City Council committee on zoning, where it will be reviewed on May 22.
Moore said he’s confident the proposal will pass the zoning committee.
Additional reporting by Carly Behm.