First attempt fails for funding Oak Park affordable housing on Madison

Developers say Comcast project will stay on schedule

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By Marty Stempniak

Staff Reporter

An affordable housing complex, slated to be built in a long-empty former cable television facility in Oak Park, was recently rejected in its application for state funding critical to make the development happen.

But developers of the Comcast building at 820 Madison St. submitted another application last week, and are confident that the controversial four-story, 51-unit apartment building will be completed on schedule.

"I'm not shocked. Of course, we always want to get funded. Who wants to go back and reapply? But unfortunately it's something we have to do in this business," said Perry Vietti, chief operating officer for Interfaith Housing Development Corp., the company leading the renovation effort.

Interfaith was applying for about $1.4 million each year for the next decade in low-income housing tax credits from the Illinois Housing Development Authority. Vietti said the process was competitive, with 12 other suburban projects vying for funds this time around, and only two granted the credits.

Interfaith and its partner on the project, the Oak Park Housing Authority, submitted their second application to IHDA on Sept. 22 and expect to find out whether they've made the cut in the first quarter of 2012.

Man Yee Lee, a spokeswoman for IHDA, declined to comment on the specifics of why the Comcast project didn't receive funding this time around. All together, 64 projects applied for the tax credits and 22 were awarded. Two made the cut in the category that Interfaith was applying for — Myers Place in Mount Prospect and Emerson Square in Evanston.

Some 102 projects applied by the preliminary deadline last week, Lee said, and IHDA plans to further winnow down the pool after another deadline in December. She said it's common for developers to apply multiple times, and the agency does whatever it can to help them refine their applications.

"We're all on the same side here. We want them to succeed," Lee said.

Vietti emphasized that the tax credits are just one of several funding sources, and in the past Interfaith has had to apply several times before obtaining funding from IHDA.

Some neighbors have voiced concerns about the project, saying it's too dense, has too little parking and should contain a mix of residents with different incomes. But the Oak Park village board disagreed, giving its unanimous approval to the project back in May.

Patricia O'Shea, 39, a critic of the project, takes IHDA's rejection as a sign that it's no sure thing that the apartments will be built. She thinks village hall shouldn't just assume the project will come to fruition and should start exploring more creative ways to redevelop Madison.

John Murtagh, another critic, thinks the rejection relates to the high costs of the development — at hundreds of thousands per apartment.

"Oak Park is stuck with a terminal proposal that will worsen Madison Street's decline," he said.

Despite the setback, Vietti said he still expects the project to remain on schedule, with construction starting in summer 2012.

Reader Comments

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Posted: October 21st, 2012 1:42 AM

Should be built in the north west side of OP. This place is already crowded, why add a density in the middle of dense overcrowded area? Build this right in the middle of north West OP where there needs diversity and some density


Posted: October 7th, 2011 9:09 AM

You"ll survive john. I think there are way more decrepit parcels on Madison and South Town.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: October 7th, 2011 12:52 AM

No wonder I did not find this article in the print edition. I was looking in the obits. Last week, the WJ referred to the building as "the decrepit one-time Comcast building on Madison Street." In this article, the WJ shows us the state of "decrepitness" w/ a photo of a wall that appears to be falling apart. It's not, this damage was done by Interfaith intentionally. It's time for the village to tell Interfaith or Comcast to fix it. People still live near the site of "decreptitude."

OP Guy  

Posted: October 6th, 2011 11:50 PM

I wonder how this article ended up in the "crime" section of the WJ? maybe because it would be criminal to fund this project.

David Letterman from The Late Show  

Posted: September 27th, 2011 10:01 PM

"Uh.. uh.. you got any gum?"


Posted: September 27th, 2011 9:58 PM

So we now know there's no excuse for Silly not to login with Facebook. Other than the fact that we'd learn who posts the talking points for the VMA.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: September 27th, 2011 9:35 PM

Do you really need to know when someone posts after you? Do you really have nothing more to do then wait around for your next notification from facebook to tell you just like Pavlo's drooling dogs when it's time to Salivate, (Reply again).


Posted: September 27th, 2011 9:07 PM

I wish this was like Facebook and we'd get a notification when someone else posts after us. Just a thought WJ.

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: September 26th, 2011 12:54 PM

The for sale sign is still on the building so this never did seem like a done deal.

