Alderman Moore endorses zoning, license for new Loyola-owned apartments on Albion

It’s often joked about that the official bird of the City of Chicago is the crane. Look up and you’ll see more and more in the skies over the Far North Side. Construction cranes are being erected in various spots of Rogers Park and Edgewater as Loyola University Chicago continues new phases for its master-planned community—which now seems to have been removed from the LUC.edu website.

Illustration of new building to be constructed by Loyola University Chicago at 1217-39 W. Albion in Rogers Park.

A new development next to the Loyola CTA Red Line Station—where Loyola is constructing a new public plaza—will feature a 29-unit residential apartment building. It will sit adjacent to a new surface parking lot with 59 parking spaces, 29 of which will belong to property renters. Because the lot will have parking spaces for the public, Loyola came before the city for a necessary zoning change. They will require a special use permit to operate such a parking lot.

After a public meeting hosted by Alderman Joe Moore, the 49th Ward Boss has decided to support the zoning change and special use permit.

Google Map location, pinpointed at marker A, of Loyola University Chicago’s new residential apartment building at 1217-39 W. Albion.

Moore said that many he encountered support the project, “Most stated the belief that the proposed development would be an improvement over the current underutilized parking lot.”

The apartment building will not serve as dormitory housing but will be a residential apartment building, like many other buildings in the neighborhood. The only difference is that it would be owned and operated by the Jesuit university.

Moore explained, “Some community residents expressed concern that the development would become a de facto student dormitory, but Loyola assured the residents that it would own and manage the apartments and would limit the number of occupants in each rental unit.”

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Permanent CTA station closures still on table for North Side and Evanston

Last year, our very own Rogers Park Facebook page was credited by CBS 2 for breaking news before the Chicago Transit Authority officially unveiled six alternate proposals for the Red and Purple Modernization project, of which three include the permanent closure of several stations: Jarvis, Thorndale, Lawrence on the Red Line and Foster, South on the Purple Line.

There was a major public outcry. 49th Ward Alderman Joe Moore remembered reactions in his neighborhood, “Over 250 Rogers Park residents turned out in force to oppose the closing of the Jarvis station and hundreds of others flooded the CTA with letters and e-mails opposing the station closing.”

Despite efforts to calm customers that these were “just ideas,” the schemes are still officially on the table.

Jarvis CTA Red Line Station may be closed permanently in several alternate proposals for the Red and Purple Modernization project. Photo by Wikipedia user JeremyA.

The CTA told WBBM last year that it hopes to settle on a plan and seek construction money of up to $4.2 billion in the next federal surface transportation bill, which is expected later this year.

ALDERMAN MOORE WANTS PUBLIC TO COME OUT

The CTA is hosting two public meetings on Monday, February 6 at Evanston Public Library and Tuesday, February 7 at the Broadway Armory in Edgewater, both from 5 to 7:30 p.m.

At the meetings, (read the flyer invitation) the CTA will present updates to the Environmental Impact Statement process, provide additional information about RPM, and ask for more feedback from residents, workers and neighborhood businesses affected by the project.

Alderman Moore is calling all CTA users to come out to the meetings to reinforce opposition raised last year of station closures. The Rogers Park city council member told constituents, “The CTA was quick to emphasize the proposals were merely ideas and no official plans to close the station were in the works. Though this is still true, it’s important to note the CTA has not officially rejected the ideas that contemplate closing [stations]. I urge you to attend one of the update meetings to reaffirm our community’s strong opposition to any idea, plan or proposal that calls for the closing of [stations].”

Lawrence CTA Red Line Station may be closed permanently in several alternate proposals for the Red and Purple Modernization project. To make up for the loss of the station, proposals include the creation of new entrances at adjacent stations. Photo by Wikipedia user moonrat42.