North Avenue News Since 8/28

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By Judith Alexander

I hope the following items are of interest. For more frequent updates, please Like and Follow us on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/NorthAvenueNeighborsAssociation/  And please join The North Avenue District's Facebook group and the discussion of how to revitalize North Ave. (Austin to Harlem) https://www.facebook.com/groups/107435609823334/?fref=mentions

 

BUSINESS, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND REAL ESTATE (On North Ave. between Austin and Harlem, even-numbered addresses are in Chicago, odd-numbered addresses are in Oak Park)

 

Sources say that NY-based Seritage takes control of the North/Harlem Sears site this month. Local companies will be interviewed to develop the site. The North/Harlem property is a prime site, given its size, corner location on two major thoroughfares, heavy bus passenger volume and proximity to CTA and Metra lines. Let's hope for development proposals worthy of the site's potential.

 

Prime Time Snacks is opening in the former SAV Electronics space at 7016 W North AveGood to see it wasn't vacant all that long.

 

The ugly turquoise stone facade on the former SEIU building  (7026 W. North Ave.) is gone. The new façade looks great!  Thank you Ben Pecaro and Total Nurses Network!

 

Actress Laura Linney loves Johnnie's, 7500 W. North Ave. in Elmwood Park.  http://www.oakpark.com/Community/Blogs/8-30-2017/'Ozark'-star-shows-Oak-Park-some-love/ I think their Italian beef is second only to Buona Beef (7025 W. North)

 

Massa Café, --7434 W. North in Elmwood Park--competed to be named the world's best gelato. http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/elmwood-park/news/ct-elm-world-gelato-tl-0907-20170901-story.html  I've never had better gelato than Massa's.  Can't wait to try Coco Sogno –their new coconut/chocolate/almond flavor (like an Almond Joy candy bar)—developed for the competition.

 

Passed inspection in Chicago: Hong Wing China Delight, 6618 W. North http://chicago.everyblock.com/food-inspections/sep18-hong-wing-china-delight-passed-inspection-8302207/?utm_campaign=digest&utm_medium=email&utm_source=digest, Nick Jr.'s Grill, 6856 W. North http://chicago.everyblock.com/food-inspections/sep19-nick-jr-s-grill-passed-inspection-8302247/?utm_campaign=digest&utm_medium=email&utm_source=digest, Subway, 6620 W. North http://chicago.everyblock.com/food-inspections/sep18-subway-passed-inspection-8302217/?utm_campaign=digest&utm_medium=email&utm_source=digest Touch by an Angel, 6222-6224 W. North http://chicago.everyblock.com/food-inspections/sep15-touch-by-angel-daycare-ii-passed-inspection-8309024/?utm_campaign=digest&utm_medium=email&utm_source=digest

 

GOVERNMENT/POLITICS

 

An 80-unit apartment project is proposed for the parcel previously occupied by US Bank, 6600-6700 W. North Ave. Ald. Taliaferro invites Galewood residents and everyone interested to a second community meeting to discuss the project at 6 pm on Wednesday, 8/11, Sayre Park fieldhouse, 6871 W. Belden in Chicago. https://www.facebook.com/29th.Ward.Alderman.Taliaferro/photos/pcb.774225922748272/774225696081628/?type=3&theater In general, The North Avenue District supports more residential development on North Ave.-- to reduce vacancies and to provide more customers for existing businesses.  We look forward to learning more about this proposed project.

 

If you have a business on North Avenue or live/work nearby, sign up for a 12-month DIVVY membership between now and October 31st and get 40% off. This will get you access to 580 Chicago-area bike stations, including 13 in Oak Park, for $59.99. Just log onto www.divvybikes.com and enter the code northave.  (Of course, the offer would be better if there were Oak Park Divvy stations north of Augusta...)

 

The Oak Park Board of Trustees approved a new zoning code that incorporates most of The North Avenue District's recommendations. Live/work dwellings (like artist's studios) are now permitted. Any business serving only alcohol (no food) is either prohibited or a special use (requiring special zoning approval). Massage parlors and secondhand dealers are now special uses as well. Currency exchanges, pawnshops and title/payday loan stores continue to be prohibited.  Sadly, existing businesses of these types are "grandfathered," so North Ave. is stuck with them for now. Pawnshops are specifically excluded from the "secondhand dealers" definition. A big thank you to Trustee Tucker and the whole board for their support in this matter.

 

Oak Park is considering a conversion to permit parking for the head-in metered spaces on N. Marion. This would provide employee parking, making more spaces available for North/Harlem strip mall customers. Most of the mall's businesses are in favor. I suggested that the Village solicit feedback from residents of the 1200 N. Marion block and issue short-term permits for some of the spaces. Let's see what happens. The building on the east corner is vacant and we don't know what kind of parking the next tenant will need.

