Five-story condo building proposed for Chicago and N. Maple

Developer would need variances for height and open space requirements

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By Timothy Inklebarger

Staff Reporter

Real estate development firm Altierra Development Group is proposing a five-story, 11-unit condominium development at the corner of Chicago and N. Maple Ave. 
The development group gave a presentation to neighbors Wednesday evening, detailing the plan for the Residences at Maple Place. 
Oak Park real estate developer Paul Zimmermann said the development, which would stand 62 feet tall, would be marketed to homeowners looking to downsize from larger homes. 
Each unit in the white and gray brick structure will include two heated parking spaces and 8- by 15-foot recessed balconies. 
Parking will be placed on the ground floor, and will not include ground-level retail. The development is expected to take 18 months to complete if village hall approves the project, said developer Jonathan Shack.
Altierra will take its proposal to Monday's village hall meeting, and then to the village's Plan Commission for consideration. 
In order to build the project as proposed, developers will need a variance to include the fifth floor of the building. Existing code allows for four stories. 
The group also will need a variance on a village code requirement that such developments include 25 percent open space. The proposal presented to neighbors would use the full lot.


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Bill Dwyer  

Posted: April 3rd, 2014 7:51 AM

Hopefully the plan commission and village board will take a hard look at 'variance' and what's intended by that term and realize that this isn't so much a variance as a case of ignoring the building codes. No open space at all? And a 20 percent addition to allowable height? Why even have a building code then?

Colleen from Oak Park  

Posted: April 2nd, 2014 11:24 PM

Here we go again. If we want Oak Park to stay Oak Park we need to stop building inappropriately. That space doesn't warrant that size of building. Take a look at the building on Homes and South St. Do we need more of this in our neighborhood? Village we are counting on you to protect Oak Park's legacy. That's an honor not a job.

Bill Lewis from Oak Park  

Posted: March 16th, 2014 12:34 AM

Agree with Variance This. The village would do well to work within the code it established. This is 3 blocks north of WhiteCo's elephant. Do we need Dumbo to compliment it?

Variance This  

Posted: March 14th, 2014 10:08 PM

Ridiculous. A variance should be used for circumstances that have a minor impact on the character of a neighborhood. Adding 25% more height than is allowed under current zoning is shocking. Build it within code. If you don't like the code, work to change the code.

Retail from Oak Park   

Posted: March 14th, 2014 4:11 PM

This is a retail district - retail on bottom floor and housing above. No variance for height. The reason it needs several large variances is because it doesn't "fit" the retail nature of the area. This is a bad idea being proposed by inexperienced developers.

bestforoakpark from oak park  

Posted: March 14th, 2014 2:21 PM

I go by that block all the time and it's been an eyesore for a long time. I was at the meeting on Wed. and the building looks like it will be nice. One of the other attendees floated the idea of a green wall and that seemed like a neat idea. Not sure where other commenters are coming up with a ghetto project. It seems like it will be upscale to me.

Bill from Oak Park  

Posted: March 14th, 2014 12:25 PM

White and gray brick building? So 2014. I don't live anywhere near the FLW district, but do believe it is time for the village to adopt design guidelines. We live in one of the 10 most significant architectural towns in the US and don't think we've had one significant building constructed in the last 60 years. Lincoln Park west...

sometimes codes should change/ease  

Posted: March 14th, 2014 11:59 AM

I agree, give them a variance for height, but there should be retail facing Chicago Avenue.

Frank L W from Street of Dreams  

Posted: March 14th, 2014 11:22 AM

Frank did not have a problem with 50 percent open space and grand appoinments. An oversized cement box may make more money but ... This is the FLW District. 300 yards from the Home and Studio. We can do this. Build a piece of beauty. Lets Live!

OP Transplant  

Posted: March 14th, 2014 10:33 AM

Modify the proposal to be consistent with code, and I don't see any problem. The goal of the variance appears to be jamming more people in, which I don't see as positive for the community.

The Brad from OP  

Posted: March 14th, 2014 8:59 AM

This appears to be a very nice proposal. The 2000-3000 sf floor plans are larger than my single family home in the FLW District. I too believe there's a market and a need for high-end condos in the mid-center area of OP. I support this as long as long as it is not marketed as a mixed-income or subsidized affordable housing, which there is no indication that it will be.

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: March 14th, 2014 2:38 AM

I just looked at the floor plans. Two units (on the second floor) are 2,000 square feet, while the other nine (on the third-fifth floors) are 3,000 square feet. All three-bedrooms, all with two parking spaces. The bigger ones have an additional bathroom (3 instead of 2), a separate dining room, and another room that could be used as a media room/office/study/bedroom.

No thanks  

Posted: March 13th, 2014 11:34 PM

I live 2 blocks away and smell a disaster in the works. I live in a multi-family dwelling nearby. For 5 years I have seen gates and weeds for no reason. Who has been sitting on this property?. NOT a good location for downsizing. Not quiet, not serene. Hello, Harlem is 300ft away, not to mention the bottleneck of Marion/Chicago Ave. Good luck future investors you are wearing rose colored glasses.

Bruce DeViller from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: March 13th, 2014 10:50 PM

"the development...would be marketed to homeowners looking to downsize from larger homes." more than implies that the targeted buyers can afford a home...or a condo, with heated parking.

Diane Fascione from Oak Park  

Posted: March 13th, 2014 9:08 PM

I'm tired of developers getting zoning code variances. Let the building be 4 stories, not 5. Let there be open space.

long time resident  

Posted: March 13th, 2014 8:49 PM

Building codes exist for a reason. If the developer wants to build a multi unit building - fine. But do it within the existing code. There's no mention of what the units would rent/sell for. Would they be affordable? Or would this development end up as just another high- priced concrete block that is both ugly and empty? I give this project a "thumbs down."

Suzanne Vestuto from Oak Park  

Posted: March 13th, 2014 8:29 PM

OPDad -Did not want to say something that would have these comments shut down. Having worked for the VOP & our Fair Housing Ordinance for thirty years, I found your comment discriminatory on so many levels. One can have freedom of speech in a civilized manner.

Dan Lauber from River Forest  

Posted: March 13th, 2014 7:13 PM

Ghetto housing? Come on. That's pretty darned bigoted. More realistically, the village likely cannot legally grant these variances because any alleged hardship is self-created. See Section 2-2 of the Oak Park Zoning Code. I'm sure, however, that some officials will twist the law beyond recognition to approve these unwarranted variances.

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: March 13th, 2014 7:06 PM

"Ghetto housing?" Why do you say that, OPDad? This is an 11-unit condo building being proposed. Are only single-family dwellings deemed classy enough for you?

Suzanne Vestuto from Oak Park  

Posted: March 13th, 2014 7:06 PM

This type of unit with covered, heated parking & balconies is idle for OP. OPDad should STOP. Don't start negativity! Since college, I have been here 42 years in three appts. on Harrison St. & now, finally, have a modest condo, actually not far from the aforementioned development. Not everyone wants or can afford a home. With the economy finally picking up, let's be positive about new condos coming to town near restaurants & businesses, given the proper permits. Thank you!


Posted: March 13th, 2014 4:19 PM

More ghetto housing. Yay!

Keep The Density Near Lake  

Posted: March 13th, 2014 3:51 PM

Like developer Sertus, another developer claiming it needs a height variance to make their math work. This is about their degree of profit, plain and simple. I sure hope the neighbors ask this question of the developers.

Bridgett from Oak Park  

Posted: March 13th, 2014 12:30 AM

Are you talking about the SW corner? The currently empty lot, next to Doggie Day Play? Just trying to picture the location.

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