Rendering provided by 717 South Boulevard LLC

Plans have emerged for a five-story, 14-unit, mixed-use condo development near the corner of South Boulevard and Oak Park Avenue.

Art Gurevich, principal of 717 South Boulevard LLC, tells Wednesday Journal the building façade incorporates face brick, limestone and decorative panels. It will include 20 off-street parking spots and will stand 55-feet tall and have enough space for a ground-floor commercial space, he said.

“We’re going to build a very attractive building of high quality,” Gurevich said.

The site at 717 South Blvd. is currently an empty lot. It sits within Oak Park’s Ridgeland Historic District, which includes roughly 1,500 contributing historic structures built from the mid-19th to early 20th centuries, prompting a review from Oak Park’s Historic Preservation Commission. The proposal was presented to the commission on March 23 by local architect John Schiess.

Doug Kaarre, Oak Park Village Hall’s staff liaison to the commission, said the proposal was presented to the commission, but no action was taken. The development is expected to be discussed at the commission’s next meeting on April 14, Kaarre said.

Gurevich said the next stop for the proposal is with the village’s Plan Commission, which will consider variances the project will need from the village’s zoning ordinance. The size of the location currently only allows for 10 units and requires 21 off-street parking spots.

Gurevich said they might need a variance for the height of the building as well. He said best-case scenario the project would begin construction in mid- to late summer.

“We’ll finish the masonry before winter if we’re lucky,” he said.

 Working on that timeline could mean a model unit could be ready to show by spring 2017, he said.

This is not the first project for Gurevich and business partner Marko Boldun. They also are responsible for completing the SoHo townhouse project at the corner of Home Avenue and South Boulevard. That project went unfinished for years and was eventually bought by Gurevich and company. He said there is only one of 17 townhomes left to sell.

“We’ve had good success at Home Avenue and South Boulevard,” he said. “We are excited to be there.”

Gurevich said he was interested in the 717 South Blvd. property because of its proximity to the Chicago Green Line stop at the intersection and the Oak Park Avenue shopping district.

He said the company already has several banks interested in the project, so financing construction – expected to cost about $3 million – is not a problem.

This isn’t the first attempt to build on the site.

Schiess was part of a development team in the mid-2000s working to build a larger condo development that would have included 42 condominiums. A Wednesday Journal story from 2008 noted that the Oak Park Plan Commission wasn’t sold on Schiess’ design in 2007, and that architect Victor Dziekiewicz returned the following year with “a more striking idea for the building.”

The Plan Commission recommended the plan for what would have been known as The Avenue Club, but the project fizzled in the subsequent real estate market crash.

The L-shaped Avenue Club building would have wrapped around the corner building at Oak Park Avenue and South Boulevard and would, have been much larger than what’s being proposed for 717 South Blvd.


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