Developer Tempus Real Estate Group is back with a reworked transit-oriented apartment proposal for a triangular lot previously occupied by a gas station at the corner of Seminary and Lincoln avenues. The five-story structure calls for 36 residential units, 18 parking stalls, and 1,900 square feet of retail space.
The latest plan is the third iteration for the odd-shaped site at 2658-70 N. Lincoln Avenue. In 2017 Ald. Michele Smith (43rd) rejected a plan calling for 45 residential units with 17 parking spaces. The developer cut the number of apartments to 35 and increased parking to 18 spaces, but Smith rejected that second version of the plan in 2018, citing "community feedback and concerns."
Designed by architecture firm Studio SYM, the all-new proposal is more sculpted than its predecessors and steps back as its rises. Instead of spanning the entire site, the revised building is set back from the intersection and alleyway to create some relief along Seminary Avenue. The building "floats above street level at the corner" to improve sightlines, according to architect Rene Steevensz. The development features new landscaping, ground-floor garage parking, retail fronting Lincoln Avenue, and a rooftop terrace.
Tempus proposes to build 11 one-bedroom units renting for between $1,900 and $2,500 a month and 24 two-bedrooms going for $2,800 and $3,900. There will also be a single three-bedroom penthouse, but no word from the developer on pricing for that unit.
The plan will require a zoning change from B3-2 to B3-3 TOD. The rezoning measure triggers the city's Affordable Requirements Ordinance, and the developer will satisfy its obligations by providing all four of the required affordable units on-site.
The team hopes to get zoning approval from the city by the end of the year and anticipates a 14- to 16-month construction timeline. "Assuming the best-case scenario, we would begin construction by the end of the first quarter of 2022, said Nick Ftikas, an attorney representing Tempus.
Of course, before any of that can happen, the project will need to win over Ald. Smith and the scores of neighbors that spoke against the proposal at a nearly two-and-a-half-hour virtual meeting on Thursday. Complaints mostly included cries for more parking and objections over the building's five-story height, which would block the "skyline views" of residents of the nearby four-story Schubert Pointe condo building.
"There is some opposition on the call," Smith admitted. "I can hear the anger in your comments. If this was a live community meeting I think some of these people would be yelling. We will take down all of the feedback, talk to the developer, and come back to the community with the next step—if there is a next step."