Buono proposes bring condos to Bosworth


Rendering of the proposed condo building in middle of actual photo of area

Rob Buono, Henry Street Partners, introduced his proposed 1220 Bosworth condo project, a land parcel 10,000 feel short of an acre, at a public meeting in Near North Montessori, 1434 W. Division, Wed., Aug. 10, evening. 

Focusing on the new construction part of the pending two-property purchase from Fifth Third Bank, Buono covered all the basics of the proposed 12-story, 32-unit complex for the Bosworth-facing parcel. 


Fifth Third Bank faces the Polish Triangle on Milwaukee Ave.

While their preference for the three original buildings, that comprise 1209 N. Milwaukee, would be to construct a new building, they will be re-configuring it.

That is part of purchasing agreement with Fifth Third Bank. The branch banking facility will remain at that address but in a smaller footprint. Buono will address plans for that structure at a later time. 


On Bosworth looking northwest at night with drive-in facility in the middle

1220 N. Bosworth 
The Bosworth property, which is unusually shaped, currently houses the bank's former drive-in facility and parking lot.


Former drive-in bank station, which has been closed for several months

Wheeler Kearns Architects' Jon Heinert, Project Architect, and architect Michael Kendall compose the team working with Buono's team, a combination that created the City's first Transit Oriented Development (TOD) at Division and Ashland, 1611 W. Division, and is creating the twin-tower complex at Milwaukee and California. 

Using three-dimensional modeling along with shadow studies, photographs and floor plans, Buono explained that the team had looked at the site from different perspectives and envisioned several different structures. Under consideration was a TOD project as well as many other types. 

At the meeting, there was a three-dimension model that shows the structures in the area. In addition, they had the many models they created for their possible building configurations. They have selected to create a non-TOD project. 


Red outline shows the unusual shape of the close to acre where the new buildings would be constructed

"Normally we've done TODs," said Kendall to this reporter. "But I think we bring the same city responsible development to this project along with high-end design. 

"We started with 'What can we do? Then what does the site want us to do?

It is a better question to ask what the site wants rather than what the zoning allows. Then we'll see what is feasible." 


Site Plan shows the Polish Triangle in the upper left corner. The three center diagonal rectangles in middle of image are: bank parking, residential building and one-story parking

In this case, considering the shadow studies, they pulled the building as far as possible to the south, he explained. Also orienting it to Milwaukee Ave., puts the building height of 140 feet in context with the language of the corridor instead of the neighborhood and has the least impact on the existing structures on Bosworth. 

Orienting bedroom windows along the alley provides the best views for the condo units and permits the Bosworth main entrance to be stepped back versus flush with the sidewalk. 

Three two, three and four-bedroom units per floor are planned for the third to the twelfth floors, with ceiling heights of between 9 feet 6 inches and 10 feet and square footage per unit of from 2,400 to 3,400. The second floor is scheduled to have the smallest unit, a 1,600 to 1,700 square foot one-bedroom and approximately a 2,500 square foot two-bedroom. Both would have their own patio. 

The first floor has a small lobby area, two elevators, some building mechanicals and service areas for a loading dock and garbage area, as well as access from the garage. In addition to two condos on the second floor the plan shows resident storage areas, a fitness room and access to part of the garage green roof. 

A 52-space one-story parking structure will have an entrance and an exit door on the alley behind the building, eliminating all curb cuts along Bosworth. 


This shows the ivy covered wall of the 9 foot wall for the parking garage along Bosworth. Buono pointed out that the plants would take time to grow.

The most push-back of the attendees was regarding the height of the parking structure along Bosworth. The consensus was that the proposed nine-foot height of that building will make the streetscape feel more canyon-like. 

"They need more work on integrating that wall with the street," said architect Ed Tamminga, who chairs the Wicker Park Committee's (WPC) Preservation and Development Committee (P&D). Suggesting that it be more like six to seven feet high, he asked Buono if they would consider digging down from grade. 


Heinert, Buono, Fleming and Miguel Lopez discuss how the building (lower center middle) fits into the other structures as depicted in the area 3-D model

Addressing that issue would also benefit the homeowners to the north of the project. Kapra Fleming, Pulaski Park Neighborhood Association, questioned if stepping back the parking wall on the north side would be a possibility, giving that neighbor some further relief. 

Buono stressed that they still have more work to do on their plans, particularly relative to the parking structure. He offered to meet with the neighbors to the north to address their concerns. 

Parking spaces, for bank customers will remain along the alley directly behind the bank. However, Buono indicated that they will be covered and a canopy structure that currently spans the alley from the bank to the former drive-in that housed banking infrastructure will be removed. 

It is anticipated that the units will be sold for between $850,000 to $1,750,000. 

While the number of living units and parking spaces as well as dimensions could change depending on whether they do a concrete or steel structured building, they are requesting a zoning change from B 3-2 to either R 6 or R 6.5, depending on the building height. They will do a Type One, meaning the building's plans can not be changed once approved. 

While the project has been discussed with 2nd Ward Alderman Brian Hopkins and the Pulaski Park Neighborhood Associaiton group prior to this public meeting, it has yet to go before WPC's P&D committee. It is expected that the Alderman will also have a public meeting. 

Timing of Project
Buono said that he expected to close on the purchase in September. 

In response to a question about the building time for this project, Buono said that if the project is approved, the first action would be to do some demolition in the bank building as well as removing the drive-in building. During the six-month time frame for doing that work, they would be marketing the condo units. 

"If we sell about half the units in that time, we would start construction the end of second quarter 2017 and be ready for move in about this time in 2018," said Buono.


Current photo looking southeast from the corner of Ashland and Milwaukee



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