LSRCC Statement on 4715 N Western Avenue
On Wednesday, March 16, 2022, Block Club Chicago posted an article regarding the status of the Affordable Housing Development Proposal for 4715 N Western Avenue. In that article it is stated that the Lincoln Square Business Community “would yank support for the project if there were less public parking” than originally proposed. As the Chamber of Commerce for the area we want to ensure that the public knows that this statement is misleading, as our member business community has stated they are open to review and weigh in on any proposals for the property.
On Tuesday, March 8, 2022, business owners were invited by 47th Ward Alderman Matt Martin to attend a meeting with the Commissioners of the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) and Department of Housing (DOH). During this meeting, the Commissioners informed the businesses about the status of The Community Builder’s (TCB) proposed project that was awarded Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) on December 6, 2021, and their concerns with the proposal including the number of parking spaces, the entrance location of the garage, and the size of the commercial space. During the meeting businesses were able to voice why they supported TCB’s proposed project, which included the need for affordable housing in the community, enhanced pedestrian experience connecting Western Avenue to the central business corridor of Lincoln Avenue, and the adequate number of public parking spaces that would still support the current small businesses. The meeting did not leave any time to discuss any changes that were being proposed by the city to the original TCB approved proposal, nor did it allow any time to discuss any type of compromises to meet the needs of all parties present at the meeting. As a business community, we left the meeting with an understanding that future discussions would occur with the Commissioners that would allow for compromises to be determined.
The core member business community of Lincoln Square overwhelming supports affordable housing at the location of 4715 N Western Avenue, but also wants to ensure that a sufficient number of parking spaces continues to be available to accommodate the peak usage time. The small business community continues to thrive because of the many ways people travel to the area. More than 50% of customers travel from outside of our immediate area, shown by data such as credit card usage, loyalty programs, google analytics, and other sources. Several of our member businesses are northside commercial destinations, attracting customers from municipalities outside of the city limits who overwhelmingly drive to the area. In addition, residential streets surrounding the central business corridor of Lincoln Avenue are all permitted parking for residents only, limiting the available parking options during peak period times. For these reasons, the member business community continues to support a multimodal transportation approach that meets the needs of all people who come to our area.
LSRCC and its member businesses looks forward to continued discussions with the Commissioners of the Department of Planning and Development, Department of Housing, and the office of the 47th Ward. We believe that the project will be able to move forward with compromises from all parties involved.