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Division Street developments are on the move
UPDATE: See below.
Two large projects which have been under discussion and compromise between the developers, community groups and 1st Ward Alderman Proco "Joe" Moreno for a long time are finally on the move along Division Street.
On the southwest corner of Division and Ashland, known by many as the Pizza Hut property, the caissons are going in for the 11-story building being developed by Rob Buono and Paul Utigard. Designed by Wheeler Kearns Architects, there are 9 floors of apartments, one floor for offices and the ground level for retail.
Special ordinances were passed to make it a Planned Development, lifting requirements for onsite parking. Of the 35 parking spaces that will be available, 20 of them will be located on the adjacent Wendy's property. These parking spaces will not be available for residents. They will be reserved for visitors and a car sharing service like I-Go.
A rental building, the intent of this type of development is to have tenants who do not own cars. To meet the concerns of local residents who were fearful that tenants would be using permit parking on surrounding streets, the developers agreed to have tenants sign a disclosure acknowledging that they will not be eligible for permit parking. That was incorporated into the Planned Development agreement with the City.
The former L. Miller Lumber site, 1815 W. Division, being developed by Smithfield Properties, is also underway. Originally proposed as a 5-story building with 59 units and 45 parking spaces, it was downsized to a 4-story with 39 units and 35 parking spaces. The final configuration is not totally clear at this writing. Raymond Valadez, 1st Ward Chief of Staff to Alderman Moreno, reports that Smithfield has not come back to their office in response to community input from the last meeting. Therefore, no zoning change is on the table. He presumes that the building was taken down to minimize liability on a vacant building and that they will come back to this project at some time.
While Rich Melman of Lettuce Entertain You restaurants is involved in this project it is uncertain how many of his restaurants will be in the building. Originally it was stated there would be two, that was changed to one. More currently, there appears to be no certainty. What is certain is that the old lumber yard building is gone.