I am pleased to announce an exciting development proposal for one of the oldest remaining firehouse buildings in the city. The development would mean an expansion of local craft beer brewer Lake Effect Brewing Co. and would restore historic details to the former Jefferson Park firehouse, which sits on the southeast corner of Ainslie and Lipps. Lake Effect would be the ground-floor tenant, brewing beer on-site and offering a tasting room. The developer, Ambrosia Homes, plans to invest $2.4 million in the city-owned property, which was built in 1906.
Ambrosia Homes is seeking a zoning change from B3-2 to C1-3, which would permit a brewery on the ground floor, as well as three residential floors above. The nine apartments would be two-bedroom, attracting professionals who seek easy access to the nearby Jefferson Park Transit Center. The design would retain the current building while adding two floors and re-installing some architectural elements that were previously removed. Ambrosia Homes is not seeking any city financial assistance for this proposal.
Lake Effect has become a neighborhood fixture since opening at 4727 W. Montrose Ave. in 2011, notably brewing 45th Ward Pale Ale using hops grown within the ward. They would continue to maintain that location, in addition to the Jefferson Park firehouse site where patrons could sample Lake Effect beers and enjoy an outdoor seating area.
Please join me for a community meeting at 6:30 pm on Thursday, March 8, in King’s Hall (3rd floor) at the Copernicus Center, 5216 W. Lawrence, to learn more.