 

It would be harder to obtain a massage parlor business license in Oak Park under new regulations being developed by Village staff.  A number of different requirements are under consideration.

 

Speed bumps have been requested by residents of the 1200 N. blocks of East, Columbian and Linden in Oak Park.

 

Oak Park has received an application to operate a daycare center at 6441 W. North. This is a special use In The North Avenue District, so the next step is review by the Zoning Board of Appeals.

 

The River Forest Board of Trustees wants to communicate better about their planned North Avenue TIF.http://www.oakpark.com/News/Articles/9-5-2017/Trustees-vow-to-communicate-better-on-North-Ave.-TIF/ In this editorial, the Wednesday Journal supports "well drawn, purposefully considered TIFs" in general and River Forest's communication plans in particular. http://www.oakpark.com/News/Articles/9-5-2017/Communicating-on-TIF/  Final approval is slated for early 2018.  Will this be a  Roosevelt Rd. replay?  Berwyn TIF'd its side and used it to attract businesses like Autre Monde, leaving the TIF-less Oak Park side more or less behind. Elmwood Park already has TIF'd its corner of North/Harlem (plus a block west and north of the corner).

 

THE NORTH AVENUE DISTRICT (T-NAD) The organization formerly known as the North Ave. Zoning and Development Advisory Committee (NAZDAC) became incorporated as The North Avenue District in October. But its goal remains the revitalization of North Avenue from Austin to Harlem.) You are cordially invited to join T-NAD's new Facebook group and be part of the discussion of how to revitalize North Ave. (Austin to Harlem) https://www.facebook.com/groups/107435609823334/?fref=mentions

 

If you have a business in The District (either on the north or south side of North Ave.), take advantage of the OPRF Chamber's new Poaster program.  Poaster works just like Groupon to promote your business at no charge to you. Just click on this link https://www.oprfchamber.org/form/view/10219, fill out and submit the form. The Chamber will send you an invitation to join, and coaching is available to help you take best advantage of the program. Here's a link to an article about Poaster: http://www.oakpark.com/Community/Blogs/9-10-2017/Poaster-is-Ready-to-Help-You-Shop-Local-and-Save/  If you're a resident, don't forget to download the free Poaster app and start saving when you shop and dine local.

 

At the September 5th meeting of the Oak Park Village Board, T-NAD requested that the new zoning code be revised to tighten definitions of "secondhand dealers" and "massage services".

 

As part of the OPRF Chamber's district project, work is underway on key phrases and visuals to help define a unique identity for The District. There will be a presentation/discussion sometime in the first half of November.

 

CRIME AND SAFETY

 

CHICAGO

 

The North Avenue Business Subcommittee meets on the 3rd Thursday of odd months; next meeting is on November 16 at 1:30 p.m. at the 25th District HQ (Grand and Central). The Business Liaison Officer is Officer James Mackin; (312) 746-5090,James.Mackin@chicagopolice.org.  The Business Subcommittee is a great way of working with Chicago police to make the North Avenue District safer and better.  CAPS (community policing) meetings for Beat 2513 (North to Armitage, Austin to Harlem) are held the fourth Tuesday every other month, 6:30-7:30 pm in the Amundsen Park fieldhouse, 6200 W. Bloomingdale.  Next meeting is Nov. 28Galewood residents and business/property owners are encouraged to attend.

 

OAK PARK

 

Zone meetings are held monthly at 7 pm.  Zone 1 meets on the month's third Tuesday at Hatch School.    Zone 2 meets on the first Tuesday at Mann SchoolNorth Oak Park residents and business/property owners are encouraged to attend.

 

In Zone 1, August crime was up slightly from July, but down substantially from 8/2016. In Zone 2, August crime was down from July and 8/16.  Crime was up YTD in both zones.

 

Residents report broken windows on East Ave. and on Harvey near North Ave. Stones from a slingshot are suspected.

 

There have been 50 late-night home burglaries since November '16. Burglars entered all these homes through unlocked back doors. Please make sure all doors are locked before turning in for the evening.

 

Citizens are urged to report any suspicious activity to the Police Department's Anonymous Crime Tip Hot Line at 708.434.1636. Anonymous tips also can be made online at www.oak-park.us/crimetipPlease notify Public Works (publicworks@oak-park.us or 708-358-5700) to report street lights out, pot holes, dead animal carcasses, gym shoes on cable/telephone wires, signs in parkways, etc.

 

 

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