Why a Community Center should be built at 111 South Peoria.
The West Loop is blessed with extraordinary public institutions that could partner with the community center on programming. For example, Merit School of Music will be seriously harmed by the lost parking which the community center could mitigate. In turn the community center could provide space for Merit to offer musical programs to physically and mentally challenged children, which is not currently offered due to lack of space.
We envision the community center having a special, but not exclusive, interest in providing programming for such special children.
The proposed building is to have 95 luxury condominiums likely buying out of affordable housing. On the other hand, the community center would be open to the entire public and available to persons of all incomes. The West loop needs a policy of inclusion, no exclusion. The West Loop also should ensure that young families can continue to stay and grow here. LG’s luxury condominiums do not advance that goal.
The community center would have a driveway to allow for the safe drop off of children. With its traffic flowing west to east so that children coming and going from the Park would be protected. The proposed building would have a two way drive with near zero visibility exiting across from the Park.
The community center would be only a two story building and have a driveway, meaning the construction is likely to have only a minor impact on the Park. By contrast, the proposed building’s construction will last months and spill out into the street for much of that time. The double parking, construction traffic and noise will endanger the peace and safety during that entire time. Because the developer has not yet released the results of the phase II environment studies, the possible ecological damage is unknown. Significant remediation was required before the park was built.
WEST LOOP — A developer’s latest proposal for a site nearMary Bartelme Parkin the West Loop is shorter and less dense, but neighbors believe the plan may put them in danger.
Leo Cox, a retired battalion chief who served 34 years with the Chicago Fire Department, said the new building’s design would prevent a ladder truck from easily reaching Monroe Manor balconies.
“We will get to you eventually, it will just make it a lot more difficult.” Cox said.
The building is simply too big for the Peoria site, said Ken Scales, president of Monroe Manor’s condo board. About 43 residential units and 10 retail spaces are located in the Monroe Manor building.
More than 200 residents attended Monday night’s community meeting at Merit School of Music as Wicker Park-basedLG Developmentpitched their latest plan for 111 S. Peoria St. — a nine-story plus penthouse building that would see 95 condominium units available for purchase developed on site. The site now houses a parking lot.
In a meeting organized by the West Loop Community Organization (WLCO), community members packed the Merit School of Music recently to protest a planned condominium building at 111 S. Peoria St. Some suggested a community center for the site.
“I almost feel like I should be praying,” said Burnett, at the beginning of the meeting, referring to the community opposition at previous meetings on the topic. It was that opposition at a meeting in June that caused Burnett to withdraw support from a proposal to build rental apartments on the property.
Some audience members told Burnett they would prefer a field house for Mary Bartelme Park, which is across the street, to a new highrise. “I would put a field house in Skinner Park first,” said Burnett.
A group called West Loop Residents Association started a petition for the community center on GoPetition.com; more than 360 people have signed. The group also set up a Facebook page for the community center.
WEST LOOP — Showing strong opposition to a planned 13-story apartment tower, West
Loop neighbors had a simple message for Ald. Walter Burnett Jr.: “Just say no.”
Waving signs and chanting, more than 300 residents packed an auditorium at Merit School of Music Wednesday night to fight LG Development’s controversial plan to develop a 13-story apartment building at 111 S. Peoria St. The site near Mary Bartelme Park now houses a parking lot.
“Ald. Burnett, the only thing we want you to do is just say ‘no,'” resident Sam Tenenbaum said at the meeting.
West Loop residents are gearing up for yet another community meeting regarding LG Development’s plan to build new residences at 111 S. Peoria Street. Initially unveiled as a rental project, West Loop residents came out in big numbers last winter to stop the plan from moving forward. LG returned to the drawing board to redesign the look and dropped the idea of building apartments in favor of condos. Even with the changes, West Loopers still don’t like the plan, and one organization is even pitching the idea of building a privately funded community center at the site.