Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Photos! 13 condo units under construction in Lincoln Square, Bowmanville at Foster and Oakley intersection

The one story commercial/ retail building has been demolished to make way for a new 8 unit condo building at West Foster Avenue and North Oakley Street (5202 N Oakley, Chicago IL 60625). ALL photos Eric Rojas, Broker, Kale Realty
The Bowmanville neighborhood in northern Lincoln Square has experienced an eruption of new construction houses and condos over the last year.  This mimics the frenzy of activity in greater Lincoln Square area north of Lawrence where we're in the third year of many "tear downs" and re-developments (including gut renovations). We are seeing more condo units added as of late.

Demolition almost complete at 5202 North Oakley.

The long vacant property with dilapidated back patio area was an eyesore on a corner with several eyesores at the intersection.  But that is changing quickly.  I noted in an earlier post that the corner across the street (northeast corner) will likely be developed as one building was purchased by a broker/ developer and the other vacant and in distress.

Two more new construction condo buildings on south side of Foster near completion.  A two unit building on the 2200 block of West Foster fills a long vacant lot (above) and a new three unit building towers over cottages on the 2300 block of West Foster (below). This brings 13 new residential units in the half block.

New construction of any kind tends to come with controversy. Issues include affordability, zoning, green-space, size of homes, design, noise and rental units vs ownership.  The 8 unit building at 5202 N Oakley faced a few issues.  First, some folks were upset that the development would get a variance to build garden residential units and eliminate the commercial use of the property.  The extra residential component seems to have plenty of local support due to plenty of vacant ground floor retail in the area.

Secondly, residents have pushed for more green space on the property.  I agree with this principle in general as large new construction eliminates run-off and open space.  The developer and neighbors are reported to be working on green roof components to help with rain water for this particular property.  Personally, I'm for reducing the footprint of new construction homes on the interior residential streets to require more green space and to make it easier to build larger developments on artery streets like West Foster.

Some complained more condo units will increase traffic.  I think this is a negligible factor due to already busy Foster.  The area has great walkable amenities such as dry cleaners, large grocery stores, bars, restaurants... those businesses in turn need people. More people help more walkable businesses thrive in northern Lincoln Square.

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