Weather Updates

Old Maryville site has new suitors after neighbors rejected oversized dreams

Rendering shows size buildings proposed for Montrose Clarendon. Detailed architectural drawings have yet be released. | Courtesy JDL Development Corp.

Rendering shows size of buildings proposed for Montrose and Clarendon. Detailed architectural drawings have yet to be released. | Courtesy JDL Development Corp., Harlem Irving Companies.

storyidforme: 41146903
tmspicid: 15202555
fileheaderid: 6905463

Article Extras

Story Image

Updated: January 6, 2013 10:02AM

In real estate lingo, the 3.5 acres at Montrose and Clarendon, the old Maryville Academy property, has been “in play” for several years. Located just west of Lake Shore Drive, the site’s promise of premium views for high-rise dwellers has made developers dream big.

One such dreamer, Sedgwick Properties Development Corp., overplayed its hand with the neighbors. Sedgwick’s three-tower plan, conceived just as the housing market was crashing, would have brought in 850 residences. Local groups and Ald. James Cappleman (46th) vetoed the project last year, probably doing Sedgwick a backhanded favor.

Now, the site has other potential buyers. They are taking a more pragmatic approach and have shown they know how to handle community pressure.

JDL Development Corp. with retail specialist Harlem Irving Cos. has proposed 776 units, all rentals, in two buildings. One would be 30 stories and the other about nine.

The plan also allows for about 87,000 square feet of retail space. JDL President James Letchinger is looking for a grocery store as an anchor tenant, which might override some neighbors’ concerns about height and density.

Letchinger and Harlem Irving are fresh from overcoming criticism of plans for a retail and residential complex at 3750 N. Halsted, also in Cappleman’s ward. They are building 269 units in 15- and 12-story buildings.

Cappleman said he hasn’t decided if he’ll support the Montrose plan, saying he’ll wait for input from his zoning advisory committee consisting of representatives of some 30 neighborhood organizations. A public meeting about the project is scheduled for 7 p.m. Dec. 13 at the Clarendon Park fieldhouse, which is next to the property.

TARGET PRACTICE: Target Corp. wants to get a store into the upscale and densely populated Lake View neighborhood. It has sites nearby, but nothing in the heart of Lake View. The Roscoe View Journal reported Target is close to buying the old LaSalle Bank building at 3201 N. Ashland, which was the site of a mixed-use development that went into foreclosure.

Target did not respond to a request for comment. Bennett Lawson, aide to Lake View Ald. Tom Tunney (44th), declined to confirm Target’s interest. “There’s been lots of chatter about the property, but nothing hard yet,” he said.

PRICE CHECK: Apartment buildings are still an attractive investment in Chicago and other top-tier markets, but values may have peaked, said a report by CoStar Group Inc. The real estate data firm examined what it called the “sexy six” U.S. markets for apartments: Chicago, Boston, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington D.C.

It found that the average per-unit price in those cities is $168,000. In mid-2009, roughly the bottom of the housing crash, the average was $113,000. However, the figure has declined from $180,000 in the third-quarter of 2011. Meanwhile, CoStar reports, investors are directing more capital to secondary cities.

GOT THE APPETITE? If the prior item put you in the mood to invest here, consider that Kiser Group has listed a sizable apartment tower for sale. It’s the 303-unit New Englewood Terrace at 6425 S. Lowe, near Kennedy-King College and the Green Line. The building is 80 percent leased and the asking price is $8.5 million, which works out to $28,053 per unit.

The seller, California investor Kamyar Mateen, got the building out of foreclosure last April for just $3.1 million, records show. Who says there’s no money to be made in Englewood?

BY GEORGE: Jack George, one of Chicago’s busiest zoning lawyers, started work this week at his new professional home, the law firm of Schuyler, Roche & Crisham. He described his split from longtime legal partner Michael Daley, brother of former Mayor Richard M. Daley, as amicable.

George brings to the midsize Schuyler firm a glittering roster of clients among developers. Some have wondered if his workload caused an uncharacteristic error in documents submitted on behalf of the three-tower Wolf Point project.

Critics seized on a reference to 1,800 hotel rooms on the site, which was never mentioned at public hearings. The confusion caused the site’s alderman, Brendan Reilly (42nd), to request a delay in city approval last week, a surprising setback.

George said he included the reference to 1,800 hotel rooms in a standard “conversion table” showing the theoretical maximum uses of the property, which gives developers flexibility if markets change. He said he regretted the confusion and is working with Reilly on new language that will clearly reflect the developers’ intention to provide a mix of residences, commercial space and lodging.

He expects the Chicago Plan Commission will consider Wolf Point Dec. 20.

RAMBLING ON: Time was when Hamilton’s Bar & Grill at 6341 N. Broadway was the place to go for students at the nearby Loyola University Chicago. The bar dated back to the 1930s, but it closed in late October. I remember from my foggy youth that Hamilton’s was never too particular about IDs, and I gather from the online reaction to the closing that some things never change.

Hamilton’s two-story property was sold to none other than Loyola. A school spokesman said it has no plans it can share for the site. Loyola minus Hamilton’s might make some students wish they went to DePaul instead.

David Roeder reports on real estate at 6:22 p.m. Thursdays on WBBM-AM (780) and WBBM-FM (105.9). The reports are repeated at 10:22 p.m. Thursday and 7:22 a.m. Sunday.

© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.