Duo tower project: TOD proposed on Milwaukee Ave in Logan Square


Yellow outline shows parcel of land from the air


A model of the proposed complex

Robert Buono and Paul Utigard pitched their proposed project for the 2200 block of N. Milwaukee Ave., to a packed house at Candela, 2451 N. Milwaukee Ave., Thursday evening, Oct. 30.

Set up by 1st Ward Alderman Proco "Joe" Moreno, the meeting was to inform and then obtain input and comments from the community. Following are the Logan Square project facts. The "input and comments" are here

The project
On the former Max Gerber location in Logan Square, the common addresses are 2255 - 93 N. Milwaukee Ave., 2208 - 26 N. Washtenaw Ave, and 2775 - 35 W. Belden, The site is being referred to as 2293 N. Milwaukee Ave. It is within 600 ft. of a transportation hub. 


A rendering of the Milwaukee Ave. side of the complex

Proposed as a 254-unit two tower rental complex with retail, 254 bike spaces and about 74 parking places (4 car sharing and 70 residential), it is on a .97 acre (42,331 sq. ft.) parcel of land. Usage breaks down to approximately 201,000 square feet residential and 6,000 to 8,000 of retail. 

Residential units would be in the two towers. A 15-story building on Belden is to have three elevators, while an 11-story structure on the Washtenaw side is designed to have two elevators.

Both towers and a low rise structure are to be LEED Silver with green roofs. On the tower roofs there are residential terraces as well as green roof areas. The green roof on the low rise structure over the parking garage would include a dog park. 

Along the street, only one curb cut will be required, according to Buono. Each building, having its own loading dock, would have deliveries and waste removal on the property versus on the public way. 

On a project of this size, developers are required to include space for temporary water retention. Buono explained that the tower roofs would be one of three water retention areas. The other two would be the garage roof, where the dog park is also located, and if necessary an under ground type vault. This is determined by civil engineers who make calculations based on historic rainfall data and the complexes non-permeable surfaces. 

Purposes of these temporary storage areas is to restrict water, allowing for an acceptable flow into the city sewers. 

Designed by Wheeler and Kearns Architects, the structure is primarily glass. Units are to range from studios to two-bedrooms. Regular rents would range between $1,250 and $2,500 to $2,700. There would be 25 affordable rent priced units. 

A traffic study was done, according to Buono in a phone conversation with this reporter. That resulted in "limited" impact on the existing traffic flow. 


Alderman Moreno and Robert Buono

Developer request
Proposed as a Transit Oriented Development (TOD) along a Milwaukee Ave. Pedestrian Zone, developers Buono and Utigard are asking for a zoning bump from C1-1 to a new underlying zoning of B3-5. That zoning would give them the opportunity to build to the height, density and floor area ratio (FAR) in their proposal. 

Under C 1-1, they have the right to build neighborhood commercial with residential above and 2,500 sq. ft of land for each living unit and a Floor Area Ration (FAR) of 1.2. Under a B3-5 zoning, they have the right to build shopping centers, large stores and retail storefronts. The B3 Allows more types of businesses than B1 and B2 districts. Apartments are permitted above the ground floor. The FAR is 5. 

The TOD gives them the opportunity to have less than a ratio of 1 to 1.6 parking spaces per unit. 

At the presentation, the developers showed slides with photos of the site as well as building renderings. In addition they showed illustrations of how the shadows of the buildings would fall at different times of the day. The surrounding area has low-rise structures. 

The project is a private endeavor, there are no public dollars, such as TIF money, going into the project, according to Buono.

The Alderman pointed out that the project would bring approximately $300,000 in taxes into the City coffers annually. Currently the empty lot brings in no revenue.

The developers presentation was followed by comments and questions from those in attendance.


Developer team at the meeting: John Heinert,Wheeler-Kearns; Jamie McNally; Paul Utigard; Rolando Acosta, attorney



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