A 66-unit single resident occupancy (SRO) development plan for the 2300 block of north California Avenue was under discussion at a Greater Goethe Neighborhood Association (GGNA) meeting in the Haas Park Fieldhouse Monday.
The plan, headed by Savoy Development, calls for 63 studio units and three one-bedroom units in a space that is currently taken up by a carwash.
Enrico Plati of Savoy opened the meeting by announcing the proposed development as an “unusual and progressive project.” He also believes that “this area is going to become as desirable, more or less, as the West Loop.”
Make-up of the building
Plati announced monthly rent for the 320-square-foot studios would start at $1,000. The development hopes to attract young professionals, recent college grads and people who commute to work via CTA.
The development is seeking a change in zoning from the current C1-1 assignment to a C1-3 zone. This change would allow the building to house a higher density of tenants.
While the project will be built as an SRO, Plati told attendees of the GGNA it will be operated as a regular apartment building. Amenities such as a fitness center, wi-fi and a Zipcar station were mentioned.
Lease agreements for the building’s units would start at one-year increments, and Plati said residents “will be screened carefully to ensure they don’t have a record of any kind.”
Retail space is also planned for the building’s first floor.
A crowd of more than 100 residents highlighted many concerns with the project, and numerous hands that shot up during the question and answer portion of the meeting. Residents’ main concerns included the congestion the development could bring to the area, possible transience an SRO-style building could add to the neighborhood and the price of the rental units.
“This building is for people who don’t live here,” one resident stated.
“We don’t want the West Loop, or we would move to the West Loop,” another said.
Discontent appeared to be the dominant viewpoint of the crowd until a few residents spoke about why they would support the entirety or certain aspects of a project like Savoy’s.
“There is a crisis in housing in this city that runs the gamut from luxury to affordable. This city’s lost hundreds and thousands of people over the past decade, and it’s because every time a developer brings a plan like this to a neighborhood, it gets shouted down and shouted down,” said Logan Square resident John Amdor. “It’s really disheartening to see these same concerns brought up time and time again when we should be eager to welcome people, we should be eager to give the construction jobs, open up housing so that more people can live in our city.”
Amdor’s comments were followed with audience members quizzing him on how long he has lived in the neighborhood.