Teresa Powell  

Posted: September 26th, 2011 11:51 AM

The topic of the October 10 Special Meeting of the Village Board (7:00 pm Room 101) will be an overview of Public Safety. This will be an opportunity to hear more on the current topic of this thread.


Posted: September 26th, 2011 11:19 AM

I'm sure

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: September 26th, 2011 1:54 AM

Silly, are you sure it's not about re-classifying crimes into different categories so it shows an overall reduction in crime? The seriousness of criminal activity has grown but you are the counter keeper so you would know better.


Posted: September 25th, 2011 11:36 PM

murtagh, the only thing declining for the last 10 yrs is the crime rate!

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: September 24th, 2011 5:30 PM

Dave from Oak Park, if you need assistance move your residence to a poor neighborhood, say you don't have a place to live and apply to come on back to Oak Park.

Dave from Oak Park  

Posted: September 24th, 2011 4:42 PM

The question isn't whether Oak Park is a good place to live. It's whether it could be better and how many people can afford it. Ironically, as VMA worked to make Oak Park affordable for people who don't live here by jamming the Grove/Madison low income project down our throats, they do nothing to help the many families here on the edge be able to stay here. Can anyone name one cost saving measure VMA has done, any efficiency in government? Is there any realization of the costs to live here?


Posted: September 24th, 2011 1:17 PM

Some people talk out of both sides of their bodies!

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: September 24th, 2011 11:56 AM

john murtagh, you are correct and the 3 wisemen made this possible but the good thing is it can be improved once they retire if the right people are hired.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: September 24th, 2011 10:51 AM

I can say that Oak Park is a great place to live and that I am glad I do. I can also say that Oak Park has been in decline for ten years and most of the decline is NOT related to the economy.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: September 24th, 2011 9:55 AM

Ah yes. When asked for intelligent thought you go back to "if you don't like it get out.". So fresh. So new.


Posted: September 24th, 2011 8:17 AM

Oak Park is a great place to live and I am glad I do. can you say the same?

Call a Sock a Sock from OP  

Posted: September 24th, 2011 5:13 AM

To counterbalance Silly's ridiculous list (VMA is responsible for our good weather, too I suppose), would anyone like to make lists of the various wastes of money, debacles, and potentially corrupt business deals over the same period of time? I'll start: WhiteCo, Tasty Dog's million dollar move, OPRF free Parking garage, Las Cazadores building, that hotel that will never be on that corner,....

Call a Sock a Sock from OP  

Posted: September 24th, 2011 5:09 AM

@Silly: So, other than being a troll for the Village Board and blindly giving them credit for anything positive in Oak Park for the past 2 decades, what are your actual opinions? Right. You have none. You're just a VMA sock puppet.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: September 24th, 2011 1:14 AM

Wrong silly. Some residents are smart enough to not waste their time where they are not welcome. However, there is a lot of outrage in this town and you and your friends would be silly to ignore the bright, possibly blue, signs.


Posted: September 24th, 2011 1:08 AM

Some residents are one issue types. They only care about issues that directly affect them. Anything else they could care less about.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: September 23rd, 2011 10:42 PM

I've asked Adam Salzman, Ray Johnson and Bob Tucker to address how they have been able to improve transparency in Oak Park government. Their campaign pledge is one of the reasons many of us voted for them. I realize that Salzman and Tucker are still learning the ropes but Johnson has tenure on the board and should be able to offer an example. It's time for an open dialogue that tackles the perception held by some that developers have greater access to the board than taxpayers and residents.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: September 23rd, 2011 10:07 PM

And I haven't attended another mtg due to pure disgust with the process and lack of transparency.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: September 23rd, 2011 10:04 PM

Although the Village policy is to consider items on the agenda vs hearing the public, the Village is highly willing to engage in discourse with developers via releasing key documents so said developers can make their deadlines before the info is released to the public. And the board is oh so not surprisingly mute on that one.

