February 9th, 2018 3:00 PM
BUSINESS, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND REAL ESTATE (On North Ave. between Austin and Harlem, even-numbered addresses are in Chicago, odd-numbered addresses are in Oak Park)
Oak Park trustees voted unanimously to make 2 Fools Cider House preferred developer of the Village-owned site at 6641-43 W. North. The project likely will move forward as a planned development. http://www.oakpark.com/News/Articles/2-6-2018/Cider-biz-could-be-headed-to-North-Ave./; http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/oak-park/news/ct-oak-2-fools-cider-house-tl-0208-20180206-story.html See below for T-NAD's views on the project.
Tucker Development Corp. is now local developer for the North/Harlem Sears site. Ald. Taliaferro will provide more information at a February community meeting. Tucker may have been chosen partly for its experience developing Marketplace at Six Corners—a similar site.http://www.tuckerdevelopment.com/portfolio_items/79.
Ald. Taliaferro is also talking with a developer about a residential project at 6700 W. North Ave. This would be smaller than the 80-unit development proposed by Noah Properties for 6600-6700 W. North. If it moves forward, it will be interesting to see if there is as much community opposition. Sources say the project would not need a zoning variance, so there would theoretically be no way to stop it.
What appears to be a video slot machine venue called Spin City is opening soon at 6522 W. North. Gambling is illegal in Chicago, but the owners may be exploiting a loophole. At the request of Ald. Taliaferro, the city is investigating.
ABC Bank, with a branch and administrative offices at 6400 W. North in Chicago, is being acquired by Old Second National Bank. The deal is expected to close in Q2. http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-old-second-abc-bank-20171227-story.html ;http://www.austinweeklynews.com/News/Articles/1-8-2018/Galewood_based-bank-could-get-new-parent-/ It sounds like the North Ave. branch will stay open. But North Ave. will lose what is essentially a bank HQ.
The Oak Park Village Board unanimously approved special use zoning for a 6-unit townhouse/loft apartment project on the 6600 block of W. North Ave. http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/oak-park/news/ct-oak-park-townhouses-tl-0125-20180122-story.html Congratulations to developer Jade Sky Realty! We need more projects like this on North Ave. to fill/replace vacant properties, add life to the street and provide more customers for our many great businesses.
The Wednesday Journal advocates active development of commercial districts including North Ave. http://www.oakpark.com/News/Articles/12-26-2017/Tax-saturation-is-real/
Dr. Manuela Farhi--who offices at 7010 W. North Ave. --has been charged with Medicaid fraud. http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-chicago-doctor-medicaid-fraud-20180102-story.html
Noah Properties is building 17 townhomes in Forest Park. (This is the company that failed to receive a zoning variance support for rental housing at 6600-6700 W. North Ave. in Chicago.) http://www.oakpark.com/News/Articles/1-9-2018/Booming-development-in-Forest-Park-driven-by-out_of_towners/ The founders also have acquired two mansions and plan to live in one. http://www.chicagotribune.com/classified/realestate/elitestreet/ct-re-elite-street-historic-homes-20180130-story.html
Passed inspection: Amarind's, 6822 W. North https://chicago.everyblock.com/food-inspections/jan24-amarinds-restaurant-passed-inspection-8494082/?utm_campaign=digest&utm_medium=email&utm_source=digest
The Chicago Cardiology Institute building (just west of Buona Beef) is for sale at $6.13 million (probably a sale-leaseback deal). Other District properties are offered at prices ranging from $75,000-$1.99 million (or $42.9-$153 per sq. foot).
More than 300 celebrated New Year's Eve at Wonder Works Children's Museum, 6445 W. North in Oak Park. http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/oak-park/news/ct-oak-wonder-works-new-year-tl-0104-20180102-story.html Wonder Works is a true North Avenue treasure!
Ald. Taliaferro is seeking community block representatives. Please call the ward office if you're interested and/or to RSVP for a meet-and-greet on 3/15, 6-7:30 pm. https://gallery.mailchimp.com/0c1018748d53b6a11536e8215/_compresseds/56c71dcc-1149-4856-aa3a-4cfb21138284.jpg
River Forest will hold three public meetings at Village Hall on its North Ave. TIF: Wednesday, 2/21 - 9am - Business Owners; 7pm - Residents west of Lathrop; Thursday, 2/22 - 7pm - Residents east of Lathrop
At Ald. Taliaferro's request, the city is repairing Oak Park Avenue from Armitage to North Ave. Austin Blvd. is next. High time--the pavement under the Austin Ave. viaduct is almost undriveable.
The Village Board unanimously approved a new massage parlor ordinance on 1/16. http://www.oakpark.com/News/Articles/1-23-2018/Oak-Park-passes-tough-massage-parlor-ordinance/; http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/oak-park/news/ct-oak-massage-parlor-regulations-tl-0125-20180122-story.html Had this ordinance been in place last year, we probably wouldn't have had unlicensed fronts for prostitution in The North Ave. District. I hope it becomes a model throughout the US.
On 1/16, those living on the 1200 blocks of N. East, Columbian, Linden, and Euclid Avenues came one step closer to getting the speed tables they seek. The Village Board approved an ordinance to establish a special service area, which will pay for the speed tables via a tax on the residents. The speed tables seem like a reasonable compromise between leaving residents with no protection from speeding cars and walling 1200 blocks off from North Ave.
