On the heels of the recent approval of the development at 5201 W. Lawrence Ave, I have an exciting update on the continuing progress in the revitalization of downtown Jefferson Park: the proposed Jefferson Place mixed-use building planned for 4849 N. Lipps, next to the Jefferson Park Transit Center, will be presented to the Planning Commission on May 18th.
As you may recall, the proposal for this vacant lot has been in the works for more than 5 years. After an extensive process of community engagement, the builder has adjusted the proposal to address feedback and concerns from area residents.
Throughout my 6 years in office, I’ve heard residents say loud and clear that they want me to work to breathe new life into downtown Jefferson Park, especially the blighted vacant lots. Jefferson Place is a critical component to achieving that goal. It will bring plenty of new regular customers for local businesses, all while minimizing the impact on our blocks of single family homes and two-flats.
This building will provide a type of housing that does not currently exist in Jefferson Park: elevator-served apartments with super-fast and convenient access to transit. This kind of building will attract residents wishing to downsize from single family homes once children move out, as well as young professionals who seek easy transit access to the Loop, O’Hare, and the suburbs beyond.
Here’s a rundown on the updated Jefferson Place proposal:
- The modern tower will offer 114 apartments. These apartments will all be 1- and 2-bedroom, so we do not anticipate a significant impact on our local schools. Twelve of the units will be offered at affordable rates per the city code.
- Because it is adjacent to the Jefferson Park Transit Center, residents and customers will also enjoy immediate access to the CTA Blue Line, UP Northwest Line, and 12 bus routes.
- Featuring 10,000 square feet of new retail space with the northern-most unit offering an outdoor patio perfect for a restaurant or cafe. This will help jumpstart the economic rebirth of Jefferson Park.
- Pedestrians will enjoy a beautified and streetscaped Lipps Avenue, with both sides improved at the developer’s expense. These improvements include new trees, bike racks, crosswalks, and a widened sidewalk at the north approach to the CTA station.
- 200 parking spots will be available for residents, businesses, and the adjacent Veterans Square office building. These spots are critical for the success of the office building across the street and for special event public parking for Copernicus Center, mitigating some of the parking that happens on residential streets during events.
- In response to community feedback asking that the developer cut down the massing of the building and at the recommendation of the Department of Planning and Development, apartments have now been shifted to the south end of the building, creating additional height at one end and decreasing height at the other. For much of the building, the roof is at the 6th floor. At the south end, the building is 15 stories with a rooftop solarium and deck. Although it increases the height of the building, it decreases the massing, per residents’ requests.
- The plan now includes a beautiful solarium and outdoor space above the 15th floor as an added amenity for residents. This is in addition to the already planned outdoor patio space for a commercial tenant on the ground floor.
- Today, this lot generates just $21,000 in property taxes each year. Upon completion, this building is expected to bring in more than $50,000 in sales tax revenue and between $275,000 and $350,000 in property tax revenue – most of which will go to our public schools – every year.
I’m excited about Jefferson Place, and I hope you are too.
I look forward to discussing this proposal with you at upcoming Ward Nights, most Tuesdays from 5-7PM at the 45th Ward Service Office, and to continuing to work together to revitalize downtown Jefferson Park.
Ald. John Arena