Dave from Oak Park  

Posted: September 23rd, 2011 5:03 PM

Thanks, John Murtaugh for not letting legalism dissuade you from trying to make Oak Park a better place. What's interesting is that our leaders like RayJo take an absolutely legalistic, defensive posture. No one says, "Gee, if that's the perception, maybe we're not doing something right. Maybe a part of Oak Park doesn't feel like they have been heard. As a leader, what can I do about that?" We're not here for you, RayJo. You took the job to be there for us. OP isn't your private Legoland.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: September 23rd, 2011 4:45 PM

Hi Teresa I do not attend a lot of board meetings. I did attend the Special Meeting in November when members of the public were not allowed to speak at any time and the board members were restricted in what they could could say. AGENDA QUOTE "During this meeting, the Village Board can comment on height, density and land use to be forwarded to the hearing body. Public comments will be taken at the public hearing; therefore no public comments will be taken at this meeting. "Repressive"

Teresa Powell  

Posted: September 23rd, 2011 4:05 PM

Jim, the purpose of Board meetings is not to engage in dialog with the public but to consider the items on the agenda. The Board welcomes comment at meetings and refers those who appear with questions or concerns to staff who can address them. As you point out, the Farmers Market tomorrow is a great opportunity for dialog with Trustees.

Dave from Oak Park  

Posted: September 23rd, 2011 3:26 PM

Yes, of course, every totalitatian regime is more interested in efficiencies than actual democratic dialogue. And God forbid in a planning meeting that anyone in opposition can talk before 10 PM. We wouldn't want to stagger pros and cons so issues could actually be addressed. No, that would not produce enough happy talk about how wonderful and open Oak Park is.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: September 23rd, 2011 3:09 PM

Clerk Powell, I do watch the board meetings on TV6 and am aware that the trustees do accept public comment as part of the agenda. Generally, the trustees choose not respond to the individual due to time constraints but may refer to a particular question or concern to the Village Manager. I think residents and taxpayers would appreciate the opportunity to actually engage in a discussion with board members. It appears the trustees are attempting to do just that on Saturday at the Farmers' market.

Marc from OP  

Posted: September 23rd, 2011 3:03 PM

Failure never sounded so good.  

Posted: September 23rd, 2011 2:40 PM

Public comment is available at all public meetings of the Village Board (including Special Meetings). Perhaps you haven't attended one recently.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: September 23rd, 2011 2:02 PM

I wrote a statement on Dan Haley's Post Comments re Westgate as there was speculation that I was running for office. I am repeating it here: I have no plans to run for any OP elected office. Also I have never actively campaigned, gave financial support to any candidate, and have had no contact with Coughlin, Schwab, Milstein, epic lulz and Enuf is Enuf other than through WJ Comments. I did have coffee with Gary Schwab once and have had coffee with many other villagers incl.VMA'ers.

Efficient 101  

Posted: September 23rd, 2011 1:58 PM

When someone is speaking in reference to a controversial proposal that is before the board, they let 3 in favor and 3 opposed. Makes sense to me in terms of efficiencies.

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: September 23rd, 2011 1:53 PM

EFFICIENT 101 The board has a rule on the amount of time (3 minutes) that a speaker may speak and a total amount of time that the microphone is open for public comment (30). Have no fear, the board is totally protected from resident verbal abuse.

Efficient 101  

Posted: September 23rd, 2011 1:49 PM

Yea John, why dont we have 20 speakers for and 35 speakers against any proposal before the board. Gee.....your garnering votes already. Your starting to sound like Bob Milstein

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: September 23rd, 2011 1:35 PM

Ray, you are excellent at quoting the rules, but somehow you always manage to use them to divert the issue at hand. Both the assignment of the Madison Prop to the Plan Commission and the purchase of Westgate were scheduled for Special Meetings. That ensured that the public could not use it free speech right when the subject they wish to comment on was before the board. Legal? Yes. Ethical? Maybe. Sign of Responsible Government and Transparency? No.

Dave from Oak Park  

Posted: September 23rd, 2011 1:20 PM

RayJo, why did Schiess feel compelled to have so many meetings with the community when Interfaith had only one? Interfaith did not address one concern the community raised in various communications, making even the limited dialogue a joke. Why is that ok with you and VMA? Why the double standard between a for-profit and nonprofit developer?

Ray Johnson from Oak Park  

Posted: September 23rd, 2011 12:52 PM

@ Mr. Murtagh: Just a reminder that non-agenda public comment is offered at every regular VOP board meeting (2X/month - every month we are in session). I know some folks utilized that available time to make their views known about the affordable housing proposal, in addition to the two formal meetings where the proposal was discussed with the board.


