128 S. Laflin (Michigan Avenue Real Estate)

Development Proposal

On Monday July 17, 2017, Tom Meador of Michigan Avenue Real Estate presented a proposed 4-story (62 ft) apartment building on the property that currently houses the Tramco Pump Company.  This project follows several other West Loop projects by the developer, including Madison Racine Place (1215 W. Madison) and two projects that are currently under construction at 33 S. Ashland and 1050-60 W. Monroe.

The existing one-story manufacturing building is currently zoned as C2-3 with a 60 ft limit on height.  Michigan Avenue Real Estate would like to retain the existing zoning with a proposed 2.95 FAR (Floor Area Ratio).  The developer would require a variance to provide a portion of the 52 proposed residential units on the ground floor.

The proposed building would consist of wood and masonry construction, with a red masonry exterior.  A 15 ft setback would be provided along the alley on the north side of the property (no setback along the sidewalk).  The roof would house private decks for the upper-floor residential units.  The property would have a 1:1 parking ratio.

No community meeting has been scheduled yet. If approved, the project would begin in Q1 of 2018, with completion projected for Q2 of 2019.

Committee Feedback

The committee was satisfied with the size and scale of the project, but expressed concerns about the architectural features of the building.  Specifically, the proposed structure’s appearance was considered to be bland, especially when one considers that it will be located across the street from the Jackson Boulevard Historic District.  The committee was also disappointed that the building will not be LEED certified and the committee expressed a desire for building setbacks on Adams and Laflin.

Individual comments included adding more green space and including pull-outs in front of the building for Uber/Lyft/taxi users (potentially adding to the need for setbacks along the sidewalk).

Opinions were mixed about how well the proposed contractor, Vivify Construction, keeps to their prescribed working hours.  The committee would like to see a commitment from the development team that work on the site, if approved, will be conducted only during approved timeframes.

Next Steps

A community meeting will be scheduled for this proposed development in the coming months.  The NoWL Development Committee will issue a position letter based on resident feedback collected before and at the community meeting.

Date: July 24, 2017

By:  Matt Letourneau, NoWL Development Committee Chair