111 South Peoria, the condo building LG Development wants to build in the West Loop, was approved Thursday by the Chicago Plan Commission, despite ongoing resistance from some neighboring residents.
Originally proposed as a 13-story apartment building on what is now a surface parking lot adjacent to Mary Bartelme Park, locals cried foul over most aspects of the development, forcing LG back to the drawing table to make alterations. Among them:
- Instead of rental apartments, all units would be for-sale condos
- A decrease in number of units, from 205 rentals, to 95 condos
- Average unit size increased from 836 sq ft to 1,572 sq ft
- Overall building height lowered from 140 ft to 115 ft
- Pedestrian lobby moved to Peoria Street
- Rooftop pool and common amenities area removed
- Zoning change request reduced from DX-7 to DX-5
Those concessions still weren’t enough for many condo owners on either side of the proposed site, with issues such as falling property values, fire safety (CFD signed off on the project,) as well some maintaining the building was still too large for its location.
But the plan met the criteria Alderman Walter Burnett, Jr. needed, who, feeling 111 South Peoria would be good for his 27th Ward, approved the condos last year. Long a point of heated contention, Burnett mentioned at an August 2015 community meeting (and again during Thursday’s planning meeting) that this proposed building had been brought up against him in his re-election campaign.
That set the stage for Thursday’s meeting at City Hall. Several West Loop residents, the majority them condo owners at Monroe Manor in the 800 block of West Monroe Street, took the microphone in a last-ditch effort to dissuade the Plan Commission. Monroe Manor sits immediately north of the proposed site, and its condos would be within 12 feet of 111 South Peoria’s. Perhaps the members of the commission chose to accept the Chicago Fire Department’s approval of the building plans over the cries of the condo owners next door, who insist the new project will be unsafe for residents. Whatever their reasoning, the votes landed in favor of moving forward with 111 South Peoria.
“Do you ever say no?” and “I am so disappointed in all of you!” were shouted at commissioners as the meeting adjourned. We’ll be interested to see if unhappy neighbors try to continue their fight. “Law suit” were two words we heard quite clearly as we left chambers.