Posted: September 23rd, 2011 12:47 PM

Silly, try to stick to things that the vma can actually take responsibility for: youth sports? really? Sigh.


Posted: September 23rd, 2011 11:56 AM

Real estate prices that HAVE NOT fallen as much as other communities through out this country, Hemingway, Kroc, Frank Loyd Wright, Percy Julian, Gwendolyn Brooks, Mahoney, Rock, Harmon, Award winning local newspaper(s), architecture, parks, pools, Tree City USA, music in the Park, Preschools galore, back yards, Heis, Sokol, Mike Clark, Senior Living, Youth sports, All age programs at Park Dist, Artists, Musicians, Environmental folks, Business leaders, Restaurants of all kind( too many too list

Dave from Oak Park  

Posted: September 23rd, 2011 11:42 AM

More parking downtown at the cost of how much for the Colt building disaster? Possible insider dealing to buy Westgate property. Huge tax increase to pay for parks. Millions for redoing part of Marion already doing fine as other business districts rot. Way too many Village vehicles. How about Village employees using those bike lanes? Has Tasty Dog paid its taxes? Opera Club way ugly. Unsolved murders. Unaddressed achievement gap. Taxes no leader cares to limit. But we are nuclear free!

Dave from Oak Park  

Posted: September 23rd, 2011 11:33 AM

Empty Madison lots, storefronts, struggling office building proposal. CHA-like housing at Grove-Madison. Big empty lots at Madison/OP for Blue Cabs. Big empty car dealership on Madison. No new development on OP side of North Ave. New restaurants on Roosevelt in Berwyn, not OP. Bike lanes down dangerous streets. 3 libraries in an age of electronic info in a town where everyone could walk to one. Failed development at South/Home. Unsustainable high school parking garage.


Posted: September 23rd, 2011 10:34 AM

I have more.....You are funny joke park


Posted: September 23rd, 2011 9:56 AM

and the night turns to day...thank you vma! umm just because you are then when something happens, it does not mean you had a direct involvement in the event. And I would contend that some, not all of the events you listed, are not all good. That said, Silly, like the pro and cone posters on the "gun" article, there is nothing i can do or say to change your mind.


Posted: September 22nd, 2011 11:59 PM

Bike lanes, New CTA/ Metra inter-modal transportation hub, addtl parking in DTOP, incentives for electric/clean energy cars, Farmers Market, 100 Forest Plc, town homes/condos on Ontario and Marion, the new Yuppie Puppie, crosswalk stop signs and improved safety for pedestrians, lower speed limits, new Library, Pan's new parking lot, new condos (old Post office), New condos(old Blue cab bldg),Speed bumps on East Ave, new Central Fire house, energy efficient Village vehicles, new public works bldg


Posted: September 22nd, 2011 11:44 PM

Marion Street, Sales tax increases in poor economy, development on Lake st (Fitness Formula bldg), Tasty Dog, old Tasty dog bldg, Als Grill, Euclid and Lake condos/townhomes, Oak Park Place Apts with Trader Joe's, condos on Madison between Wisconsin and Home, Opera Club on Marion, condos on Roosevelt Rd by Ridglenad, New Wendys, New MB Bank on North Ave, New Bank on Harlem( old KFC), CVS on Roosevelt and OP, new Walgreens on Madison and OP Ave, Harrison St Arts District, Revamped Barrie Park...

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: September 22nd, 2011 6:33 PM

Ray - your memory is faulty. The board did meet twice re the Madison Housing Proposal, but at the first meeting the public was not allowed to comment. This is slightly different than the ONLY meeting by OPHA/Interfaith where comments were allowed, but no questions could be asked of the sponsors. Knowing your political passion for transparency, I thought you would like me to clarify your comment.


Posted: September 22nd, 2011 4:44 PM

Ref, your secret is safe with me, I promise. I have to admit, I don't read the tax logs... so I can only speak for myself. I pay my taxes, meaning I don't escrow them with the mortgage co., and I do read the checkbook logs. We purchased from a retired woman, who may have had a senior exemption and many of the houses on our block have turned over, some of them multiple times... maybe that has something to do with it?

Angry Birds  

Posted: September 22nd, 2011 4:19 PM

After all the meetings, how many changes were made to the development? None. Done deal. "Easiest Yes vote I have had to make" Colette Lueck.

