A 10-unit townhouse development is set to be built on a parking lot at 6033 North Ave., following approval by the Oak Park Board of Trustees.

The board voted unanimously on June 3 to approve the project, with Trustee Jim Taglia recusing himself, disclosing to the board that he is the seller of the property. 

“I have no interest, financial or otherwise, in the buyer’s proposed project and plan to construct the townhouses,” Taglia said.

The project by Noah Properties includes two residential townhouse buildings, each with five units and parking for two vehicles per unit. 

The buildings will be just under 39 feet tall; units are projected to be sold for between $550,000 and $600,000.

The buildings are planned as 38-feet, 5-inches tall and include 2,400-square-foot units with 400-square-foot garages.

Nicholas Ftikas, an attorney with Sam Banks Law Offices representing the developer, said the units would each have three floors.

Judith Alexander, chair of the North Avenue District, said her organization supports the project.

“We’re already on record supporting more residential projects on North Avenue, where the supply of retail and office space exceeds market demand,” she said. “Residential development can help build a customer base for existing businesses, add more foot traffic and vitality to the district and reduce vacant lands like this property.”

She noted that a recent assessment by the Urban Land Institute identified the property as “an excellent location for a multi-family development.”

Trustee Arti Walker-Peddakotla said a “big problem” with developments coming online on North Avenue is that developers are not required to include affordable units in the buildings. 

“I want to get your opinion while you’re here: Is the [Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance] something that we need to revisit, so that we can include North Avenue such that any new developments that come to the board table have to have affordable housing set asides or meet the fee in lieu?” Walker-Peddakotla asked.

Alexander said she “respectfully” disagreed that the affordable housing ordinance should apply to North Avenue but did not elaborate.

“Let’s leave it at that; you don’t have to explain,” said Oak Park Mayor Anan Abu-Taleb. “It’s getting late. I just want to get it done.”

Trustee Deno Andrews gave a strong endorsement of the project, telling the board that “it’s the nicest thing to happen on that corner in 50 or 60 years or longer.”

tim@oakpark.com

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