Next high-rise could be neighbors with Unity Temple

Golub & Company plans Nov. 8 meeting with condo association

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By Timothy Inklebarger

Staff Reporter

Oak Park's next big luxury high-rise apartment building could be constructed on the site of the U.S. Bank branch drive-thru and a parking lot at 835 Lake St. – less than a half-block away from Frank Lloyd Wright's Unity Temple at 875 Lake St.

The proposal is by Golub & Company, the same developer that built the 21-story, 270-unit Vantage Apartments, 150 Forest Ave., in 2016.

The proposal came to light after Golub called a meeting with residents of the adjacent Courtland Condominiums, located to the east. That meeting will take place in the small ballroom at the Carleton Hotel, 1110 Pleasant St., at 7 p.m. on Nov. 8.

Golub senior vice president Michael Glazier could not immediately be reached for comment, but spokesman Jim Prescott said in a telephone interview that the meeting was being held as a courtesy to Courtland residents.

He said neither the press nor the public were invited to attend.

"We're trying to be respectful and courteous, and those conversations are private," he said.

Prescott added that there will be a public process, and "there will be ample opportunity for public input and comment, but we're not there yet."

He declined to discuss any details about the building's height, size or number of units.

Prescott did reveal that Golub representatives have had "informal discussions" with the Oak Park Economic Development Corporation. The developer has not submitted any formal plans to the village, he said.

Courtland residents were notified by its condo board in a letter, which states that "the village informed us that a developer is submitting a proposal to construct a high-rise, luxury rental building on the (parking) lot" on the west side of the condo building.

"If their proposal, along with the requested variances, is approved by the village and the relevant commissions, construction could begin in late 2019," the letter to Courtland residents notes.

The letter further states that Glazier and Golub's civic affairs consultant and architect will attend the meeting. A public hearing for all residents of Oak Park will be held in late November, according to the letter.

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Josh Vanderberg  

Posted: November 12th, 2018 4:01 PM

Could somebody define 'architecturally stunning'? . Somebody gave District House as an example. Meh. It's not ugly. Wanna cookie? Architecture is *highly* subjective. Many people though the Unity Temple was an absolutely awful architectural addition to Oak Park. So, pardon me if I think the calls for world class architecture, are just crypto-Nimbyism. It'll never be good enough.

Zachary Wagner  

Posted: November 12th, 2018 9:51 AM

Agreed. Architectural significance would be key. That has easily been the biggest downside to the recent construction. I love the added density, but I see the point of some of the critics who have said that these developments don't quite live up to OP's architectural legacy. The one happy exception has been the District House at Euclid and Lake. And I do think that Albion has the potential to be at least visually interesting, though probably not visually noteworthy. We'll see how the facade and details come together. Fingers crossed.

Nicholas Kalogeresis from Oak Park  

Posted: November 11th, 2018 5:37 PM

Mike Hanline- the Oak Hotel is hardly bland architecture when one sees the other buildings being built.

Mark Ruehl from Oak Park  

Posted: November 9th, 2018 5:46 PM

That's a great place for a tax generatiing property, but I agree with Eric, make it architecturally stunning.

Mike Hanline  

Posted: November 9th, 2018 1:11 PM

@Al Doesn't mention it's part of this particular project, but as it was sold last May to developers for $4M, something is going on with it.

Al Rossell  

Posted: November 8th, 2018 11:21 AM

I dont think the Oak Hotel is part of the referenced project. Am I in error?

Jeff Schroeder from oak park  

Posted: November 8th, 2018 8:57 AM

We lived in the Courtland Condominium building back in the 1980's. As I recall, most of the residents relied on the village owned lot behind the bank drive thru for their parking. Will that be gone also, along with this new building? I would think that would significantly devalue the condos.

Mike Hanline  

Posted: November 8th, 2018 8:53 AM

My $0.02. As someone who lives and owns property on this block, I'm all for it. Anything is better than the bland ugliness of the bank and the Oak Hotel next door.

Eric Davis  

Posted: November 8th, 2018 8:28 AM

If this is indeed going forward, important caveat, NOW can we have a civic conversation about how it's in the village's economic interest to buy the developer a world-class architect, to create another Building Worth Coming to See, instead of just buying them a parking garage? It's actually much cheaper and both sides win. We missed the last opportunity to add a "dot" to the visitors' guide, with the D97 HQ and its recent additions, and Albion is meh - can this town that makes so much with archi-tourism finally start investing to grow that unique asset? At some point if we keep adding dots, tourists will start to say they need to stay overnight to see it all. That would be huge for our restaurants and too-few hotels.

Alex Garcia  

Posted: November 8th, 2018 5:35 AM


Alex Garcia  

Posted: November 8th, 2018 5:32 AM

Jeffey: In case you haven't noticed, it's lefty hegemony in IL, Cook and Oak Park. So, if the local economy "tanks", and by many metrics it already has, you have only your Fellow Travelers to blame.

Jeffrey Smith  

Posted: November 8th, 2018 4:47 AM

And when the GOP tanks the economy again (and worse than they and their 1% pals did in 2008) the landlords can all try to dump their ugly buildings on the condo market. Not that there is a condo market. Oh, well, if these craptacular monstrosities end up empty and abandoned, may we can turn them into beehives.

Tom MacMillan from Oak Park  

Posted: November 7th, 2018 8:12 PM

But will shade from the building impact trees growing in the park by the library?

Al Rossell  

Posted: November 7th, 2018 8:12 PM

Chicago requires the developer to retain a certain amount of low income/affordable units when either changing zoning to a higher classification or obtaining an increased density then initially permitted. The number of affordable units is based on the number of total units to be built and they remain affordable units for at least 20 years. This is a far better solution than getting some cash which gets used once and then is gone. Developers prefer to give cash because then it does not affect the value of the building which is based primarily on its income stream.

Barbara Moline from Oak Park  

Posted: November 7th, 2018 7:41 PM

The current building in this location has been an important resource?"providing apartments one step above SROs?"affordable housing in an excellent location for low income persons?"most of whom lack vehicles and must depend on walking or public transportation. Another luxury high rise building will be another step away from the values of providing affordable housing and fostering economic diversity within our community.

Dan Lauber  

Posted: November 7th, 2018 6:06 PM

While village staff is writing an inclusionary zoning ordinance, the village needs to immediately adopt a moratorium on receiving applications for new developments of 10 or more residential units -- or these developers will get away building yet another high density structure that most Oak Parkers cannot afford. It's not uncommon for cities to impose a moratorium on developments while it is writing new zoning provisions that will affect those new developments. If the village board is serious about adopting an Inclusionary Zoning ordinance, then it needs to adopt a moratorium on developments like these now -- one that will stay in effect until the board adopts the Inclusionary Zoning ordinance.

Michael Nevins  

Posted: November 7th, 2018 5:34 PM

From the article: "the village informed us that a developer is submitting a proposal to construct a high-rise, luxury rental building." Perhaps this is building too far for Golub? I don't know what "high-rise" actually means but sticking buildings like that in this location is not the same as the other two buildings - which I also found to be ridiculous. The article also included "luxury" - does that mean that Golub will "donate" several hundred thousand to NOT HAVE AFFORDABLE HOUSING at this location? Will that money then go for another project south of Madison for, of course, people like this can't live in THEIR building! Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice.....

Leonard Grossman  

Posted: November 7th, 2018 5:05 PM

Here we go again...

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