A permit to demolish the former Archdiocese of Chicago food processing plant at 5150 N. Northwest Hwy. was issued Jan. 23, clearing the way for the first phase of the site’s redevelopment.
LSC Development plans to demolish the existing structure and build a five-story, self-storage facility on the north end of the 67,224-square-foot site. A construction permit for the storage warehouse is pending.
Alderman John Arena’s chief of staff Owen Brugh said that the southern half of the site will remain vacant until a development plan for that portion of the land is in place.
In May the City Council approved a planned development ordinance which calls for the warehouse and an unspecified “multi-unit residential” development on the site. The ordinance, which governs the site’s zoning, would have to be amended before residential construction could begin.
The planned development ordinance resulted from a settlement agreement to a lawsuit that LSC had filed against the city, which in 2016 downzoned the property to stop the original plan to build only a storage facility on the site. Arena argued that a storage facility by itself would do little to improve the area’s economic vitality.
Arena has voiced support for the construction of a seven-story, mixed-income housing development on the site which would include about 30 Chicago Housing Authority and 50 affordable housing apartments. Arena also signed a pledge calling for 50 new CHA units in the ward by spring of 2019 as part of an effort to help end segregation in the area.
Under the plan, LSC would sell the southern half of the parcel to housing developer Full Circle Communities, which was unable to secure financing to move the project forward last year. A Full Circle representative said late last year that the company is still pursuing a potential development for the property.
A lawsuit which was filed by area property owners objects to the settlement agreement and is still pending. The agreement required Arena and zoning administrator Patricia Scudiero to support the planned development ordinance which the City Council approved last year.