The North/Harlem red-light camera has generated more than $3.8 million in citations since 1/2014, dwarfing the $1.4 at Lake/Harlem. http://www.oakpark.com/News/Articles/12-26-2017/2017-was-a-busy-year--in-River-Forest/
The Village of Oak Park has budgeted $50,000 for a 2018 shared-cost façade improvement program. Details to follow.
The Chicago Dept. of Transportation (CDOT) has selected a consultant for the Chicago-Oak Park traffic study of North Ave. The study will look at ways to improve traffic safety, mobility and pedestrian-friendliness. Some community meetings and interviews may be scheduled in conjunction with the North Ave. economic development study, set to begin soon. Both studies are aiming for completion in 2018.
THE NORTH AVENUE DISTRICT (T-NAD) The former North Ave. Zoning and Development Advisory Committee (NAZDAC) became incorporated as The North Avenue District in October 2016. But its goal remains the revitalization of North Avenue from Austin to Harlem. You're invited to join T-NAD's Facebook group and join the revitalization discussion https://www.facebook.com/groups/107435609823334/
T-NAD joined the Oak Park Economic Development Corp. in supporting 2 Fools Cider House as preferred developer for the Village-owned site at 6641-43 W. North. T-NAD believes the taproom (serving food and non-alcoholic beverages along with hard cider) would provide a much-needed gathering place, build foot traffic and offer drivers a reason to stop, giving the whole district a boost. We think it would do for North Avenue what Kinslahger's taproom has done for Roosevelt Rd.
T-NAD was pleased to support--to the ZBA and the Village Board--Jade Sky Realty's successful special use zoning application. The way is now clear for construction of the 6-unit townhouse/condo project on the 6600 block of W. North Ave.
T-NAD is proud that our recommendations were incorporated in Oak Park's new massage parlor ordinance: Operating hours are now restricted. Licenses now can be denied for civil as well as criminal offenses. But applicants also have the chance to demonstrate trust-worthiness. Village staff came up with many excellent provisions. Trustee Boutet added elements that protect massage providers who may be victims of trafficking/duress. A big thank you to Trustee Boutet and Village staff for their hard work on this, and to the trustees for voting unanimously in favor. Another big thank you to T-NAD board member Eric Davis for representing us so well at the 1/16 Village Board meeting when the ordinance was approved.
Recognizing the importance of attention to North Avenue, the Wednesday Journal named me as one of 4 notable villagers of the year. Trustee Deno Andrews, who has been so supportive of our North Ave. efforts, was recognized as well. http://www.oakpark.com/News/Articles/1-2-2018/Notable-villagers-of-the-year/ Most of the credit really belongs to the whole T-NAD board, of course.
CRIME AND SAFETY
Ald. Taliaferro warns: there has been a rash of catalytic converter thefts in Galewood. Click here for more information and prevention tips. https://gallery.mailchimp.com/0c1018748d53b6a11536e8215/images/f888b722-9e6d-424f-8541-4a96442d1abd.jpg
A man tried to lure girls outside Lovett School, 6333 Bloomingdale http://cltv.com/2018/01/27/police-seek-man-in-attempted-child-luring/
North Ave. Business Subcommittee meets on the 3rd Thursday, odd months; next meeting on 3/20, 1:30 p.m., 25th District HQ (Grand/Central). The Business Liaison Officer is Officer James Mackin; (312) 746-5090, James.Mackin@chicagopolice.org. CAPS (community policing) meetings for Beat 2513 (North to Armitage, Austin to Harlem) are held the 4th Tuesday every other month, 6:30-7:30 pm in the Amundsen Park fieldhouse, 6200 W. Bloomingdale. Next meeting is March 27th.
OAK PARK (Zone 1 is bounded by North Ave., Ridgeland, Chicago Ave. and Austin Blvd. Zone 2 is bounded by North Ave., Harlem, Chicago Ave., and Ridgeland)
Oak Park residents want better communication from law enforcement officials, and the Oak Park Police Dept. has responded by launching Facebook and Twitter accounts. The dept.'s Facebook page is at www.facebook.com/VOPpolice ; Twitter account athttps://twitter.com/VOPpolice. http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/oak-park/news/ct-oak-park-police-social-media-tl-0201-20180202-story.html
Zone 2 beat officer Shatonya Johnson has been promoted. Congratulations, Sgt. Johnson! Until someone is permanently assigned, Officer Derrick Verge (firstname.lastname@example.org) will covering Zone 2. Questions/comments also can be directed to Sgt. Dave Jacobson (email@example.com) http://www.oakpark.com/News/Articles/1-5-2018/Oak-Park-police-staffing-up/
A pedestrian was struck by a car at North/Harlem. He was crossing against the light. http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/oak-park/news/ct-oak-pedestrian-hit-tl-0111-20180104-story.html
December crime was up in Zones 1 and 2 relative to the prior month and December 2016. Crime also was up in both zones in 2017 vs. 2016.
Zone meetings are held monthly at 7 pm. Zone 1 meets on the month's 3rd Tuesday at Hatch School; next meeting Tuesday, 2/20. Zone 2 meets on the first Tuesday at Mann School; next meeting Tuesday, 3/6. Suspicious activity can be reported to the Police Dept's Anonymous Crime Tip Hot Line at 708.434.1636. Anonymous tips also can be made online at www.oak-park.us/crimetip. Please notify Public Works (firstname.lastname@example.org or 708-358-5700) to report street lights out, pot holes, dead animal carcasses, gym shoes on cable/telephone wires, etc.
Thanks for your interest in North Avenue, have a great weekend and enjoy the snow (if possible)!
To view the full print edition of the Wednesday Journal 2017 Answer Book, please click here.
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