Dave from Oak Park  

Posted: September 22nd, 2011 3:32 PM

There was ONE community meeting, RayJo. A community meeting is not the same as the highly controlled VMA self-congratulatory expositions run as planning and board meetings. ONE compared to numerable meetings, both formal and informal, Schiess held with the same neighborhood for the for-profit development across the street from your CHA-like project. Schiess actually seemed compelled to deal with the neighborhood. This project was rammed down our throats by you and your VMA cronies.


Posted: September 22nd, 2011 3:28 PM

j, I do consider myself lucky! Though I have to admit I do read the tax logs and haven't noticed any of my neighbors' taxes going up more than mine. Don't tell anyone.

Ray Johnson from Oak Park  

Posted: September 22nd, 2011 3:15 PM

Due to leaves of absence, sick time, family/medical/health leaves, etc. --- there may be a gaps at any time. More likely, there is an actual gap between the # of allocated and actual officers due to timing of hires and their completion of training in the police academy. I was only comparing the actual # of officers on duty in 1999 to the # on duty in 2011.


Posted: September 22nd, 2011 2:39 PM

I stand corrected, thank you for that. I am pretty sure we were down 6 police officers at one point, I never heard anything about them being replaced...but for that answer I will ask my friend on the police force.

Ray Johnson from Oak Park  

Posted: September 22nd, 2011 2:18 PM

In 1999, the actual staffing level of police patrol officers totals 111. In 2011, the actual staffing level of police patrol officers totals 112. Also -- re: "one meeting" for the Madison St. proposal. The Plan Commission had 6 (six) public hearings. This is in addition to the two meetings by the VOP board, and several meetings held by the development team with various stakeholder groups.


Posted: September 22nd, 2011 1:15 PM

@ Ref, consider yourself lucky.

john murtagh  

Posted: September 22nd, 2011 12:09 PM

Low Income Housing Tax Credits from the gov't are the driver of funding for public housing. The granting of money is competitive. in 2011, more than 100 developments were considered before 22 developments were awarded. While there are many factors reviewed, cost is critical. On a per room base, The Madison cost submission was 40% more expensive than the average awardee. That is a huge gap which explains Interfaith's failure. They plan to submit again in 2012 - an election year. Bet No


Posted: September 22nd, 2011 11:22 AM

I've lived here since the mid-90s and my taxes have gone up, but they haven't even come close to tripling!

Teresa Powell  

Posted: September 22nd, 2011 10:32 AM

See for yourself. For information about what actually happened at the meeting where the Interfaith Development was discussed and approved, see this link to the Village Board meeting of May 16. Click on Item XXIII - B to go directly to that section of the meeting.


Posted: September 22nd, 2011 10:30 AM

Hi silly: what exalty is Oak Park today compared to what is was say in 1999 when I moved here? Just briefly, from my perspective: Taxes have more than tripled. My street in front of my house is falling apart, the alley behind it is worse. We have fewer police on the force. We are now about to get a second $5million one block stretch of road. The village is not all hell in a hand-basket but it sure isn't all tickles and giggles.


Posted: September 22nd, 2011 10:20 AM

Please dont vote for Milstein. Last time the VMA lost to a slate is was disastrous!!! You've been warned. VMA has made OP what it is and why we all choose to live here. :-)

Dave from Oak Park  

Posted: September 22nd, 2011 9:30 AM

Let's all keep in mind this is a VMA solution to high taxes, lack of coherent planning, inability to attract for-profit developers and total disregard for the realities the families of Oak Park face. One community meeting rigged to make sure opposition would be limited, open hostility to any questions about the project, total avoidance of any long-term issue on Madison like parking and density and how up to 100 low income people will affect a neighborhood. A complete VMA screw job.

M from Oak Park from Oak Park  

Posted: September 22nd, 2011 9:17 AM

OP Rez- wanting to support the less fortunate doesn't mean we jam pack them into a building like sardines. A building which has little parking, no funding, no promise of maintaing historic aspects, is against village standards, and has little hope of retail success. O.P. has village ordinances and guidelines allowing for less fortunate to be intergrated into our town. It's unfortunate that the board is too afraid of looking like rich snobs to follow their own rules.

OP Rez  

Posted: September 22nd, 2011 8:32 AM

The location in proximity to public transportation and low income proves to be a winning combo. Glad Interfaith will continue to pursue financing. The less fortunate are not suddenly going away.

Chris from Oak Park  

Posted: September 22nd, 2011 12:02 AM

I noticed that the Wednesday Journal provided no information about the two winning suburban projects that ended up getting the tax credits. Would be curious to get more details on those specific projects. Marty can you add this to your article?

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: September 21st, 2011 9:28 PM

Virginia - Yep it is a hangover from the Y-Bye days. Was the board concerned about Madison's decline? Hard to tell since they were all had their village cones of silence on. They could not discuss views publicly(cronies excl from ban) because they would have to vote. They voted for the zoning variances & now can talk openly. That won't be helpful - Interfaith has it variance gift. Residents opposed now will have to express their opposition to HUD and IHDA. Another developer disaster.

Maybe Berwyn will take us? from South Oak Park  

Posted: September 21st, 2011 8:10 PM

No, no, no...our Village only buys random "strategic" properties in central and north Oak Park (aka "The High Rent District"). Their strategy must be to drive all business from Madison street, open housing projects no one wants or needs, let all of the buildings fall down in the Arts District (but there are colorful crosswalks!) and perhaps just give away (maybe sell if they can) all of south OP to Berwyn or Cicero. Sad. Village Board is an embarrassment!

A Neighbor  

Posted: September 21st, 2011 7:53 PM

So after representative democracy and common sense were trashed in favor of insider politics, at least we can count on one of the most misrun and financially troubled states in the Union to not have any money.


Posted: September 21st, 2011 7:48 PM

I rather have a parking lot than a "LOW" income building. This is not good at all for OP. People running this town are out of their minds.

OP Guy  

Posted: September 21st, 2011 7:22 PM

How about the village turn it into a target, something that people will actually spend money in.

OP Guy  

Posted: September 21st, 2011 7:21 PM

Patricia, very good points regarding the parking issue. Given their actions, I believe Interfaith will go full steam head regardless of what will actually be good for the community or the proposed residents. I don't know what their main agenda is... business, staying afloat... but they don't seem to take this challenge (and it IS a VERY big challenge) with the level of seriousness it deserves.

RichF from Oak Park  

Posted: September 21st, 2011 7:11 PM

How about the village buys the property, tear it down, and make another parking lot out of it that they seem so fond of.

OP Guy  

Posted: September 21st, 2011 7:11 PM

OP Rez, so you're banking on the assumption that the residents aren't going to have cars? Whith that kind of thinking, I seriously hope you're not in anyway involved in the project!

OP Rez  

Posted: September 21st, 2011 6:26 PM

Glad to see we have something to comment about. Low income people tend NOT to have vehicles. Madison street is also ample parking for any retail in the project.

Virginia Seuffert from Oak Park  

Posted: September 21st, 2011 6:16 PM

This project was first proposed when we thought the "Y" was leaving. Now that they are staying, it will saturate an already struggling area with low income housing. It's the kiss of death to any development on West Madison. Who can we call and write to stop this disaster?

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: September 21st, 2011 6:07 PM

Profit or non-profit, developers are all alike. If you fail to get funding, you just resubmit,resubmit,resubmit. Interfaith did not even consider why they were rejected. No need to modify the proposal - just hang it out there and wait. No concern for the village or residents. 1st step for village is to get Interfaith to fix the wall they savaged. 2nd) Make the Comcast Bldg a strategic property, buy it with TIF funds, and find a buyer w/some creativity. We just don't need Interfaith in OP.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: September 21st, 2011 6:05 PM

Here's some more information Michelle: For a development this size with the need for resident, staff, iGO, and commercial parking, Oak Park typically requires at least 73 spots. 32 is 44% of what Oak Park requires per zoning. A variance was granted. The commercial piece of the building, already at risk due to many open storefronts in the area, is at more risk of not renting due to lack of parking - a key selling point to any commerical tenant. Read more at

Marty J. Stempniak from Wednesday Journal  

Posted: September 21st, 2011 5:49 PM

@Michelle: They plan to have a 32-space parking lot across the street on Grove for tenants.

Michelle Belton from Oak Park  

Posted: September 21st, 2011 5:45 PM

How many parking spots did the Village agree to in this interfaith development?

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